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CDC Reports Overdose Cases Involving Horse Tranquilizer Xylazine are Exploding

CDC Reports Overdose Cases Involving Horse Tranquilizer Xylazine are Exploding

Analysis also showed overdose deaths involving ‘zombie drug” surged years earlier than reported.

Public health officials are confirming something our coverage has been suggesting: Overdoses and deaths associated with the horse tranquilizer called Xylazine are exploding.

The number of xylazine-involved OD deaths nationwide rose from just 102 in 2018 to 3,468 in 2021, according to a new study released Friday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings come a day after another CDC study, which found that by June 2022 xylazine was involved in nearly 11% of all fatal fentanyl overdoses. That’s a nearly fourfold increase from January 2019, when it was present in almost 3% of such cases.

Additionally, the CDC determined that the rate of drug overdose deaths involving xylazine was 35 times higher in 2021 than the 2018 rate. Another disturbing finding was that the surge in xylazine-related deaths began earlier than initially thought.

But the report shows the explosion of xylazine-related deaths began in 2018 with overdose fatalities rising to 627 in 2019 — doubling to 1,499 in 2020 — and then doubling once more to 3,468 in 2021.

This spring, the Biden administration declared illicit xylazine, also known as tranq on the street, an “emergent” threat.

At the time, officials warned the chemical, used by veterinarians as a horse tranquilizer, was spreading fast in street drugs, causing overdose deaths and terrible flesh wounds in people struggling with addiction nationwide.

“I’m deeply concerned about what this threat means for the nation,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy when speaking to reporters in April.

As a reminder, xylazine is known as the “zombie drug” for its sedative effects. It also constricts blood vessels, which leads to painful wounds at parts of the body far from the injection point.

In many cases, the sedative leaves users ‘knocked out’ on street corners and at bus stops for hours. When these people come to, they discover the high from heroin has subsided and start looking for their next hit.

The drug also produces deep lesions in the skin even in spots on the body far from injection sites. The drug causes blood vessels to constrict, which cuts off the flow of oxygenated blood through the body, leading to infections in soft tissue.

If those gaping sores go untreated, they can result in a devastating infection that can require amputation.

The New York Post recently interviewed Tracey McCann, who became addicted to opioids after an accident left her in chronic pain. Her experience with the xylazine-caused sores is horrific.

“I would wake up crying in pain,” McCann said of her horrific battle with the drug, which left her skin blackened.

“The only way to make it go away was to cut the flesh off. One time I accidentally cut a tendon in my arm, and now I can’t move my fingers a certain way.”

…In a bid to save her own life, she was able to seek treatment at a state-funded facility in St. Louis, Missouri.

On Sept. 4, she entered the rehab, where she spent 45 days withdrawing from xylazine — a harrowing ordeal she says was “like nothing else” she had ever experienced.

“I had seizures from it and double vision, which wouldn’t go away,” she said. “The symptoms lasted four months into being clean. I wanted to die they were so bad.”


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I understand most of the overdoses of horse tranquilizer did not involve horses.

E Howard Hunt | July 5, 2023 at 11:19 am

Hopheads struggle with addiction much as street thugs struggle with robbery and homicide. Wilbur never needed to place Mr. Ed in a treatment center.

Prisoners have been released to reduce prison overcrowding. Because of that overcrowding (and also because folks have elected “progressive” district attorneys), crimes are not being prosecuted the way they should be.

Obviously, we need to build more prisons. On the other hand, can we trust government to populate those prisons with the right people as opposed to people on the right?

    CommoChief in reply to Ira. | July 5, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    As an alternative to prison overcrowding and thus any need for additional prisons how about we reinstate the death penalty for rape of an adult, child molestation and up for crimes v a child alongside murder? Reform the appeals process to a five year window for review with retired judges manning a special appeals court so the reviews don’t get bogged down.

    Then just legalize all the drugs however, place the responsibility on the user. Treat them just like we do alcohol. Can’t be drunk in public nor high in public as an easy example. Sentence low level non violent offenders to work camps in tents surrounded by chain link fencing/razor wire, armed guards. Addict gong through withdrawal? Tough cookies, here’s a Motrin and a bottle of water, get back to work.

    Those ideas would cut down on the need to construct additional prisons.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to CommoChief. | July 5, 2023 at 1:59 pm

      We imprison a higher percentage of our population than any other nation in the world.

      I’d like to figure out why this is so. Let’s solve that issue while we are at it.

        The reason we have such a large prison population in America is not because too many innocent people are in prison—but because too many people commit serious—mostly violent—crimes.

        Less than 15% of the prison population are there for drug-related offenses.

        Four times that number are behind bars for one of the following serious crimes:


        Rape or sexual assault—13%


        Aggravated or simple assault—11%

        And burglary—9%

        Perhaps we should ask, “Why do we have so many criminals?”

          Ira in reply to Peabody. | July 5, 2023 at 5:55 pm

          Peobody, I agree with your sentiment and, while I understand Grizzly’s concern, that would not stop me from advocating for more prisons..
          By the wasy, according to,
          drug-offense prisoners account for 44.5% of the federal prison population, while homicide prisoners account for 3.2%.
          In state prisons it’s the other way arround. From,
          “More than three in five people (62%) sentenced to state prison [in 2021] have been convicted of a violent crime, as compared with 1970 figures which show that 30% of people in prison had been convicted of violence.”

          Roy in Nipomo in reply to Peabody. | July 5, 2023 at 9:45 pm

          A lot of the ones in prison for drug offenses are there due to plea bargains. It is easier to prove they had/dealt drugs than to prove they shot someone / burglarized / assaulted someone. It was thought to be a win-win for the (old-time) D.A.s: they got a conviction and a bad guy off of the street for a while, the bad guy got a non-violent conviction and a (relatively) short stay in stir (both for street cred and some are actually “institutionalized” – they find the unstructured life outside the joint to chaotic for them).

        “Most criminals spend less time in prison than you think—even for the most violent crimes. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, almost 40% of released state prisoners served less than a year in prison. Even 20% of murderers and nearly 60% of those convicted of rape or sexual assault served less than five years of their sentences in prison.

        What explains the short stays? Answer: plea bargaining.”

        (Above quote from Manhattan Institute)

        CommoChief in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | July 5, 2023 at 5:22 pm

        Ok cool. I suspect part of the answer is a failure throughout the lifetime of the criminal to be held accountable for prior acts. Lack of father in the home plays a big part, that kid is at every statistical disadvantage. No external discipline in formative years almost always means no development of internal discipline.

        Schools used to offer discipline but no longer. So the kid grows up with no one holding him accountable for his actions. Maybe he gets jammed up on some charge as juvenile but unless he has an epiphany and turns his shit around he will be back out committing crimes.

        This time though as an adult offender where suddenly the combination of a more serious felony and loss of juvenile status lead to more serious treatment. Kid is mad at the system b/c the current experience isn’t what he’s used to.

        We know why it is: democrat/leftist poison over the years.

        Notice the crime rate in the Great Depression was low.,worst%20years%20of%20the%20Depression.

        Cultures cause crime.

      paracelsus in reply to CommoChief. | July 5, 2023 at 4:29 pm

      Sorry! just can’t agree with you.
      point in question:
      do you truly trust the current government (and the enforcers of its current laws) not to toss you (and mean CommoChief) in one of these “…work camps in tents surrounded by chain link fencing/razor wire, armed guards.”
      I wouldn’t were I you.

        CommoChief in reply to paracelsus. | July 5, 2023 at 5:10 pm

        That would be a fair point IF the govt didn’t already possess the power to put folks in jail/prison that exist now for relatively minor infractions based on the prosecutor’s discretion on charging.

        Establishing minimum security prison work camps ain’t gonna usher in a wave of terror by the existing officials by setting off some genetic switch to uber totalitarian mode in their bureaucratic brains.

        For that matter in the environment you seem to allude to the govt won’t be very concerned with niceties such as detention, arrest or trials. Lining up dissidents against the nearest wall will be more the order of the day.

          BoboPhat in reply to CommoChief. | July 7, 2023 at 9:53 am

          Drug and alcohol addiction are mental health issues. Many of the mental health facilities for institutionalization were closed during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

          Habitual offender laws also used to keep chronic offenders off the streets.

          Probation also became popular in the middle of the last century to reduce prison populations through “supervised release”.

          Grossly inflated wages and minimum wage laws increase the cost to society of imprisoning offenders -or- persons with mental health issues.

Kenningston Avenue in Philly is North America’s largest open-air drug market. If you wish to see video after after of this horse drug in action, see the vids of youtuber kimgary,

No matter China is making plans.

What better way to de-stablize a country than to flood its streets with highly addictive and deadly drugs.

What is wrong with people? I swear, they would inject shoe polish into their veins if they thought they would get a high from it.

Sad and sick.

P.S. Remember “medical marijuana?” Look how fast the left turned that into “recreational marijuana.”

Give an inch, and a Marxist takes a light year.

Suburban Farm Guy | July 5, 2023 at 1:13 pm

Every few years it seems the street comes up with something stupider and more dangerous than the last one. I can remember when crack cocaine was the depths of depravity and we just had to do something about it. Now it’s like child’s play. So tame and innocent, comparatively. What will it be next time…

China is killing all our youth

But one has to wonder why American youth are so dependent on drugs

Lack of meaning in life, lack of family, lack of purpose,

Lack of God

    henrybowman in reply to gonzotx. | July 5, 2023 at 1:32 pm

    When your government actively punishes any success you achieve, why strive?

    Government was founded to protect your right to the pursuit of happiness. Now it exists to throw up roadblocks and regulations, and if you hurdle those, demands “their” 30% of your achievement.

Does Fauci think that it will help if children are required to wear masks 24/7?

Easy Call: “Tracy McCann” will die on the street of a drug overdose within one year. Make a note. Her first hit will make her forget the awfulness she has just gone through.

I took care of more than a few fentanyl addicts before retirement. That seemed like a living hell, this sounds worse.

So America’s vital fentanyl supply is becoming contaminated with deadly tranq?
That’s real “progress”!


BierceAmbrose | July 7, 2023 at 8:01 pm

CDC Reports Overdose Cases Involving Horse Tranquilizer Xylazine are Exploding

I don’t follow Truth Social. Has The Orange Crush been going off about Horse Tranquilizer and I missed it? Oh, wait, that was Rogan. Can’t wait for the CNN doc to weigh in.

I mean, it can’t be that people make their own stupid decisions, sometimes. They only follow the diktats of their Maximum Leader. It’s a cult — we know because Hillary said so (again, some more, just last week.)

(In case it’s unclear how The Inevitable One managed to loose the election of her life’s work to a reckless, political neophyte, boor, a Mao jacket is a bad look for talking about cults and mind controlling leaders. Sheesh. you’re supposed to be the competent ones.)