Xylazine is a non-opioid sedative and muscle relaxant, commonly used as a large animal anesthetic, and is now being found in the illicit drug market. It is commonly added to opioids because it increases the effects. It is related to Clonidine, an alpha-2 agonist, causing a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and sedating effects.
Where do people get it?
The most common way people are getting it is through the illicit drug market, most recently found in the Philadelphia area.
How it is dangerous?
Between 2010 and 2015, xylazine was found in 40 (2%) of 1,854 unintentional overdose deaths for heroin and fentanyl. These statistics increased, in 2019 the percentage rose to 31%. Combining xylazine and opioids (such as fentanyl) increases the risk of overdose fatality, but there isn’t much evidence on the physical side effects.
Naloxone does not appear to be effective against xylazine.