Image 01 Image 03

Xylazine, a Flesh-eating ‘Zombie Drug,’ Now Hitting Los Angeles Streets

Xylazine, a Flesh-eating ‘Zombie Drug,’ Now Hitting Los Angeles Streets

Last month, the Biden administration designated xylazine mixed into fentanyl as an emerging threat.

The last time Legal Insurrection covered xylazine, a horse tranquilizer known to slam the nervous system and destroy skin tissue, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had announced that the substance was linked to dozens of deaths across New York.

It turns out xylazine is now hitting the West Coast, especially the Los Angeles area.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials launched a new program to track the troubling prevalence of the substance, which is a sedative typically used by veterinarians to anesthetize animals.

Also known as “tranq” or “tranq dope” on the streets, xylazine has become increasingly present in the illicit drug supply. The drug can be cooked down into a powder form and mixed with illicit opioids such as heroin and fentanyl or pressed into counterfeit pills or sedatives.

The “zombie drug” nickname stems from the substance’s known effect of rotting the skin.

Growing concerns over the increasing prevalence of xylazine in L.A. have law enforcement officials and addiction specialists extremely concerned.

“I’ve never seen anything like what we’re dealing with right now,” said Cary Quashen, an addiction expert.

One of the most significant concerns associated with xylazine at this point is that it is increasingly being mixed with the opioid fentanyl. The combination can have devastating effects, and overdoses do not respond well to opioid treatments.

Researchers say that fentanyl, which has largely replaced heroin in many markets, is powerful but fast acting. The xylazine gives it “legs,” extending the feeling of sedation by slowing one’s heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. Many users don’t realize their drugs contain xylazine, which can knock them out and make them susceptible to falls, robberies or rapes.

Because it is not an opioid, xylazine does not respond to naloxone, the drug commonly used to revive people who are overdosing from opioids.

…The drug is used by veterinarians to sedate animals, particularly cattle and horses, but has never been approved for use by humans. It popped up in illegal drugs in Puerto Rico in the early 2000s, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Over the last five years, it spread to the Northeast, particularly Philadelphia, where it has infiltrated more than 90 percent of street drugs, according to the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education, which posts an online early warning system about the latest drugs.

The DEA says its labs have now detected xylazine in drug seizures in 48 states. The number of xylazine-positive drug samples in the South, including Florida, rose by nearly 200 percent from 2020 to 2021, the agency reported.

Federal drug enforcement officials are trying a new approach in dealing with the xylazine’s spread: Treating it as an emerging threat.

After failing to grasp and react to the danger of fentanyl quickly enough to stop the wave of death it caused, federal officials want to avoid repeating their mistakes with this new drug.

Last month, the Biden administration designated xylazine mixed into fentanyl as an emerging threat, trying to get ahead of the drug as its illicit use continues to spread across the nation.

This marks the first time that label has been used since Congress approved its creation in 2018, so what happens next could indicate whether the United States has made true strides in its drug policy since the fentanyl crisis began.

Given the track record of the Biden administration, whatever they do will be too little, too late. Expect more “zombies” as the Biden apocalypse unfolds.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


TrickyRicky | May 13, 2023 at 10:28 am

Are you saying they used to dig Xylazine?

The headline: Dug?

The drug currently is not scheduled, meaning that there are not the controls on the sale of the drug that legitimate prescription narcotics have. It might be inconvenient for veterinarians to have to lock the stuff up and inventory everything, but it will tighten up the supply of this dangerous drug.

Making this a schedule II narcotic would go a long way.

I remember this drug or very similar in Eastern Europe 20 years ago, the pictures of flesh literally gone on legs , arms and faces was astonishing and terrifying

    Sanddog in reply to gonzotx. | May 13, 2023 at 11:51 am

    In European countries that sell codeine over the counter, the nasty drug of choice was krokodil. It never really became a thing here because it was more difficult to obtain codeine.

youtuber kimgary has posted lots and lots of videos of Kensington Ave in Philly which is the largest open-air drug market in North America. Same stuff. To see one is to see them all.

LA videos will show the same stuff, only with better weather.

I need a new conspiracy theory. All my other ones came true. What does the FIB know, and how much of this ’emerging threat’ did the FIB coordinate?

drednicolson | May 13, 2023 at 11:38 am

What they won’t do to get a fix. Of course, most junkies on the street aren’t going to know or care that their juice contains something that should only be handled with hazmat gear.

Some want to get drunk so bad they’ll down straight jet fuel, which apparently has an intoxicating effect similar to alcohol, while being many times more hazardous.

    healthguyfsu in reply to drednicolson. | May 13, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    It doesn’t require hazmat gear, just standard lab gloves. It only has the effects described here when it’s injected over time into the veins or possibly inhaled as a powder (oral ingestion might be able to do it too but it would take a lot more).

    I laugh at their press propaganda about “getting ahead of it” and “avoiding the mistakes of fentanyl”. This stuff has been used in animals for at least the last 20 years if not more. That’s just my personal experience with its use.

There are faster ways to kill yourself without the long drawn out method being talked about here.

The Hungarian mob supposedly control the fentanyl trafficking in SF, they probably now control distribution of this new add-on drug as well.

The Gentle Grizzly | May 13, 2023 at 2:29 pm

I am not at all street savvy so I cannot fathom just WHAT has taken us to the point where we have so many living on the streets, and the amazing level of drug abuse.

henrybowman | May 13, 2023 at 2:42 pm

“Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had announced that the substance was linked to dozens of deaths across New York.”
Shut up and close the border, you sanctimonious weasel.

E Howard Hunt | May 13, 2023 at 3:52 pm

I just want to know when the NIH is going to recommend that taking this drug is mandatory.

This crap may cause a decline in shoplifting and petty crime from the looks of these folks.

Subotai Bahadur | May 13, 2023 at 5:06 pm

Just another chance for Darwin to make his point since Narcan does not work, To be honest, it is getting harder and harder to care what Darwinian rejects do to themselves. There is no societal force, nor legal power who really wants to stop the decline.

Subotai Bahadur

Paul Bahlin | May 14, 2023 at 8:06 am

Can we get over the trap of calling this a ‘homeless’ crisis? The word is used to disguise the real problem, mental illness.

Calling these dopers ‘homeless’ is like calling cancer patients undergoing chemo, ‘hairless’ people.

And yes, I consider pushing dope into your body a mental disorder. Addiction might start as entertainment, but once you are hooked, your brain is altered away from normal, a classic mental condition.

This drug could solve the homeless problem.