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Florida Drug Defense Attorney > Blog > Drug Crime Defense > Beware Of Xylazine: The Medical Consequences Are Worse Than The Legal Ones

Beware Of Xylazine: The Medical Consequences Are Worse Than The Legal Ones


By now you have heard the warnings about how, when you buy a bag of powder from a drug dealer, you don’t really know what it contains. The “Just Say No” drug education classes of the 1980s used to warn young people that the powder they thought was cocaine might contain horrible things like rat poison and broken glass, but the adulterants frequently found in the current supply of drugs marketed as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine are even scarier.  Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid so powerful that a tiny amount can cause a fatal overdose, is the drug that gets the most publicity, but another drug seems to be on the rise.  Statewide data from Connecticut, Maryland, and Pennsylvania show that at least 10 percent of overdose victims in those states between 2015 and 2020 had consumed xylazine, usually in combination with other drugs.  Before that, xylazine abuse had been documented in Puerto Rico for more than a decade.  If you get caught buying or selling drugs, you might not be sure which drugs are in your possession, but you can be sure that you need a Florida drug offense attorney.

Why Is Xylazine So Dangerous?

Xylazine is a sedative and anesthetic.  It was first discovered in Germany in the 1960s by a researcher who was trying to develop treatments for high blood pressure.  It has never been approved for medical use in humans in the United States, but it is approved and widely used to anesthetize and tranquilize many animals, including cats, dogs, horses, deer, mice, rats, and guinea pigs.

Since xylazine is inexpensive, it is often mixed with heroin, much as fentanyl is, and overdoses are increasingly common, especially since victims do not know which drugs they are taking.  Like fentanyl, xylazine can cause a dangerously slow heart rate and respiratory depression.  Unlike fentanyl, xylazine is not an opioid, so naloxone cannot reverse its effects.  In other words, the world’s deadliest opioids are not a match for naloxone, but xylazine is.

Florida Xylazine Laws

At the federal level, xylazine is not on the list of controlled substances.  A 2018 Florida law, however, treats xylazine as a Schedule I controlled substance, since it has no medically approved uses in humans.  In either case, if police catch you with drugs, a field test or a forensics lab is unlikely to determine that you were in possession of pure xylazine.  Most likely, there is also methamphetamine, heroin, or whatever drug you thought you were buying.  Therefore, you can face criminal charges for possessing (or trafficking or possession with intent to deliver, as the case may be), the other drugs, whether or not you get separate charges for xylazine.

Contact FL Drug Defense Group About Criminal Charges for Possession of Xylazine

A Central Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you if you get caught in possession of a mixture of drugs, even if you are not sure of the contents.  Contact FL Drug Defense Group in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.




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