Seattle Police warn that base ingredient in 'zombie drug' tranq is being sold as standalone pill

Seattle authorities are warning about Xylazine, an animal tranquilizer used as the base ingredient to to make "tranq" or the "zombie drug." 

According to the Seattle Police, not only is the drug present in the region, but it is also being sold as a standalone narcotic for the first time ever.

Deputy Chief Eric Barden with the Seattle Police Department discussed the recent discovery of street vendors marketing the drug independently. He also noted the dangerous effects of tranq which is causing alarm: a potent high that can potentially turn users into living zombies, cause skin rot and leave ugly scars.

Earlier, this drug was only identified as a potent ingredient in a fatal blend with fentanyl, known to wreak havoc on a user's skin. However, the recent discovery that Xylazine is being sold separately in the form of pills has raised fresh concerns, with the police pointing out this new method of marketing by cartels.

When asked to provide details of the new form, Barden explained that the discovery was so recent that he couldn't produce a sample because the pills in their possession were part of an ongoing investigation.

Xylazine's presence has already been attributed to three deaths in Seattle in 2024 due to overdoses. According to Barden, along with the constantly looming threat posed by the lethal fentanyl pills, popularly known as "blues," patrol officers are now on alert for people collapsing due to tranq's consumption.

Xylazine-induced overdoses have no antidote, as it is not an opioid. Naloxone, or Narcan, does not work on it, and that alone enhances the risk associated with consumption. Barden further warned the local populace of Xylazine being trafficked in liquid or powder forms as well.

While questioned about the influx of Xylazine, Barden elaborated that cartels prefer it because it amplifies the effects of opioids and lasts significantly longer. This leads consumers to erroneously believe they are consuming a higher quality of fentanyl., not realizing that it's Xylazine causing the prolonged effects.

Health professionals and drug counselors have been on high alert as tranq has made its way from the east to the west coast. To anyone entranced by the dangerous euphoria the drug promotes, authorities stress the grave danger it poses to physical health and the potential fatality resulting from its potent mix.

Barden cautioned that the dosage in each pill or vial of the drug could differ vastly, increasing its potential menace. He ended with a hopeful message for addicts, stressing the availability of treatment and help for those looking to break away from their addiction.

More on tranq from FOX 13 Seattle

Zombie drug: Police, addiction services warn horrific new fentanyl mix 'Tranq' has arrived in the Seattle area

'It’s pretty terrifying:' Founder of drug recovery program's warning about 'tranq' dope

'Tranq:' US names veterinary drug mix of xylazine, fentanyl an 'emerging threat'

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