The opioid crisis is far from over. If anything, it continues to advance and evolve. In many places, fentanyl is the new, devastating vanguard of the opioid crisis. This synthetic opioid is vastly more potent than heroin and incredibly deadly. Now, there’s another substance creeping onto the scene concerning illicit opioid use. And that is xylazine, which is commonly referred to as tranq.
Xylazine is a sedative used with farm animals like horses and cattle. It is not meant for human consumption because of its strength. The powerful drug is formulated for large animals when they need lengthy sedation. Unfortunately, there is a growing trend among opioid dealers to lace their product with tranq—which leads to tranq abuse and addiction. Contact Recovery Ranch PA at 717.969.9126 to speak with someone from our knowledgeable and experienced team and learn more about addiction therapy options in your area.
What Is Tranq?
Tranq is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. These types of drugs are also called tranquilizers. Tranq was developed in the 1960s and remains a sedative for large animals like horses and cows. It is sold as a clear liquid under the brand names Anased, Rompun, and Sedazine.
At the federal level, tranq is not yet a controlled substance. It tends to require a veterinarian’s prescription to acquire but is not itself an illegal or restricted substance. Rarely does someone begin using tranq on its own. Often, a person’s first exposure to tranq is through illegally-obtained opioids laced with this substance.
What Is Tranq Dope?
Tranq dope is when tranq is mixed with an opioid like heroin or cocaine. People use tranq dope in various ways by smoking, snorting, injecting, swallowing, or inhaling. Using tranq involves several nasty side effects. These can include the following:
- Slowed breathing and heart rate
- Impaired coordination
- Nausea and vomiting
Part of what makes tranq so dangerous is that naloxone cannot reverse a tranq overdose. When someone overdoses on opioids, naloxone is a drug that can stop the overdose. But if those opioids are now laced with tranq, like so many of them are, naloxone suddenly becomes ineffective in addressing the part of the overdose related to tranq.
Moreover, another risk of tranq use is severe wounds and possibly even amputation. Painful skin wounds are one of the more serious side effects of tranq. In extreme cases, this can progress to dead or rotting skin. This leaves people susceptible to infection and issues like sepsis. When that occurs, amputation may be necessary to maintain someone’s physical health when that occurs.
Find Addiction Treatment at Recovery Ranch PA
In many ways, addiction treatment providers are playing catch up regarding tranq. This substance poses some problems that complicate providing effective treatment to people who need it. For starters, there is no quality drug test to identify whether or not xylazine is present in someone’s body.
This means that when someone checks in to a treatment facility, tranq can go undetected unless they self-report. The problem is that many people don’t know they have been taking tranq because it is laced into their opioids without their knowledge. Another complication is that no medications yet exist to support withdrawal. That does not mean detoxing is impossible, far from it. But it does mean the detox process is going to be uncomfortable.
All that said, things are not hopeless. Providers like Recovery Ranch PA are doing everything possible to treat people who struggle with opioid or tranq addiction. Contact Recovery Ranch PA today at 717.969.9126 to speak with someone from our experienced and knowledgeable team about our options for addiction treatment in Pennsylvania.