Flesh-eating animal drug linked to mass deadly overdose as victims toes rot off

A flesh-eating animal tranquilliser has left its victims with rotting toes and falling fingers in response to a huge spike in lethal drug overdoses.

Shocking figures show the devastating drug named "tranq" has been found in 91% of heroin and fentanyl supplies across places including Philadelphia, Delaware and Michigan.

Tranq, formally named xylazine, has been linked to thousands of overdoses, according to a report in the peer-reviewed journal Science Direct.

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The tranquiliser causes wounds and sores on people's bodies which escalates to alarming soft-tissue infections, bone disease and amputations.

It is known to be used on horses as a muscle relaxant and anaesthetic but has seen a significant increase in drug-related deaths in humans.

Deaths increased by 86.8% between 2019 and 2020 before falling slightly in 2021, reports the Detroit Free Press.

According to the publication, the drug was detected in half the opioid deaths in the Ann Arbor region in the past two years.

On top of that, Xylazine was connected to 19% of all drug overdose deaths in Maryland in 2021 and 10% of those in Connecticut in 2020.

Tranq can also slow down the blood flow and knock out the person which impacts the body's ability to heal itself.

UCLA researcher Joseph Friedman told Free Press: "This is more like tissue death. This is black, necrotic tissue destruction.

“And the necrotic tissue doesn’t necessarily develop at the site where the drug was injected. There’s evidence it can appear anywhere on the body.”

Due to the tragic rise in overdoses, The City of Brotherly Love is now hiring a wound-care specialist and a field nurse to treat tranq-related lesions.

User Sam Brennan, 28, told Vice: “It’s something I’ve never seen before anywhere else. People all over the place, sticking needles anywhere they possibly can, passed out. Philly’s going under from tranq.

“It’s a way more intense sickness than fentanyl. … You feel like you’re literally going to die,” she said.

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“It’s like a three-hour process – you’re going out, and you’re waking up, and you’re sick.”

Another user named Bill, 59, said the drug sees him covered in sores and knocks him out for around three hours.

“I never shoot up in my hands, but I get abscesses in my knuckles, in the tops of my fingers,” he said. “[They’re] caused by whatever they’re putting in the drugs.”

Tranq has been widely used in Puerto Rico, where it is known as “anestesia de caballo,” or “horse tranquillizer.”

The stateside increase could be linked to the disturbance in fentanyl, which was banned by its manufacturer China, following pressure from the US in 2019.

"When fentanyl is not available, the cuts get heavy with xylazine,” Shinefeld added.

“We’ll have someone that’ll do a bag that’s 23 parts xylazine to one part fentanyl, and we’ll have 15 people [overdose] on one corner."


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