A killer drug is more prominent in Berkshire County than anywhere else in Massachusetts, according to new statewide data.

Drug user's search to get higher and higher seems never ending at times. Xylazine, otherwise known as "tranq" does just that.

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Xylazine or "Tranq"

Xylazine is a non-opioid veterinary tranquilizer that is not approved for human use. When combined with other drugs such as fentanyl, the euphoric effects are greater, but more deadly.

Also known as “tranq,” xylazine is a central nervous system depressant that can cause drowsiness and amnesia and slow breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure to dangerously low levels.

Taking opioids in combination with xylazine and other central nervous system depressants—like alcohol or benzodiazepines—increases the risk of life-threatening overdose. -nida.nih.gov

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Xylazine is making the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced, fentanyl, even deadlier,” said Administrator Milgram. “DEA has seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 States. The DEA Laboratory System is reporting that in 2022 approximately 23% of fentanyl powder and 7% of fentanyl pills seized by the DEA contained xylazine. -dea.gov

The problem is that users are ingesting xylazine without knowing it. The effect can be so intense that it leaves users looking "zombie-like" with a really heavy nod.

Berkshire D.A. Warns Public About Xylazine In Drug Supply

New Massachusetts Data on Xylazine

Western Massachusetts just happens to be geographically located smack in the center of drug supply distribution routes.

Berkshire County, Massachusetts

People in the Berkshires are about twice as likely to find a combination of xylazine and fentanyl in their drugs compared to the rest of the state. In 2023, the state average of samples containing both fentanyl and xylazine was 24 percent, compared to 46 percent in Berkshire County. -berkshireagle.com

These numbers are very unfortunate for us here in Berkshire County who are already dealing heavily with the current drug epidemic.

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