In recent years, the use of horse tranquilizers in street drugs has become a growing concern.
In Ohio, drug enforcement officials have reported an increase in the presence of xylazine, a horse tranquilizer, in illicit street drugs such as heroin.
Xylazine is only authorized for veterinary use in the United States and can pose an array of health dangers in humans, including drug overdose, soft tissue damage, and death.
The scourge of street drugs mixed with dangerous cutting agents may be addressed with access to xylazine test strips as well as increased access to addiction treatment programs.
Types Of Street Drugs Mixed With Horse Tranquilizers
Ohio authorities have found xylazine mixed with several types of illicit street drugs including heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine.
The drug is typically added to these substances to increase their potency and prolong the euphoric effects.
The presence of xylazine in street drugs is concerning due to the increased risk of drug overdose and other serious health concerns.
Effects Of The Horse Tranquilizer Xylazine On Humans
Xylazine is a muscle relaxer and painkiller used in veterinary medicine to calm horses and other large animals. It is not approved for use in humans and has not been extensively studied for safety or efficacy.
Below are some of the most alarming effects of using xylazine.
Sedatives such as xylazine can cause respiratory depression, slowed heart rate, and unconsciousness. When mixed with other drugs, they can increase the risk of overdose and death.
The combination of xylazine with opioids such as heroin or fentanyl can be particularly dangerous, as both drugs depress the respiratory system and may lead to breathing difficulty.
Spontaneous Wound Formation
One of the most disturbing side effects of xylazine is the risk of spontaneous wound formation found in some people who abuse the drug.
Xylazine causes tissue damage, which may lead to the formation of wounds that are slow to heal and increase the chance of a life-threatening infection.
The risk of wound formation is highest in people who inject the drug mixed with substances such as heroin or cocaine.
In some cases, people who inject heroin that is cut with xylazine may develop large heroin abscesses, cellulitis, and even necrosis, which may lead to limb amputation.
Why People Mix Xylazine With Illicit Street Drugs
There are a handful of reasons why drug dealers are mixing horse tranquilizers in the illicit drug supply.
Prolongs Duration Of The High
Xylazine is often mixed with other drugs to extend the duration of the high. This is especially common with the abuse of heroin and other opioid drugs.
By adding xylazine to these drugs, dealers can increase the amount of time that users feel the euphoric effects, which makes the substance more appealing to buyers.
Increases Intensity Of The Drug High
Xylazine is also used to increase the intensity of the drug high, even in the strongest opioid drugs.
When mixed with other drugs, xylazine can create a stronger and more powerful high that may appeal to people who are looking for a more intense experience.
This can also make using the drug more deadly, however, as the opioid reversal drug naloxone doesn’t work on xylazine.
Ways To Address The Dangers Of Tainted Street Drugs
Due to the scourge of xylazine-related deaths in Ohio, lawmakers and police are looking to find ways to address the increasing presence of the horse tranquilizer in street drugs.
Xylazine Test Strips
Some organizations in Ohio have begun handing out xylazine testing strips in an area where overdoses were particularly prevalent.
These strips can be used to test drugs for the presence of xylazine before they are consumed. This type of harm-reduction method has been shown to be effective in reducing overdose deaths.
For example, fentanyl test strips are often used to find out whether drugs are laced with the dangerous drug fentanyl, preventing many people from experiencing an overdose.
Greater Access To Substance Abuse Treatment
Another way to address the dangers of tainted street drugs is to increase access to addiction treatment in Ohio.
Through effective treatment options, people battling addiction can reduce their risk of overdose and other serious health consequences.
Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services
If you or a loved one are currently facing drug or alcohol addiction, you may be wondering what types of addiction treatment services can help you reach sobriety.
Evidence-based treatment options may include:
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using methadone and buprenorphine
- drug and alcohol detox programs
- behavioral therapies
- dual diagnosis treatment
- 12-step recovery groups
- aftercare services
Find An Addiction Recovery Program Today
For more useful information about addiction recovery programs, reach out to DetoxRehabs.net today.Article Sources
- Ideastream Public Media
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)