The Explanation of Why Xylazine Makes People Look Like Zombie

Ilustrasi zombie
Sumber :
  • Pixabay

VIVA – The public was shocked by reports that a drug consumed by several people in Philadelphia caused them to turn into zombies. Philadelphia reported that 90% of lab-tested drug samples from 2021 contained xylazine

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The drug, also known as the 'tranq drug', has been destroying young people in America. So, what is xylazine? And why can the drug make the user like a zombie? Well, here's the explanation. 

Xylazine is a drug used in veterinary medicine. It is not an opioid. It is a tranquilizer, and pain reliever that is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for use in veterinary medicine only. 

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It has no FDA-approved use for humans. In veterinary medicine, it is used as a component of diagnostic and surgical procedures on animals ranging from cats, dogs, and horses, to cattle.

In recent years, xylazine has been found as an ingredient in illegal drugs often sold on the streets, such as heroin or fentanyl. 

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Ilustrasi orang memerankan zombie di Jakarta.

Photo :
  • VIVAnews/Nurcholis Anhari Lubis

Although many of its effects are similar to opioids, it is not chemically an opioid. Therefore, naloxone is not known to be effective in reversing the toxic effects of xylazine.

Xylazine is structurally similar to a class of drugs known as phenothiazines. Xylazine also has similar chemical properties to other drugs such as clonidine, levamisole, and tizanidine, then may have similar clinical effects. 

Similar to clonidine, this drug acts as an agonist at the central alpha-2-adrenergic receptors in the brain. This causes a rapid decrease in the release of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. It may have effects on other receptors, but more research is needed. 

Large seizures of xylazine drugs have occurred in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Puerto Rico, and California. Xylazine was reportedly involved in 19% of all fatal drug overdose deaths in Maryland in 2021, and 10% of overdose deaths in Connecticut in 2020. 

Xylazine can cause dependence, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms, which may include agitation, vision changes, disabling migraines, or severe anxiety when the dosage is reduced or stopped. 

These side effects can lead to continued abuse and undermine any efforts to treat ongoing opioid use disorder (OUD).

In April 2023, the government designated xylazine as an emerging drug threat. This will allow the government to increase law enforcement, healthcare strategies, and data review to help combat drugs on the streets. 

It will also evaluation to help schedule it as a controlled substance. 

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