Over a matter of weeks, Tracey McCann watched in horror as the bruises she was accustomed to getting from injecting fentanyl began hardening into an armor of crusty, blackened tissue. Something must have gotten into the supply.
Switching corner dealers didn’t help. People were saying that everyone’s dope was being cut with something that was causing gruesome, painful wounds.
“I’d wake up in the morning crying because my arms were dying,” Ms. McCann, 39, said.
In her shattered Philadelphia neighborhood, and increasingly in drug hot zones around the country, an animal tranquilizer called xylazine — known by street names like “tranq,” “tranq dope” and “zombie drug” — is being used to bulk up illicit fentanyl, making its impact even more devastating.