‘Tranq Dope’ Appearing More Frequently in Central PA

The illegal use of xylazine, commonly known as “tranq,” “trank,” or “tranq dope,” is becoming increasingly prevalent in central Pennsylvania. This horse tranquilizer, approved only for animal use, is being added to illegal drug supplies and causing serious health concerns for those who use it.

Xylazine is not only dangerous but also highly addictive. Its effects on the human body include sedation, disorientation, and loss of coordination. When combined with other drugs, such as fentanyl, another man-made opioid that has become a common ingredient in illegal drug supplies, the effects can be deadly.

Studies have revealed that xylazine, a central nervous system depressant also known as “tranq,” is frequently mixed with illicit opioids, particularly fentanyl. This combination is believed to enhance the euphoric effects of fentanyl and prolong its duration of action. However, fatal overdoses linked to xylazine and fentanyl usually involve other substances such as cocaine, heroin, benzodiazepines, alcohol, gabapentin, methadone, or prescription opioids.

The use of xylazine can lead to drowsiness, amnesia, and dangerously low levels of breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. When opioids are used in conjunction with xylazine and other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, the risk of life-threatening overdose increases significantly. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides additional information on the effects of polysubstance use, or the intake of more than one type of drug.

Parents, teachers, and community members are also being urged to be vigilant and to report any suspicious behavior or drug use to the authorities. By working together, officials hope to stem the tide of xylazine use and prevent further harm to those who are struggling with addiction.