NEW YORK (WPIX) — Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer is calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to send a specialized team of experts to the tri-state area to address the increasing danger of xylazine, also known as “tranq.” The veterinary sedative began to saturate street drugs in New York and Long Island.
“Xylazine is dangerous, it’s deadly, and it’s out there,” Schumer said. “It’s a deadly, skin-rotting zombie drug that evil drug dealers are now mixing with fentanyl, heroin and other drugs.”
Last week, The DEA has issued a rare public safety alert about the widespread danger of fentanyl mixed with xylazine, putting users at greater risk of fatal overdose. Management claims Mexican cartels source drugs from China and then bring it into the United States.
Schumer proposes a two-part plan. The first part calls for more federal dollars to fund law enforcement, drug addiction treatment and mental health services.
Another part of the plan calls for the DEA to deploy a diversion enforcement team to a tri-state area that includes New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Schumer said a team of investigators, special agents, chemists and others can help stop the spread of xylazine.
“Diversion teams are to drugs what Navy SEAL teams are to our national security,” Schumer said. “I can go into the area and solve the drug problem.”
Because xylazine is not an opioid, it does not react with the overdose reversal drug Narcan. This is especially problematic for doctors and first responders.
“We still advise our medical community to administer Narcan,” said Dr. Mike Varshavski, a family medicine physician and YouTube content creator with more than 10 million subscribers. “We want to reverse the opioid effect of fentanyl, and when you get one of these cases on the street who’s unconscious and has potentially consumed an illicit substance, we don’t know what substance they’ve consumed.”
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