The Biden administration warns that fentanyl-laced with the animal tranquilizer xylazine is an "emerging threat" in the U.S.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy director says the tranquilizer is increasingly being sold as synthetic opioids on the black market, and the mixture has turned up in nearly every state.
"DEA has seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 states. The DEA Laboratory System is reporting that in 2022, approximately 23% of fentanyl powder and 7% of fentanyl pills seized by the DEA contained xylazine," the Drug Enforcement Administration said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer says while Narcan works against fentanyl, it cannot reverse xylazine's effects, and he is urging the DEA to send diversion control teams across the country to help fight its use.
"Xylazine is a deadly, skin-rotting zombie drug that's bringing a horrific wave of overdoses across the country and is spreading further," said Sen. Schumer.
The White House has 90 days to work on and release a comprehensive response after designating the mixture as an emerging hazard.
According to the DEA, the majority of the fentanyl being trafficked across the United States is primarily produced by the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco Cartel in Mexico, utilizing ingredients predominantly supplied from China, and these drugs have led to more than half of the drug poisonings in the country.
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