February 8, 2023

Philadelphia doctors have received new guidance to help them deal with the influx of patients addicted to the animal tranquilizer xylazine, known on the street as ‘tranq.’

A charity warns that the drug, a muscle relaxant intended for large animals such as horses, is leaving users “unable to walk” and with “open wounds”.

Philadelphia has become the epicenter of xylazine, which has quickly made its way into the city’s drug supply as a cheap and highly potent cutting agent.

It is most often used to cut fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid that has replaced most Philadelphia heroin.

Philadelphia is considered ground zero for the xylazine crisis. The city’s health department released guidance for doctors last month, warning them that some users may not even realize they have taken the drug, as it is often cut by fentanyl.

The Drug Prolongs The Effects Of Heroin, But Leaves Users Blacked Out For Hours At A Time, While Injection Sites Fester And Cause Excruciating Wounds That Spread All Over The Body.

The drug prolongs the effects of heroin, but leaves users blacked out for hours at a time, while injection sites fester and cause excruciating wounds that spread all over the body.

Unintentional Drug Overdose Deaths In Philadelphia Have Risen Over The Years, Hitting A Record High In 2021. City Officials Estimated The Number Of Drug Overdose Deaths In Philadelphia In 2021 To Be 1,250, Slightly Down Above The Peak Recorded In 2017. In 2019, About A Third Of All Fatal Opioid Overdoses In The Us In 2019 Were Drug Related

Unintentional drug overdose deaths in Philadelphia have risen over the years, hitting a record high in 2021. City officials estimated the number of drug overdose deaths in Philadelphia in 2021 to be 1,250, slightly down above the peak recorded in 2017. In 2019, about a third of all fatal opioid overdose deaths in the city were related to xylazine

Sarah Laurel, founder of the outreach organization Savage Sisters, said the philadelphia investigator: ‘I have never seen human beings stay in these kinds of conditions.

They have gaping open wounds, they can’t walk.

See also  Death rate has fallen 33% since 1991 with 3.8 million deaths averted, official report finds

Savage Sisters operates seven recovery homes in South Philadelphia where people recovering from drug addiction can take a hot shower, eat and have their wounds cleaned.

A patient at the Savage Sisters’ Kensington Avenue branch, Nick Gallagher, 43, developed an infected abscess on his arm last spring after years of injecting drugs.

He said the wound on his arm was originally ‘four fingers wide’. And he added: “I know that the tranquilizer made the healing slower.”

Another patient named CJ, who smokes a tranquilizer drug, said: “A normal wound takes about a month to heal, and they get bigger on their own.”

Xylazine is not approved for human use and is believed to have been initially added to fentanyl to prolong the high.

Last month, the Philadelphia health department released guidance for doctors warning that because point-of-care tests for xylazine do not yet exist, drug users may not even realize they have been exposed to the substance.

As Xylazine Eats Away At Users' Flesh, The Drug'S Intended Purpose — To Relax Muscles And Relieve Pain — Creates More Problems As People Inject It Into Painful Lesions To Relieve Pain.

As xylazine eats away at users’ flesh, the drug’s intended purpose — to relax muscles and relieve pain — creates more problems as people inject it into painful lesions to relieve pain.

The Problem Is So Serious, According To Vice, That Last Spring The City Was Trying To Hire A Field Nurse To Handle Xylazine-Related Injuries, Along With A Wound Care Specialist.

The problem is so serious, according to Vice, that last spring the city was trying to hire a field nurse to handle xylazine-related injuries, along with a wound care specialist.

The Graph Above Shows The Cumulative Yearly Figure For The Number Of Drug Overdose Deaths Reported In The Us By Month.  It Also Shows That They Continue With An Upward Trend.

The graph above shows the cumulative yearly figure for the number of drug overdose deaths reported in the US by month. It also shows that they continue with an upward trend.

Xylazine causes serious injuries that put users at risk of infection and even death, but users do not present for treatment because the withdrawal symptoms are so painful and are not treated properly by many health care providers.

See also  Four day work week on the rise in Australia

Symptoms include chills, sweating, restlessness, anxiety, agitation.

Some users report rash sores all over their bodies. Many are disfigured when fingers, arms, feet, legs, and toes are forced to be amputated.

While injection site wounds are common, people see wounds develop on parts of the body they have never injected into, as do drug users who snort or smoke their drugs.

The drug causes ‘progressive and extensive’ skin ulcers filled with dead tissue, the new advice to doctors He says.

Research on xylazine is limited, but wounds are thought to occur because the drug constricts blood vessels near the injection site, lowering blood pressure. In turn, this impairs wound healing in other parts of the body.

And because xylazine is not an opioid, people who take it along with opioids are more difficult to treat with the drug naloxone, which reverses opioid overdose.

There is currently no FDA-approved treatment especially for xylazine withdrawal.

In Philadelphia, considered ground zero for the xylazine crisis, about a third of all fatal opioid overdoses in 2019 were related to the drug.