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Drug alert issued in Vernon

Tranquilizer found in down, dope
A drug alert has been issued in Vernon. (Interior Health images)

A life-threatening animal tranquilizer has been found in the local drug supply.

Interior Health (IH) has issued a drug alert for Vernon as an increase of xylazine is being found in down.

The beige and off-white chunks and powder are old as dope, down and fentanyl.

It contains fentanyl or fentanyl analogue xylazine and benzodiazepines.

There is a high risk of overdose, which may not respond to naloxone.

There are also risks of amnesia, sleepiness, nodding out for a long time and long term use carries heightened risks.

IH warns: “Xylazine use is associated with abscesses and other skin ulcerations that do not heal on their own, often becoming infected and complicated.”

Current harm reduction advice for drugs containing xylazine is to use as little as possible with caution.

The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) says xylazine is a tranquilizer increasingly being found in the illegal drug supply.

“Xylazine - which is not approved for use in people - can be life threatening and is especially dangerous when combined with opiods like fentanyl,” the CDC reports.

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