Dangerous Xylazine: The Zombie Drug

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Dangerous Xylazine: The Zombie Drug

The use of Xylazine, the zombie drug, among drug addicts seems to be an emerging trend.  It also comes with potentially fatal health risks. Xylazine is cheaper than other drugs and produces an effect described to be more intoxicating than heroin.

What is Xylazine?

Xylazine was discovered by Farbenfabriken Bayer in Leverkusen, Germany in 1962.  It was used as an antihypertensive agent in animals.  Due to the potentially hazardous side effects, the FDA has not approved the drug for human use.

Commonly used medically as a horse tranquilizer, this drug can cause serious harm to humans. Xylazine is in the therapeutic category of muscle relaxer, sedative and analgesic agents, making it incredibly dangerous to the heart, brain and other organs of the body.

Xylazine carries no designated controlled drug classification.  It is used primarily as a contaminant in heroin, cocaine,  and fentanyl to enhance the effects of those drugs.  These concoctions are referred to as “speedballs.”

Symptoms of Xylazine Abuse

Overall, the duration of effects in animals is about four hours.  However, the effects on humans have been reported to last around eight to seventy-two hours.

Some of the effects in humans can include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Hyporeflexia
  • Hypertension
  • Tachycardia
  • Respiratory depression
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypothermia
  • Coma

Chronic Xylazine abuse can also lead to severe skin ulcerations, slow healing wounds, infection, and amputation of the affected extremity.

Unfortunately, many individuals purchase illicit drugs unaware that they contain Xylazine.  Consequently, this has led to many fatal Xylazine overdoses.

How Much Does it Take to Cause an Overdose?

There is no antidote that treats humans for Xylazine overdose.  Also, there is no standardized test to determine if a Xylazine overdose has occurred.  Therefore, detecting this drug requires several complex screening methods.

Toxicity and fatality in humans can occur anywhere from 40 to 2400 mg of the drug.  In fatalities, the blood concentration ranges from trace amounts to 16mg/L.  Therefore, it’s best to assume there is no safe or fatal concentration.

Why the Nickame, the Zombie Drug?

Xylazine addicts walk bent forward, slipping in and out of consciousness – like zombies. Addicts use this drug by injection and quickly enter this zombie-like state. Xylazine can cause hypotensive, bradycardic, glycemic and comatose reactions, just to name a few. The intoxicating effects of the drug typically last for about six hours.

This drug was investigated for use in humans but was rejected due to its potentially hazardous side effects. However, users steal the drug from veterinary suppliers. As the use increases in the veterinary world, the abuse of the drug by humans has also increased.

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Help for Xylazine Addiction

Anyone with Xylazine abuse problems can find help inside one of many treatment centers available for addicts. In fact, there are many advantages to inpatient treatment including peer-to-peer support and understanding.

Here are some of the treatment methods available for Xylanzine abuse or addiction:

  • Group or Individual Counseling
  • Cognitive-Behavioral therapy
  • Moral Reconation Therapy
  • Life Skills Training
  • Communication
  • Anger Management
  • Music and Art Therapy
  • Meditation, Relaxation Techniques
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Nutrition

Of course, the goal of an addiction treatment program is to address all aspects of the addiction.  For instance, they target the physiological, psychological, and spiritual factors involved.  In this way, they treat the whole person for more lasting results.  Overall, an inpatient addiction treatment program is the most beneficial for most addicts.

Why Inpatient Treatment for Addiction is Recommended

Elimination of the drug is only the beginning of an intense, yet rewarding, process of learning to live without their drugs.  Therefore, drug abusers need a safe environment in which to recover both mentally and physically. An inpatient treatment center provides that safe space, removed from the demands and chaos usually associated with the daily life of an addict.  For this reason, a stable environment is the best option.

Inpatient treatment centers provide structure, which is so important to a recovering addict. For instance, addicts eat very little and usually resort to junk food or snacks.  For this reason, a treatment program provides nutritious, regularly scheduled meals.  Also, sleep disturbances are common with addicts.  Additionally, in the inpatient facility, addicts feel secure and learn relaxation techniques that facilitate sleep.

A Forever Recovery is Your Best Option for Success

It is essential for anyone abusing Xylazine to be aware there are treatment options available that can help them break free from their addiction. Overall, inpatient treatment is one of the best options. The length of stay at our inpatient facility varies by individual case, as does the treatment plan.  Also, we like to encourage patients to take an active role in creating their path to recovery.

At A Forever Recovery, we know what you are experiencing.  Furthermore, we know what it takes to overcome addiction and lead a drug-free lifestyle.  To learn more about our evidence-based treatment options, contact us today.  Our representatives will conduct a confidential assessment and recommend a treatment approach that suits your situation.


  • ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – The Emerging of Xylazine as a New Drug of Abuse

One Comment Hide Comments

Wow! It never ceases to amaze me how there are so many different drugs, and this one is no different. The fact that people can want to take a horse tranquilizer is just insane to me. The fact that the effects of this drug can last for up to 6 hours is also quite a shocking thought. I just do not understand how people can take drugs like this, but I am glad to see that the people who approve the use of the different drugs, did not authorize this drug for use in treating humans. That was at least a plus. It is interesting to get through to people that a drug that can turn you into a walking zombie would be something that you would want to stay away from and they have a hard time with that, but I guess that is why places like A Forever recovery exist. I think that would be quite a difficult task to do, dealing with bunches of people at different states of addiction. This is why I can say that I admire what these people are doing to work to get people off of these dangerous drugs! Keep up the good work, and do not lose sight of the effect that you are creating in the clients that you help to treat!

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