The recent news stories about xylazine-adulterated fentanyl (also known as Tranq) describe it as turning users into zombies because it causes skin necrosis. This can lead to abscesses which may require amputations.
Even more important, it can kill users. Xylazine, which is an animal tranquilizer (hence the name “Tranq”) is said to be available for free in some locations. It has been reported in the eastern states, including Pennsylvania and the availability has been moving steadily westward across the country. The Iowa Office of Drug Control website has posted information about it.
Connecting xylazine to zombies may be a way to get people to pay closer attention to this dangerous substance. That’s ironic because it doesn’t make users just look like the walking dead—it causes death. Xylazine-laced fentanyl overdoses can’t be completely reversed by naloxone because xylazine is not an opioid.
Dr. George Dawson wrote an excellent blog post describing the scientific details about xylazine and its deadly effects in April of 2022.
Those who make this drug know exactly what they’re doing. It’s one thing to sell it on the street, which itself is a terrible thing to do. But if it’s true that it is available for free in some places, then something other than the profit motive is at work.