The Rise of Xylazine in Philadelphia & Its Link to Overdose Deaths
What Is Xylazine?
Xylazine is a strong sedative drug that is commonly used as a veterinary tranquilizer. This veterinary medicine is commonly used for sedating large animals such as horses or cattle. Xylazine is increasingly becoming popular among illicit drug users as it produces a feeling of sedation, relaxation, and euphoria. The tranquilizer xylazine is a muscle relaxant that impacts the central nervous system causing it to become relaxed and acts as a depressant. Drug users will often refer to xylazine as “tranq” within the street drug markets. Drug users taking xylazine will inject this illicit drug into their veins, muscles, skin and soft tissue. People who use drugs will often combine xylazine with other substances such as ketamine, fentanyl, or heroin.
Effects of Xylazine
Due to the intended use of xylazine being an animal tranquilizer, there can be serious, significant side effects and consequences when drug users engage in xylazine use. Due to xylazine being a central nervous system depressant, this illicit drug can have serious, sometimes fatal, side effects including:
- Respiratory depression
- Slowed or abnormal heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Blurry or impaired vision
- Feelings of disorientation or confusion
- High blood sugar
- Appear to be sleepy or sedated
- Drug addiction
- Drug overdoses
The people who use drugs will often use xylazine in combination with fentanyl or other synthetic opioids. Individuals can develop a drug addiction to both substances leading to drug abuse and addiction. This can lead to serious health concerns and lethal doses that have fatal consequences.
Overdose Deaths in Philadelphia Linked To Xylazine
Philadelphia’s drug market has witnessed a high prevalence of xylazine within the drug markets. Xylazine has been present in 31% of drug overdoses related deaths as of 2019. This number has increased from 2% since 2010 ad 2015. These unintentional overdose deaths are consistent of having the tranquilizer xylazine in combination with fentanyl or other synthetic opioids. Philadelphia pennsylvania has shown a significant number of individuals impacted by the unintentional overdose deaths compared to the rest of the country where there has only been 1.8% drug overdoses related to xylazine abuse. This number demonstrates the prevalence of xylazine within Philadelphia’s drug scene.
The unintentional overdose deaths occurring from xylazine can be impacted from the fact that typical overdose medications or treatments of naloxone or narcan will not be effective for a xylazine overdose. Xylazine is not a synthetic opioid which means that naloxone will not be effective as acting on the opioid receptors in your brain will not be able to reverse the effects of a xylazine overdose.
Drug Rehab for Philadelphia Residents at DayBreak
At DayBreak, we offer Philadelphia Pennsylvania residents an addiction treatment center that provides you with the individualized care needed to address your drug abuse. Each patient that enters into our treatment center has had their own experiences with drug abuse that has resulted in negative personal, social, and health consequences. Your drug treatment program will incorporate evidence based therapy methods conducted in individual and group therapy sessions that will support you in overcoming the physical dependence to drug abuse while gaining perspective on the underlying causes of your substance abuse. Due to the high presence of xylazine within the drug supply in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, it is important that our patients gain the coping skills and tools for relapse prevention as you may be confronted with triggers or temptations once you completed your drug abuse treatment programs. Contact DayBreak today to hear more about the individualized approach we have for patients looking to overcome and heal from your history of drug abuse. We are waiting for your call! Call us at (844) 695-0083 to get started on your road to recovery now.