Xylazine, also known as “tranq,” is a non-opioid, central nervous system depressant that is approved for use in veterinary medicine. It is not approved for human use. However, xylazine has been linked to an increasing number of overdose deaths in the United States.
People often take xylazine unknowingly. Xylazine is most commonly combined with fentanyl, but has also been detected in mixtures containing cocaine, heroin and a variety of other drugs. When someone purchases these drugs online or in the community, they are often unaware that xylazine has been added to them.
Due to it's low cost, xylazine is used as an adulterant in drug mixtures. Xylazine causes psychoactive effects, so adding it to the drug supply can reduce the amount of fentanyl or heroin needed, increasing profit.