Sadly, there is a new dangerous drug that has been introduced into the state of Iowa. It's also very possible this is a drug you have never heard of. I'm no drug expert but normally you hear or read about different kinds of illegal drugs. Not this one. I had not heard of this substance until I came across this story. The worst part is this is the drug that helps make one of the most dangerous drugs in the United States.

According to Public Health, this drug is normally used as "a sedative drug used by veterinarians to anesthetize animals that is increasingly present in the illicit drug supply."

Unsplash - Markus Spiske

Unsplash - Markus Spiske

According to KCRG, Xylazine has been confirmed to have been found in Dubuque, Iowa. Xylazine is normally used by vets for sedation and pain relief. If this drug is used by humans, it can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate, which can lead to fatal results.

According to Public Health, "When combined with opioids like fentanyl, as is frequently the case, xylazine enhances the life-threatening effect of respiratory depression (slowing or stopping breathing) caused by opioids, increasing the risk of overdose and death."

To make this substance even worse, when it is used by humans, there is no way to reverse an overdose. There is no medication or antidote that can reverse the effects when someone ODs on xylazine. According to Public Health, "naloxone is effective against any opioids contributing to overdose but is not effective against xylazine."

Back in April, it was reported by the White House that xylazine was becoming a threat in the United States and sadly, it feels like this was only a matter of time before it was introduced in the state of Iowa and other parts of the country.

Not only can xylazine be life-threatening, but it can also create horrible skin ulcers that I would consider to be too graphic to add to this story. You can search for them if you'd like but I will tell you right now, they are not for the faint of heart. They're pretty dang bad.

Adam Williams works with the Dubuque Drug Task Force and he told KCRG that these ulcers can be so bad, that they can cost you an entire limb. He said

"There are skin ulcers that can become present to the point that they’re severe enough that could require amputation."

To continue to add to the list of the dangers that come with this cannot be detected by field tests used by police officers. Xylazine can only be detected in a science lab.

Xylazine is used to help make/create fentanyl and is often mixed with plenty of other illicit substances. Williams also told KCRG,

It’s not just heroin and fentanyl users who should be wary of xylazine. The drug can be mixed with meth, and officials have even heard of it being mixed with marijuana and THC vape cartridges. It makes it a lot more dangerous because people don’t know that it’s in there.

Sadly, this also appears to only be the beginning of this drug popping up in the state of Iowa. It's believed by officials that we're going to see a lot more of xylazine showing up in our communities and it's important that people know what has reached the state of Iowa.

I'm not one to tell anyone how to live their life but if this isn't the biggest wake-up call to not do drugs, I don't know what is. According to the DEA, they have "seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 States and xylazine is making the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced."

Stay safe Iowa.

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