NEVADA – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has warned about a dangerous new trend involving fentanyl mixed with a flesh-eating “Tranq” zombie drug. Now, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is taking action by introducing a new piece of legislation aimed at cracking down on the illicit selling of xylazine.
Xylazine is a non-opiate sedative and muscle relaxant that is only authorized for veterinary use in the United States, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, law enforcement has seen an increase in drug overdoses related to sedative.
Recent data from the DEA shows that 23% of fentanyl powder contained xylazine in 2022, with the vast majority of the drug being supplied online by Chinese manufacturers. Combining fentanyl and xylazine can cause depressed breathing, unconsciousness, necrosis, and even death. It is important to note that naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug, does not work on xylazine.
So far, southern Nevada has seen 12 overdoses caused by xylazine, and lawmakers are hoping to prevent further deaths with the introduction of new legislation. Senator Cortez Masto has introduced the Combating Illicit Xylazine Act, a bipartisan and bicameral bill aimed at adding the sedative to the Substance Controlled Act.
The legislation would give the DEA the power to determine whether manufacturers are diverting the drug for illicit purposes. It also requires a report to Congress. The bill is now under review by Congress.
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