Xylazine’s impact in recent years is undeniable. For example, deaths related to xylazine in Pennsylvania jumped from 2 percent to 26 percent from 2015 to 2020, while xylazine was involved in 19 percent of all overdose deaths in Maryland in 2021. Deaths related to xylazine may also be underreported, as many forensic labs and toxicology tests do not test for xylazine. Its popularity comes down to how cheap it is to access and how strong its effects are. According to Abid Nazeer, MD, a psychiatrist and senior medical advisor for Symetria Recovery, “Xylazine’s popularity is connected to its ability to potentially extend the effect of other drugs, such as heroin and fentanyl.” Xylazine can also be bought very cheaply by dealers, who can order it online, Nazeer tells MDlinx.
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