BALTIMORE — A dangerous drug mixture being sold on the streets has caught the attention of federal authorities and agencies in Maryland.
Overdose awareness advocates are warning people about a street drug poisoning called Xylazine. Experts say they are seeing a major spike in overdose due to this substance.
Xylazine also known as tranq, is a non-opioid animal tranquilizer that's not approved for human use, but is found in 90 percent of street drugs.
The National Institute of Drug abuse reported, Xylazine is a central nervous system depressant that slows people's breathing and heart rate.
Additionally those who inject the substance can develop life threatening burn like bruises on the skin.
Xylazine combined with other drugs have also been known to put people in comas, or cause overdose deaths, as xylazine is Narcan resistant.
The drug enforcement agency also issued a warning about the mixture. They say the dangerous mixture has popped up in nearly every state.
Recovery advocates in Maryland say it's crucial parents take this seriously as many young people are experimenting with drugs not knowing it's laced.
"It's all about having peer support and getting the education that you need as a parent to stay on top of your child or stay on top of your loved one. Instead of letting the disease progress because we can't hide this, we have to be very transparent and open," said Carin Miller, Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates.
Miller says she's working hard to make people aware of the dangerous substance.
"My organization is working with other 'boots on the ground' organizations under the name of Maryland Association of Recovery Community Organizations, aka MARCO. Our main goal is to unify our efforts and effectiveness to save the lives of those who fell victim to the opioid crisis and issues about Xylazine," said Miller.
MARCO's mission is to protect and serve recovery oriented community based organizations as a whole; allowing them to provide sustainable services that save lives, and overcome barriers to long term recovery and improve quality of life.
Miller says to create a network of sustainable Recovery Community Based Organizations that are responsive to the needs of their communities, they need more funding and volunteers.
"We are all volunteers and hundred percent of our raised money goes directly to our communities, but we come up short too often to effectively support this population. All the organizations that make up MARCO have a deep passion, as we are all directly affected by the opioid crisis, we need more funding and help from law makers," said Miller.
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