It is no secret that nearly the entirety of the United States are dealing with a drastic influx of the powerful opiate fentanyl over the last couple of years.  It has shown up in nearly every street drug ingested and has even been marketed to children directly through colorful varieties that look like candy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2021, 70,601 people died from a fentanyl overdose in the US. That figure rose 25% from 2020 and is nearly double the amount of fentanyl overdose deaths in 2019.

The problem has gotten so bad, that many households (mine included) now keep doses of the opioid overdose reversing drug, Narcan, in our medicine cabinets. Residents of many states, including here in Washington, can even receive free doses of Narcan from the state.

News of this epidemic has spread far and wide, with nearly everyone knowing that it exists.

It is with this in mind that we turn our attention to Mexican cartels and the Chinese government. The cartels know the addictive properties of fentanyl and that it will produce returning customers, at least those who don't die from an overdose. The Chinese government, looking to weaken the US as much as possible, see's a bright future for themselves, as more and more American's become addicted, or outright die. So, the Chinese manufacture the fentanyl, where it is then shipped to the Mexican cartels, who mix it with other drugs, press it into pills and more, before sending it north to America.

Both of those aforementioned players are very well aware of the focus being put on fentanyl, the additional US District Attorney's offices being opened across the country and the now wide availability of Narcan. Business has been too good and they're making moves to keep the cash cow producing.

To keep the masses addicted and to further degrade our culture as a country, they've decided to introduce a new drug to the market... xylazine.

Of xylazine, the National Institute for Health says:

"...xylazine is a central nervous system depressant that can cause drowsiness and amnesia and slow breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure to dangerously low levels. Taking opioids in combination with xylazine and other central nervous system depressants—like alcohol or benzodiazepines—increases the risk of life-threatening overdose."

Xylazine is not an opioid, though acts much like one, making it a perfect addition to the illicit drugs fentanyl is currently being cut into, without the same attention that fentanyl receives.  Really, the biggest issue with xylazine is that it is a tranquilizer, and as such, Narcan (and other drugs like it) won't reverse the overdose effect.  The drug is injected, snorted, consumed orally and smoked, as well.

The xylazine influx has occurred so swiftly that the Department of Justice won't conduct interviews concerning the drug (albeit for reasons undefined).

Xylazine use brings the cadre of usual effects, including euphoria, confusion, blurred vision and more.  What's a bit different, however, are the skin ulcers, abscesses, and related complications. Said skin ulcers are reportedly quite painful, and users typically continually inject at the site of the ulcer to alleviate that pain and this can lead to numerous health issues, including sepsis.

Street names being used for xylazine include tranq, tranq dope, sleep-cut, Philly dope, Steph Curry, Cardi B., zombie drug and more. The drug first showed up in Puerto Rico in its illicit form in the early 2000's, though was first synthesized in 1962 by the Bayer Company as an alternative to morphine.

Overdose symptoms for xylazine include, but are not limited to small pupils, low body temperature, dry mouth, slow heartbeat, unconsciousness and slowed or stopped breathing.

The only known antidote for a xylazine overdose is Tolazine, which can be found on the internet at quite the price (over $100 per dose), however, considering it is an injectable drug with its own overdose potential, should only be used by a medical professional.

The drug is being seen more consistently across the country and will ultimately make it to your neighborhood, if it hasn't already.

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