CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Law enforcement officials are warning the public of a “powerful veterinary tranquilizer,” that has been found mixed with drugs in South Carolina.
The Charleston Police Department (CPD) said Xylazine, a drug used as an animal sedative and pain reliever, has been identified in multiple recent illicit drug seizures.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Xylazine is “often added to illicit opioids, including fentanyl, and people report using xylazine-containing fentanyl to lengthen its euphoric effects.”
Also known as “tranq,” the drug has also been detected in mixtures containing heroin, cocaine, and other drugs, according to CPD.
Authorities said the CPD Laboratory found fentanyl and xylazine in blue tablets (depicted below) and eight overdoses reported in Clarendon County over the past week were linked to the ingestion of such tablets.
Xylazine is a depressant that can cause drowsiness, amnesia, slow breathing, slowed heart rate, and low blood pressure, according to NIDA. When used repeatedly, it can also cause skin ulcers and abscesses, earning it the street nickname “zombie drug.”
On Tuesday, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it would restrict imports of xylazine amid growing concerns over the drug’s presence nationwide.
As pills containing xylazine and fentanyl have been detected in surrounding areas, CPD is urging the public to use “extreme caution.”