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Xylazine Abuse: How to Cope

Xylazine is a central nervous system depressant that has long been used as a sedative for animals. In humans, xylazine can lead to overdose.

Xylazine is a potent alpha-2 adrenergic agonist with sedative, analgesic, and muscle relaxant properties, making it useful for veterinary procedures. However, its misuse has become a significant public health concern. Xylazine is a substitute for opioids in some areas where fentanyl and heroin are scarce or expensive.

Xylazine has severe health consequences, including respiratory depression, coma, and death. As the misuse of xylazine continues to spread, there is a need for increased awareness and interventions to prevent its harm to individuals and communities. 

Key Takeaways  

Xylazine misuse harms the individual, the community, and society, as it contributes to the opioid crisis and illicit drug supply. Here’s what you need to know about xylazine:

  • Xylazine is a central nervous system depressant that has long been used as a sedative for animals, especially horses.
  • Chronic use of xylazine can cause several risks, including aggression, overdose, and addiction.
  • Addressing xylazine abuse requires a comprehensive approach that includes education, prevention, and access to evidence-based addiction treatment.

Get professional addiction help from The Haven Detox-New England. Contact us at (844) 933-4145 to learn more about our treatment programs and service charges.  

Prevalence of Xylazine Abuse

Xylazine is a potent sedative and analgesic drug commonly used in veterinary medicine, especially for large animals. It is known for calming and relaxing animals during medical procedures and relieving pain.

Xylazine activates receptors responsible for controlling certain physiological functions. When xylazine binds to these receptors, it causes a reduction in the release of norepinephrine.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), xylazine abuse in humans has been reported in several countries, including Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and the United States. In these regions, xylazine is often used in combination with other drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, to enhance their effects or to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

Risks Associated With Human Xylazine Use

Xylazine is a sedative medication used in veterinary medicine to sedate animals, particularly horses. It is not FDA-approved for human use, but it has been known to be used recreationally by some individuals due to its tranquilizing and hallucinogenic effects.

Xylazine addiction can develop with repeated use, as the drug can create a sense of euphoria and relaxation in some individuals. However, long-term use of xylazine can lead to a range of physical and psychological problems, including:

  • Overdose: Xylazine overdose can be fatal, particularly when combined with other illicit drugs or alcohol.
  • Organ damage: Long-term use of xylazine can cause damage to various organs in the body, including the liver and kidneys.
  • Psychiatric disorders: Xylazine abuse has been linked to the development of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis.
  • Tolerance: Over time, the body can become accustomed to the drug, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effects.
  • Dependence: Xylazine can cause physical and psychological dependence, meaning users may experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit or reduce their use. 

It is important to avoid using any medication not prescribed by a licensed medical professional. Xylazine is not approved for human use and should never be used on humans. Individuals struggling with substance abuse should seek professional help to address their addiction and avoid the potential risks of xylazine use.

Treating Xylazine Abuse

Treatment for xylazine abuse typically involves a combination of detox, behavioral therapy, and support groups. Detoxification is the process of removing the drug from the individual’s system and managing any withdrawal symptoms that may occur. Medical professionals should supervise this process to ensure the safety and comfort of the individual.

Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing, can help drug users understand the underlying factors contributing to their addiction and develop strategies for managing triggers and cravings. 

Support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous, can provide a supportive community of individuals recovering from addiction.

Preventing Xylazine Abuse

Preventing xylazine abuse requires a multifaceted approach. This may include monitoring and regulating access to the drug in veterinary and agricultural settings and educating individuals about the dangers of xylazine abuse and the importance of seeking help if they are struggling with addiction. 

Alternative pain management options, such as non-opioid medications or physical therapy, may also be explored to reduce the risk of opioid and xylazine abuse.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can xylazine be given to humans?

Xylazine is not approved for human use by the FDA and is considered a central nervous system depressant. Its use in humans can lead to significant health risks, including overdoses when mixed with opioids like fentanyl or heroin. 
Additionally, cases of benzodiazepine use have been reported in individuals who misuse veterinary supplies of xylazine. In response to rising overdose deaths, naloxone is recommended to intervene in suspected opioid overdose. Xylazine is only approved for veterinary uses and should not be used in humans due to its potential for abuse and health risks.

What are the problems with xylazine?

Xylazine, a central nervous system depressant primarily used in veterinary medicine, has become an emerging threat to human health due to its illicit use as a substitute for opioids such as fentanyl and heroin. It has been associated with higher risks of overdose deaths, especially when combined with other drugs like alcohol, benzos, and cocaine. 
The FDA has not approved xylazine for human use. Healthcare providers should be aware of the potential harm and need for naloxone in case of opioid overdose. Chronic use of xylazine can lead to drowsiness, changes in behavior, and even death. Research suggests that xylazine abuse requires urgent attention from public health officials and healthcare providers.

Is xylazine legal?

Xylazine is legal for veterinary use, but the FDA does not approve it for human use. Its illegal use has become an emerging threat, particularly as a substitute for opioids like fentanyl and heroin, leading to higher risks of overdose deaths. 
Xylazine is a central nervous system depressant, and when combined with other drugs such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, and cocaine, it can increase the risk of overdose. 

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today With The Haven Detox-New England

If you or someone you know is struggling with xylazine addiction, take the first step toward recovery today.

At The Haven Detox-New England, we understand that addiction is a complex chronic disease requiring specialized care. We provide effective addiction treatment services, including detox and residential treatment programs to help people recover and be happier. Our residential facility’s supportive environment allows our patients to learn coping strategies from our psychologists and focus on their recovery without distractions or triggers.

In addition, our customer support is available 24/7 to answer your questions. They guide you in choosing the best treatment to get the maximum of our dedicated services—call (844) 933-4145 to speak with our admission counselors.