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What Is the Drug “Tranq”?

Xylazine, or “tranq,” is one of the many dangerous drugs currently on the streets of America. It is most frequently used in combination with substances such as heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine. All of these drugs, as well as xylazine, are incredibly addictive and can lead to a substance use disorder. At Destinations for Teens, we have a comprehensive substance use disorder treatment available for you or your loved one who may be struggling. Reach out to one of our medical professionals today via 877.466.0620 to discuss treatment plans.

What Is “Tranq”?

Xylazine, or “tranq,” is a non-opioid medication that is being added to street drugs and is often found as a combination of xylazine and fentanyl, making it extremely dangerous. Tranq came about in 1962 when Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals designed it to be used as a central nervous system depressant. It was initially intended to be used by veterinarians, who use it to sedate, relieve pain, or as a muscle relaxant for animals such as dogs, cats, and horses. It has not been approved for use in humans. It is sold as a clear liquid under the brand names:

  • Anased
  • Chanazine
  • Rompun
  • Sedazine

For animals, the drug can begin to be effective in only a few minutes and can last for about four hours.

Xylazine and Fentanyl

In recent news, the DEA has reported a widespread threat of fentanyl mixed with xylazine in street drugs. Combining xylazine with fentanyl puts drug users at a higher risk of suffering from a fatal overdose. Xylazine is not an opioid, meaning naloxone, or Narcan, does not reverse its effects. Narcan is used in case of an opioid overdose, so not being able to use it with xylazine is incredibly dangerous. People who are injecting drug mixtures that contain xylazine can also develop incredibly severe wounds such as necrosis, which is the rotting of human tissue. This can often lead to amputation.

Xylazine and Humans

Xylazine has not been approved by the FDA for use in humans. Therefore, when a human consumes it, there can be deadly effects. Tranq is a central nervous system depressant that can cause drowsiness, amnesia, slow breathing, slow heart rate, and lower blood pressure to dangerously low levels. Some users take opioids in combination with xylazine or other central nervous system depressants, like alcohol or benzodiazepines. These can also be life threatening combinations. Repeated use of tranq can also be associated with skin ulcers and abscesses. Tranq, or drugs that contain tranq, can be consumed by injecting, snorting, swallowing, or inhaling.

Xylazine Overdose

Since many opioids are often combined with xylazine, experts often suggest using Narcan to reverse the effects of the opioid. However, Narcan does not address the effects of tranq. Therefore, it is always recommended to call 911 in the case of an overdose.

 Xylazine Withdrawal

Like many dangerous drugs, the effects of xylazine withdrawal can be incredibly unpleasant. If you or a loved one are struggling with a xylazine overdose, it is recommended that you enter a healthcare facility that will make your withdrawal symptoms less painful and dangerous.   Since xylazine is a recent addition to the street drug market, research is still being done. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms have been:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Severe hypertension

Withdrawal symptoms can be treated with or without medication, depending on what drugs are being used in combination with xylazine.

Substance Use Disorder Treatment with Destinations for Teens

The use of tranq with opioids such as fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine, has become increasingly popular and dangerous. If you believe that you or a loved one might have a substance use disorder and is abusing tranq, reach out to one of our healthcare professionals at Destinations for Teens today via 877.466.0620 to discuss what options are available to you.