‘Tranq’ (Xylazine) Drug Spreads from Puerto Rico Across the United States: Creates Severe Skin Necrosis and Zombie Stupor C/O Futures Narcotics Research Note Series Pamela Ligouri Bunker and Robert J. Bunker 24 February 2023
‘Tranq’ (Xylazine) “is a non-opiate sedative, analgesic, and muscle relaxant only authorized in the United States for veterinary use according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” The drug has been used illicitly since the early 2000s in Puerto Rico and has increasingly become a favorite of street dealers across the mainland who adulterate other drugs with it. It is highly addictive, extends the effects of fentanyl, and is very cheap with it commonly being purchased online via Chinese suppliers. The dark side of the drug is that it is dangerous for human consumption with effects that include creating a ‘zombie-like’ state in the user after a fix and necrosis of the skin resulting in oozing body sores and pustules with continued use. Fears exist that it may emerge as a follow-on public health disaster to the national fentanyl (opioid) crisis with which it is becoming increasingly intertwined.