Xylazine Palm Beach Outpatient Detox, Florida

Xylazine, an animal tranquilizer, is a new threat in the opioid epidemic: What we know

A new threat has emerged in the United States’ illicit drug supply: an animal tranquilizer called xylazine.

The drug is showing up in synthetic opioids, particularly fentanyl, leading to more overdoses and alarming side effects, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control. 

While most jurisdictions don’t routinely test for xylazine in postmortem toxicology, the Drug Enforcement Administration estimates xylazine was involved in at least 1,281 overdose deaths in the Northeast and 1,423 in the South in 2021. 

Last week, ONDC director Dr. Rahul Gupta hosted a listening session with local public health and safety leaders to discuss trends related to xylazine and efforts to address it, including plans for tracking, substance use treatment, and harm reduction.

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