Xylazine, aka tranq, is an animal tranquilizer that is increasingly abused as a recreational drug. Illicit use of tranq is frequently associated with opioids–especially Fentanyl and heroin; users often mix the two to achieve a more powerful high. However, it must be noted that tranq is not intended for human use. As an animal sedative, it delivers potent tranquilizing effects and is often given to large animals. 

People who abuse tranq to get high are at risk of overdose. Using tranq with Fentanyl or another opioid or drug only increases the risk for overdose or another adverse health effect. If you or a loved one is abusing this drug, it’s important to stop now. Substance abuse treatment at WhiteSands can help you stop using tranq or other drugs. 

At WhiteSands, we offer a complete spectrum of substance abuse treatment plans that include inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, medical detox, dual diagnosis treatment, aftercare, and sober living. Our clinicians are experienced addiction specialists who individualize treatment for each client. When you enroll at WhiteSands for tranq addiction treatment or another substance use disorder, you can rely on White Sands. Our accredited treatment facility offers a positive and welcoming environment that is conducive to healing. 

Unmasking the Drug Known as Tranq?

Tranq is a street name for the veterinary drug Xylamine. In the veterinary setting, Xylamine is prescribed to treat large animals such as cattle and horses. The drug is a common veterinary sedative that also relaxes the muscles. Xylamine is not prescribed for human use and is not safe for human consumption. Used illicitly, Xylamine induces feelings of calm and relaxation. The drug is swallowed, snorted, and injected. 

Using tranq is risky. People can expect to experience effects other than relaxation when using the drug. For instance, habitual users are at risk of developing wounds on the arms and legs. Other risks include cardiovascular issues like irregular heartbeat and blood pressure, respiratory depression, and confusion or loss of consciousness. Tranq can leave users in a sedated state for hours, which can put them at risk of becoming a victim of theft or assault. 

Tranq is frequently abused along with Fentanyl, heroin, or other opioids. This increases the dangers. Both drugs can depress the central nervous system and decrease respiratory function. Tranq abuse can cause various health risks, including severe anxiety and Xylamine toxicity. When abusing Xylamine with other drugs, the risk for adverse effects increases and includes confusion, memory impairment, drowsiness, suppression of the respiratory system, and cognitive impairment. The risk of overdose is high. The risk of dependence and withdrawal is also considerable. If you are abusing this drug, you need substance abuse treatment

Origins and Primary Uses of Xylazine

Xylazine was invented in 1962. Abuse of the drug started in Puerto Rico where users added it to heroin. Soon, the drug found its way into speedballs where it often joined heroin or replaced the opioid. The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that Xylazine abuse is most often associated with two or more substances. Other than opioids, Xylazine is sometimes mixed with cocaine. 

Tranq is often substituted for opioids. It does not bind to opioid receptors in the brain but it does deliver an opioid-like high. The high also lasts much longer than an opioid high. Since the early 2000s, the drug has been gaining in illicit sales with suppliers turning to China for black market Xylazine. Although the primary intended use of the drug is to tranquilize large animals, its illicit use among drug abusers is growing. 

How Long Does Human Xylazine Last?

Some people seek out opioids like Fentanyl that are laced with Xylazine because the Xylazine causes a longer-lasting high. Illicit drug suppliers like to add Xylazine to their mixtures because it allows them to use less Fentanyl or other opioids, which are more expensive than Xylazine. They can deliver users an opioid-like long-lasting high without using the typically required amount of the opioid. However, the mixture can have deadly consequences. 

As mentioned, Xylazine abuse, especially among habitual users, can cause skin ulcers and other health complications. Also, when it comes to overdose, there is no approved treatment for Xylazine overdose. Narcan will not work to reverse the effects of tranq as it is not an opioid. As a result, abuse of this veterinary analgesic comes with severe health risks. 

Understanding Dosages and Overdose Symptoms

tranq treatment

The FDA has not approved Xylazine for human use, so there is no safe dose that a person can take. Repeated use of the drug can cause people to develop skin ulcers on their arms and legs but they aren’t sure why this phenomenon occurs. Use of this drug can also lead to:

Depression of the Central Nervous System: the drug is an animal sedative. It can cause deep sedation when abused by people. Users can expect a slowdown of their motor and cognitive functions. 

Depression of the Respiratory System: tranq impacts respiratory function. Users can experience slowed breathing. Severe suppression of respiratory function can cause permanent health problems like brain damage as well as death. 

Cardiovascular System Effects: abusing tranq can cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure. These changes can cause other health complications to occur. 

Loss of Consciousness: tranq abuse can cause loss of consciousness. This leaves users with safety risks for slips, falls, and other accidents. Losing consciousness leaves them vulnerable to theft or other security risks as well. 

Using tranq is never a good idea. Using it in conjunction with opioids or other drugs is utterly dangerous. Remember that this drug is not deemed safe for human use. It should be avoided at all costs. Abuse of tranq can lead to severe and permanent health problems as well as death. 

WhiteSands Support Groups and Continuous Care Plans

Abuse of tranq with or without other substances is fraught with risks to health and safety. The sooner you can get help overcoming your substance use disorder, the sooner you can safeguard your health, well-being, and future. WhiteSands offers a full range of substance abuse programs that include clinically supervised detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, sober living solutions, aftercare, and more. Our clinicians have the experience and expertise needed to address your substance addiction with caring and empathy. 

At WhiteSands, clients will find a welcoming environment where they can focus on their recovery journey. Depending on where you are in the recovery process, we can recommend the ideal course of treatment for your needs. Substance addiction is not curable, but it can be managed with abstinence. Abstaining from drug and alcohol use can be challenging, but with treatment, you can develop strategies for leading a drug and alcohol-free life. 

The core of our addiction treatment plans includes evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy. We help clients manage their triggers to abuse with reliable relapse prevention measures. Additionally, we feature some alternative and holistic treatment measures that promote whole-person health and wellness. Whether you need a robust level of support or ongoing post-rehab support, you can rely on our rehab center. We also offer medication-assisted treatment and dual diagnosis treatment. Contact us to learn more about our treatments and enrollment process today. 

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.