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New York City Cracks Down on ‘Zombie Drug’ Tranq

New York City Cracks Down on 'Zombie Drug' Tranq

New York City is dealing with a serious problem involving a new drug known as tranq aka ‘zombie drug’. This drug can cause significant harm, leading to severe infections, hallucinations, and even death. 

Tranq, also called xylazine, is originally used as a tranquilizer for animals. Sadly, it mixed with other drugs like fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine to make them stronger and last longer. However, using tranq has extremely harmful effects. Such as damaging the skin, muscles, blood vessels, and important organs of the users.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of deaths caused by overdosing on tranq was 35 times higher in 2021 compared to 2018. 

In New York state, over 4,900 deaths from opioid overdoses involved both fentanyl and tranq in 2021, accounting for 92% of all opioid overdose deaths in the state. Tranq has also been found mixed with other drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and fake pills.

People who use tranq often develop large wounds that don’t heal well, looking somewhat like zombie bites. These wounds can become infected with bacteria, fungi, or maggots, leading to serious tissue damage or even the need for amputation. 

Some users experience mental problems like feeling extremely paranoid, aggressive, or having false beliefs. Tranq can slow down the heart rate and breathing, potentially causing a person to fall into a coma or die. 

Unfortunately, it’s harder to treat tranq overdoses because the usual medication for reversing opioid overdoses, called naloxone, doesn’t work on tranq.

A lot of users don’t even realize they’re taking tranq since it’s often mixed into other drugs without their knowledge. This cheap and strong additive helps drug dealers make more money. 

The spread of tranq is causing concern among health officials, police, and organizations focused on reducing harm in New York City. 

However, these efforts are facing many difficulties. Tranq users fear asking for help or admitting it due to concerns about possible legal implications.

Some treatment providers aren’t familiar with tranq or don’t have enough resources to help with its complex effects. 

Certain places have better access to harm reduction services than others. And sometimes local residents or authorities don’t support these services. There are also drug dealers who are hard to find. And may even be violent, continuing to sell tranq despite the serious risks it poses.

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