Animal tranquillizer xylazine is now in Canada’s street drug supply. Here’s what to know

published on January 13, 2023 by Teresa Wright in Global News

A powerful animal tranquillizer that has been infiltrating street drugs in the United States has been increasingly showing up in Canada’s illicit opioid supply — a phenomenon that has experts “deeply concerned.”

Xylazine, a sedative and analgesic normally used in veterinary medicine to sedate large animals such as cattle or horses, has been wreaking havoc in parts of the U.S., notably in Philadelphia, where it was found in 90 per cent of dope samples tested in the city in 2021, according to data released by Substance Use Philadelphia.

The presence of xylazine in opioids in the U.S. prompted a warning from the U.S. FDA in November 2022, alerting health-care professionals to “increasing reports of serious side effects” from the drug, known as “tranq.”

The Canadian Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (CCENDU) issued its own alert last July identifying the emerging presence of xylazine in a small number of opioid samples tested in B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia…

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