What is Tranq?
Tranq is short-hand for the drug xylazine, which is used by veterinarians to sedate animals. Tranq is not approved for human use, but it is found in the illicit drug supply where it is secretly mixed with deadly additives like fentanyl and sometimes intentionally taken with opioids.
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What Is In Tranq?
“Tranq” or “Tranq dope” are slang terms referring to the generic medication xylazine.
Xylazine is a powerful, non-opioid medication approved by the FDA for veterinary use.
The drug is used to sedate animals and is also sometimes given as a muscle relaxant and pain reliever for dogs, cats, and horses.
Xylazine is sold under the brand names such as:
In animals, the effects of the drug can be seen within a few minutes and last four hours or more.
How Do People Use Tranq?
Tranq, or xylazine, is not approved for human use so people should not be using it. Xylazine is a clear liquid intended to be administered intravenously, intramuscularly, subcutaneously or orally into animals.
Humans may misuse tranq by injecting, snorting, swallowing, or inhaling it.
When illicit drug manufacturers and dealers mix Tranq with other drugs, they do it to extend the euphoric high feeling associated with those drugs or up street value by increasing the overall weight. In these instances, a person usually won’t realize that Tranq has been added.
Does Tranq Contain Fentanyl?
The DEA is seeing widespread threats of Tranq (xylazine) mixed with fentanyl in street drugs. This is a worrisome trend, with Administrator Milgram stating: “Xylazine is making the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced, fentanyl, even deadlier.”
Fentanyl is similar to morphine, but about 100 times more potent. It takes only 2 milligrams of fentanyl to kill an average-sized adult, which is the equivalent weight as about 15 grains of table salt.
The extreme risks of fentanyl spurred the DEA to create its “One pill can kill” public education campaign.
The DEA has already seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of the 50 states.
- 23% of fentanyl powder seized in 2022 contained xylazine
- 7% of fentanyl pills seized in 2022 contained xylazine
By making a drug feel more powerful and addicting with the use of additives like Tranq, dealers are able to increase sales. However, it puts users at a heightened risk of overdose.
Effects of Tranq Abuse
Tranq is a central nervous system depressant. In humans, it can cause:
- Amnesia (memory loss)
- Slow breathing
- Slow heart rate
- Dangerously low blood pressure
Using Tranq is also known to cause skin ulcers and abscesses. Injecting Tranq can lead to necrosis, an incredibly severe wound where the skin tissue begins rotting away. Necrosis often leads to amputation.
Tranq Withdrawal Symptoms
Xylazine can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, especially in instances of polysubstance use where an individual has been taking Tranq in combination with other drugs.
According to the NIH, withdrawal symptoms can appear within hours of a person’s last dose. These symptoms include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Overactive reflexes
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased temperature
Severe drug cravings can also accompany drug withdrawal, which feed into the cycle of addiction.
Due to the risks of xylazine and how powerful its withdrawal symptoms can be, it’s important that someone suffering from Tranq addiction gets help from a team of addiction specialists.
The Dangers of Tranq Overdose
Tranq is often added to other street drugs, which increases the risk of overdose deaths.
If a person is not fully aware of all the substances they’re taking, then they can’t control their dosage. It also makes it harder to get help if they seek emergency medical attention.
Signs of a Tranq (xylazine) drug overdose include:
- Dry mouth
- Drowsiness and loss of consciousness
- Tachycardia (fast heart rhythm) followed by bradycardia (very slow heart rhythm)
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
- Hypothermia (low body temperature)
- Respiratory depression
Xylazine cannot be detected in routine toxicology screens, which adds to its risks. If someone who has unknowingly taken Tranq has a medical emergency, the staff would need to go through additional analysis processes to detect the xylazine. In the event of a drug overdose, every second counts.
In overdose emergencies, people are trained to give naloxone, also known as Narcan, which can save lives in the event of an opioid overdose. However, xylazine is not an opioid and therefore, Narcan will not help someone who is overdosing on Tranq.
Healing from Tranquilizer Drug Abuse
Whether a person has been misusing Tranq dope on its own or mixing it with other substances, recovery is possible.
The intense withdrawal symptoms and high risk of drug contamination make it critical for a person to seek help with Tranq addiction right away.
Healthcare professionals and recovery centers that have been trained in addiction treatment can help with:
- Tapering doses or overseeing medication-assisted detox
- Managing and mitigating withdrawal symptoms
- Preventing drug overdose and relapse
Any healthcare provider is obligated to help you if you tell them that you’re suffering from addiction, but choosing to speak with a professional dedicated to addiction treatment might help you feel more comfortable having this life-changing conversation.
Are you looking for answers on drug addiction? Contact Zinnia Health Our team of experts understands the complexities of addiction and can help you get clean for good. Call our helpline 24/7 at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about your options.