Around the Globe
USA | Feb 27, 2023

New American street drug, ‘Tranq’, is turning users into real life zombies

Zemelyah Shaw

Zemelyah Shaw / Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Xylazine, also known as tranq, is a drug that has gained notoriety for its ability to induce a zombified state in those who consume it. Originally intended for veterinary use as a sedative for animals, xylazine has made its way into the illicit drug market and has become a serious concern for public health.

Xylazine was first synthesised in the 1960s by the German pharmaceutical company Bayer. It was initially developed as a veterinary anesthetic and sedative for use in large animals such as horses, cows, and deer. The drug quickly gained popularity in the veterinary field due to its effectiveness, low cost, and quick onset of action.

However, xylazine also known as ‘tranq’ soon began to find its way into the hands of illicit drug manufacturers, who started using it to cut other drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Due to its potency, xylazine can significantly amplify the effects of other drugs, making them more powerful and addictive. Additionally, xylazine is much cheaper than other illicit drugs, making it an attractive option for drug dealers looking to increase their profits.

The effects of tranq on humans are particularly concerning. When consumed in large doses, the drug can cause a state of extreme sedation and disorientation, leading to a zombified state. Users become unresponsive, unable to move or speak, experience rotting of the skin and may have seizures or respiratory failure. In some cases, the drug has been known to induce a comatose state, with users remaining unconscious for several hours or even days.

In addition to its sedative effects, it has also been known to cause hallucinations, delirium, and extreme agitation. Users may become violent and aggressive, putting themselves and others in danger. Long-term use of xylazine can lead to severe damage to the nervous system, liver, and kidneys, amputation as well as addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

The use of the now seemingly recreational drug has become a significant public health concern in recent years. The drug is particularly prevalent in South America, where it is known as ‘trancazo’ or ‘cheese’. However, cases of xylazine abuse have also been reported in the United States and other parts of the world.

Law enforcement agencies and health organisations are working to address the growing issue of xylazine abuse. Education and awareness campaigns are being launched to inform the public about the dangers of the drug, and law enforcement agencies are cracking down on the illicit drug trade. However, much more needs to be done to combat this dangerous and potentially lethal substance.

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