Animal Sedative Mixed With Fentanyl Brings Fresh Horror To U.S. Drug Zones

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - MARCH 12: A homeless man, 24,  smokes fentanyl on March 12, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. Widespread drug addiction is endemic in Seattle's large homeless community, which the city is currently trying to move out from shared public spaces. According to a recent report commissioned by Seattle Councilmember Andrew Lewis, the COVID-19 pandemic put undue pressure on the city's shelter system and delayed funds for new housing, leading to an increase in homelessness. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • 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.

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