Known as “tranq” or “tranq dope” on the streets, xylazine has become increasingly present in the illicit drug supply. The drug can be cooked down into a powder form and mixed with illicit opioids such as heroin and fentanyl or pressed into counterfeit pills or sedatives. But, it also causes the skin to rot; the drug eats away at the skin causing disfigurement, limb amputation in some cases, along with death from overdosing.
Growing concerns over the increasing prevalence of xylazine in L.A. have law enforcement officials and addiction specialists extremely concerned.
“I’ve never seen anything like what we’re dealing with right now,” said Cary Quashen, an addiction expert.