Los Angeles authorities are expressing serious concern about the alarming proliferation of a dangerous narcotic known as the “zombie drug.” This substance, commonly referred to as tranq or xylazine, is an animal tranquilizer that, when combined with illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl, can cause grotesque effects on its users.
Officials in LA are working urgently to monitor the drug’s spread, which is rapidly increasing. Reports indicate that its consumption can result in the decay of skin and muscle, leading to horrifying consequences for addicts.
“It’s really gruesomely disfiguring people. It’s much more likely to stop someone from breathing and the things that come along with xylazine, it’s a vasoconstrictor. So when you’re injecting it, it’s actually reducing the blood circulation,” according to Bill Bodner, a special agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration, as reported by KTLA.
Recently, the LA County Sheriff’s Office initiated a program aimed at monitoring the prevalence of this hazardous substance, which was originally not intended for human use. The reason it has only recently gained attention from authorities is that it does not fall under the category of illegal drugs.
According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the program was launched in mid-April and involved crime lab analysts noting the presence of xylazine in confiscated drugs as an initial indication. The program is anticipated to continue for a month before further actions are considered.
According to statements made by Nicole Nishida, a spokesperson for the DEA’s LA Field Division, as reported by the newspaper, “In the greater Los Angeles area, we are seeing xylazine as an additive within fake fentanyl pills. While the numbers are relatively low in our community compared to elsewhere in the United States, the presence of xylazine is now becoming more frequent and the trend is concerning.”
In March, the DEA released an immediate public safety alert, highlighting the use of xylazine as a low-cost adulterant for fentanyl, which has spread to 48 states. US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated that in New York, this lethal “zombie drug” has been linked to numerous fatalities by the end of March.