The New “Death” Drug Filler Being Added to Illicit Drugs

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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Just when you think you’ve heard it all along comes Xylazine. Xylazine is a medication used to treat spastic colon and abdominal pain in horses so yes, makes sense we’d add it to our illicit drugs right? Here comes trouble.

Users of illicit drugs are now combining xylazine with other drugs of abuse and may be increasing their risk of death.

Xylazine aka ‘horse anesthesia’ has been used over the last couple of years as an additive in heroin and now cocaine. It scares us because Xylazine is being found in a large number of patients who die due to heroin and/or cocaine and if you get into trouble with Xylazine there is no known antidote.

75 cases of folks who died from cocaine and/or heroin overdose were analyzed specifically for Xylazine and 36 of 75 (48%) were positive for Xylazine. Ick.

How much Xylazine is too much? ANY of it is too much. There is no defined safe, toxic or fatal concentration in humans. What’s happening is that heroin and cocaine are ‘cut’ (adulterated) with xylazine, intensifying the intoxication and contributing to more severe drug addiction and dependence.

Yuck.

Dr O.

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