‘Zombie drug’ Tranq kills 9, leads to 150 overdose in US, doctors say ‘causes flesh rot, dangerously slowed heart rate’

Fentanyl laced with an animal sedative called Tranq has caused 150 overdoses and 9 fatalities in Florida. The drug has been linked to flesh rot and is resistant to Narcan.

Edited By Sanchari Ghosh
First Published30 Jun 2023
Fentanyl laced with an animal sedative called Tranq has caused 150 overdoses and 9 fatalities in Florida
Fentanyl laced with an animal sedative called Tranq has caused 150 overdoses and 9 fatalities in Florida

In recent months, there have been reports of a concerning situation in certain parts of Florida, where fentanyl laced with an animal sedative called "Tranq" has caused significant harm. Officials claim that this deadly combination has led to 150 overdoses and nine fatalities within the past 18 months alone. Disturbingly, approximately 80% of the seized fentanyl during a recent operation in Orange County contained Xylazine, a potent veterinary sedative.

Tranq, known for its ability to induce a "zombie"-like stupor and cause flesh rot near injection sites, has wreaked havoc in neighborhoods across the country, from Philadelphia to San Francisco. Law enforcement agencies nationwide have sounded the alarm about this emerging public health threat. Orange County Sheriff John Mina, in a press conference, emphasised the severity of the situation, cautioning that emergency treatments have proven ineffective against overdose victims of this lethal combination.

“Perhaps the scariest thing about Xylazine and its prevalence in street drugs here and throughout the country is that it is not receptive to Narcan,” Mina said, as quoted by NY Post adding that the drug has been directly linked to three fatalities in his county this year so far.

In addition to tissue rot, Tranq causes low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and a dangerously slowed heart rate, he stressed.

Doctors have warned that flesh loss often leads to amputations.

Captain Darryl Blanford recently announced the dismantling of a fentanyl distribution ring in south Orange County. The operation resulted in multiple arrests, including Jazzmeen Montanez, the alleged ringleader. The fentanyl was traced back to a supplier in New Jersey, and a drug mule carrying half a kilogram was intercepted in Volusia County.

“The drugs were targeting areas that already had a massive problem” with opioids, Blanford said.

The department highlighted that the use of Tranq in fentanyl has exploded over the past five years, and has become the norm.

“That’s the volume of the product that’s being kicked out onto your streets right now,” he said.

While it is readily available from China, Blanford said he suspected that some veterinarians are likely selling Xylazine for illicit purposes.

 

 

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