What is Xylazine?
is a powerful veterinary tranquilizer that is being found mixed with the
nation’s illicit fentanyl supply, contributing to a worsening of the fentanyl
does not respond to naloxone (i.e., Narcan) since it’s not an opioid and for
this reason, xylazine-fentanyl mixtures are being associated with a rise in drug-related
deaths nationally. Xylazine use is also linked to serious skin abscesses and
skin ulcers. Xylazine is commonly referred to as “Tranq” on the streets.
xylazine-fentanyl mixtures have been identified in the Houston Metropolitan
Area, this threat has not become as prominent in the region as in other areas
of the country. Fortunately, only a small proportion of seized pills and powders
with fentanyl were found to contain xylazine in the Houston area in 2022.
Because the danger associated with the use of fentanyl-xylazine combinations is so high, important actions have been taken nationally in 2023 to combat this serious threat.
In March of 2023, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a public safety alert about the sharp increase in the trafficking of fentanyl-xylazine drug mixtures and the heightened risk of fatal drug poisonings associated with their use.
Public Safety Alert:
DEA Reports Widespread Threat of Fentanyl Mixed with Xylazine
Administration, March 2023
In April of 2023, the Director of the Office of National Drug Policy (ONDCP) designated fentanyl adulterated with xylazine as a national emerging drug threat.
Biden-Harris Administration Designates Fentanyl
Combined with Xylazine as an Emerging Threat to the United States
Office of National Drug Policy (ONDCP), The White House, April 12, 2023
In July of 2023, the White House released the National Response Plan for Fentanyl Combined with Xylazine to address the growing threat. Its goal is to lower overdose deaths from the lethal combination by 15%.
In Continued Response to Overdose Epidemic, the White
House Releases National Response Plan to Address the Emerging Threat of
Fentanyl Combined with Xylazine
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), July 11, 2023
National Response Plan to Address the Emerging Threat
of Fentanyl Combined with Xylazine
Fentanyl Adulterated or Associated with Xylazine
White House, Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug
Control Strategy, July 2023
In September of 2023, the Department of Homeland
Security and the Drug Enforcement Administration released a joint statement on
sources of xylazine.
DEA and DHS Issue Joint Update on Sources of Illicit
DEA Headquarters Division – Public Information Office, September 22,
the link below to learn more about xylazine.
Growing Threat of Xylazine and its Mixture with Illicit Drugs
Enforcement Administration, October 2022