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    Horse tranquilizer crops up in overdose deaths around US

    Often mixed with horse tranquilizers Opioid Overdose deaths are increasingly involved in some US states.

    This drug, called xylazine, is a sedative used in veterinary medicine and is not approved for human use. Recently, tranquilizers have begun to appear in the US illegal drug supply. heroin Or fentanyl (both types of opioids), a mixture sometimes called “trunk doping” Live science previously reported..

    Today, Connecticut is the latest state to report an increase in xylazine-related overdose mortality, according to a report published Thursday (September 16) in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Journal. Weekly morbidity and mortality reports.. In a new study, researchers at the Connecticut Public Health Service found that deaths from unintentional overdose in xylazine-related states increased from 5.8% in 2019 to 11.4% in the first half of 2020. Virtually all xylazine-related deaths (99%) also include fentanyl, the report said.

    The findings are similar to those found in Philadelphia and published earlier this year in a journal study. Injury prevention.. The study found that between 2010 and 2015, xylazine was detected in only 2% of deaths from unintended overdose containing heroin or fentanyl. But by 2019, that number jumped to 31%, Live Science previously reported.

    Related: 10 interesting facts about heroin

    It is unclear exactly why xylazine is being added to the US drug supply and whether people who overdose are aware that they are taking the drug. In Philadelphia, some focus groups have found that people who use illicit drugs report that xylazine prolongs the effects of opioids, Live Science previously reported.

    In another study, also on Thursday (September 16th) MMWR, CDC researchers have investigated how widespread these xylazine-related deaths are throughout the United States. Researchers found that out of 38 states, xylazine-related deaths were confirmed in 25 states in 2019.

    Still, the total number of xylazine-related overdose deaths appears to be low in the United States. Of the more than 45,000 overdose deaths reported in 2019, only about 2% were positive for xylazine, CDC researchers found. However, when xylazine was detected, it was listed as the cause of death in about two-thirds of cases.

    In addition, the number of deaths from xylazine-related overdose may be underestimated — the CDC authors state that regular postmortem drug tests may not be able to find drugs.

    In humans, xylazine is known to cause potentially dangerous side effects, including low blood pressure And slow down Heart rate.. Although limited studies on the health effects of xylazine in combination with opioids, some studies suggest that the mixture may increase the risk of death from opioid overdose. In fact, xylazine may increase the toxic effects of opioids by “enhancing sedation and causing respiratory depression” along with hypotension and slow heart rate, Connecticut researchers said.

    CDC researchers say that xylazine is not an opioid and therefore does not respond to naloxone, a drug that can reverse opioid overdose. Therefore, naloxone may be less effective in reversing overdose if xylazine is also used.

    According to the CDC authors, there are concerns that xylazine-related overdose deaths have been detected in half of the US states, requiring “continuous monitoring” of the drug. The lab needs to perform regular postmortem tests for xylazine, which may help researchers better understand the role of drugs in death from overdose, they said.

    Originally published in Live Science.

    Horse tranquilizer crops up in overdose deaths around US Source link Horse tranquilizer crops up in overdose deaths around US

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