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The Rising Threat of Xylazine


When we think of drug abuse, we often consider recreational substances like cocaine or misused prescriptions like opioids. But veterinary medicine can also be a source of drug abuse and addiction, including dangerous substances like xylazine.

Whether you’re concerned about xylazine in your community or haven’t heard of this rising threat, this article aims to shed light on the topic. Read on for a comprehensive understanding of xylazine’s usage, addiction potential, and side effects — plus avenues for seeking help and rehabilitation from this hazardous drug.

What Is Xylazine?

Xylazine, also known by its trade name Rompun, is a veterinary medication primarily used as a sedative and muscle relaxant for animals. It belongs to a class of drugs called alpha-2 adrenergic agonists, which act on the central nervous system to produce a calming effect. Xylazine has gained notoriety as a tranquilizer due to its potency and availability.

How Is Xyzaline Used?

While originally intended for veterinary purposes, xylazine has found its way into illicit drug use among humans. It is often obtained from veterinary clinics or through illegal channels. Individuals who abuse xylazine typically administer it by injecting the drug intravenously or by mixing it with other substances, such as heroin or cocaine.

Xylazine vs. Ketamine

Xylazine is sometimes compared to ketamine, another veterinary medicine co-opted by recreational drug users. And while xylazine and ketamine are both sedative drugs, they differ in their mechanisms of action and effects on the body.

Xylazine primarily acts as a central nervous system depressant, causing sedation and muscle relaxation. On the other hand, ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic that induces a trance-like state and alters perception. While both substances pose risks, xylazine abuse has seen a concerning rise due to its accessibility and affordability.

Xylazine Addiction

Like many substances with addictive potential, xylazine can lead to the development of addiction in individuals who misuse it. The drug's sedating effects and ability to induce a sense of euphoria can create a powerful allure for users seeking to escape from reality or numb emotional pain. Continued use of xylazine can result in tolerance, dependence, and addiction.

Side Effects of Xylazine Abuse

Xylazine abuse can have detrimental effects on both physical and mental health. Short-term use may cause side effects such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Decreased blood pressure

Prolonged and excessive use can lead to more severe consequences, including:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Seizures
  • Cardiac abnormalities
  • Coma

Recognizing these risks and seeking help promptly if xylazine abuse is suspected is crucial.

Signs of Xylazine Addiction

Identifying signs of xylazine addiction can be challenging, as they can vary depending on the individual. Common indicators include:

  • An intense craving for the drug
  • Unsuccessful attempts to quit or cut down
  • Neglect of responsibilities
  • Social withdrawal
  • Engaging in risky behaviors to obtain xylazine

If you suspect someone is struggling with xylazine addiction, approaching them with empathy and encouraging professional assistance is vital.

Xylazine Withdrawal Symptoms

When someone with a xylazine addiction abruptly stops using the drug, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Intense drug cravings

It is important to note that xylazine withdrawal can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, underscoring the importance of seeking medical supervision during the detoxification process.

Does Xylazine Show Up on Drug Tests?

Yes, xylazine can be detected in certain drug tests. However, it is essential to understand that standard drug screenings do not typically include xylazine as part of their panel. Therefore, specific tests to detect xylazine would be necessary to confirm its presence. Healthcare professionals and law enforcement agencies must stay informed about emerging substances to address drug-related concerns effectively.

How to Get Help for Xylazine Addiction

If you or someone you know is struggling with xylazine addiction, seeking help is of utmost importance. Overcoming xylazine addiction is a challenging process, but there are numerous resources available to provide support and guidance.

For instance, treatment centers offer comprehensive programs that combine medical care, counseling, and therapy to assist individuals in their recovery. Counseling and therapy help individuals address underlying issues contributing to addiction and develop effective coping strategies. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), such as methadone or buprenorphine, can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for substances like opioids.

Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are also very beneficial, providing a platform for individuals to connect with others who have similar experiences and share their struggles and successes. Support from family and friends is also invaluable, and organizations like Al-Anon and Nar-Anon even provide resources and support specifically for the loved ones of those struggling with addiction. Community-based programs may also offer additional services like vocational training and housing assistance to support individuals in rebuilding their lives. 

If in-person meetings aren’t feasible, online resources like virtual support networks provide convenient and accessible tools for recovery. Helplines and hotlines are also available around the clock to offer immediate assistance, information, and referrals to local resources. For instance, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a 24/7 helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

Every person’s struggle with xylazine and journey to rehabilitation will be unique. But by utilizing these diverse resources, individuals can find the support they need to achieve long-term sobriety and well-being.

Identify Xylazine Abuse with Countrywide Testing

If you think someone you know may be abusing substances such as xylazine, Countrywide Testing has the answers you need. We offer discreet, at-home drug testing kits that will help you get confirmation and help your loved one on the road to recovery.

Countrywide offers an array of drug testing products for workplace testing, healthcare emergencies, law enforcement purposes, and individuals trying to stay clean after rehab.

Our test kits are convenient, affordable, and ship to you quickly. Plus, our lab is accredited by SAMHSA, so you can rest assured your test results are handled in accordance with the highest industry standards.

Want more information on how Countrywide can support a clean, drug-free lifestyle? Just contact our team today.