Drug users, advocates issue warning about xylazine

published on January 9, 2024 by Michelle Gamage in Fort Frances Times

It took only one puff of drugs cut with xylazine to knock the tall, solidly built William Bernier out for an hour.

Bernier, who didn’t know he was taking xylazine, was alarmed by the sudden powerful rush despite having more than a decade’s worth of experience using drugs. First, he felt like he couldn’t breathe. Before he knew it, he’d passed out.

When he finally came to, he was relieved to find a friend watching over him and that he hadn’t been robbed or assaulted.

But not everyone who has had a run-in with xylazine in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside lately has been as lucky.

Xylazine, also known as tranq or tranq-dope when mixed with opioids, is a sedative approved for veterinary use in Canada as an anesthetic for animals. It is not approved for human use…

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