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Xylazine becoming an emerging drug throughout the U.S.

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Drug Charges

Xylazine is a sedative meant for animals. While not intended for consumption by humans, it hasn’t stopped xylazine from becoming a drug that produces sedative-like effects. Sometimes referred to as tranq, this drug can affect the lives of Maryland residents using it. Soon, using, possessing or selling xylazine could mean facing serious fines and jail time.

What is xylazine?

The FDA-approved drug xylazine provides effects similar to muscle relaxants when administered to animals. A veterinary professional administers this medication to animals by itself or with barbiturates or ketamine. Studies performed on humans using xylazine to assess its effects ended due to the human participants experiencing severe central nervous system depressing effects and intense hypotension.

This cheap high can come with extremely dangerous results, including severe infection-causing lesions potentially leading to the need for amputations. Additionally, xylazine may also cause someone to blackout. What makes this sedative worse for human use is that it’s not responsive to naloxone, a medication that prevents fatal drug overdoses.

How states are handling xylazine

New York, Virginia and Wisconsin are among several states currently considering adding xylazine to their respective list of controlled substances. These changes would also mean harsher punishments for drug charges involving xylazine. While some states are pushing for the harshest possible punishments, others want to legalize test strips meant to detect xylazine in other drugs. Currently, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida have xylazine on their respective lists of controlled substances.

Some experts are arguing against criminalizing the use or possession of xylazine. These individuals and organizations feel that making this substance illegal will only lead those who use it to find another potentially dangerous and harmful drug.