BETTING À DAY
The United States announced on Wednesday that it designated xylazine, nicknamed “tranq”, as an “emerging threat”, in particular in order to be able to release funds to fight against this drug which is already wreaking havoc in the country.
“This is the first time in our nation's history that a substance has been designated as an emerging threat,” Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the office of drug enforcement, told a news conference. White House.
Xylazine, approved as a veterinary sedative and analgesic since 1972 by the United States Drug Administration (FDA), is not approved except for use on animals.
In humans, its consumption can slow breathing and heart rate to dangerous levels, and cause infections that can lead to limb amputations.
Between 2020 and 2021, the detection of xylazine by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has increased by almost 200% in the south of the country, and more than 100% in the west.
The designation as an emerging threat must allow to use funds requested by President Joe Biden from the US Congress in his 2024 budget, Gupta explained.
“We need the support of Congress,” he pleaded, so as not to have to redirect money dedicated to other causes. “This is not a problem concerning states” Democratic or Republican, “it's the problem of America,” he hammered.
The government is required, within three months of designation, to present to Congress a plan of action, which will address several areas.
Among them: more tests to detect the drug and analyzes to better understand where it comes from – in particular if it is diverted in the United States or from China -, in order to better fight against its growing presence on the illegal market. .
Medical research is another priority.
“We will bring together national experts in the field to guide practice, and identify the most promising approaches for clinical stabilization, withdrawal management, and treatment protocols,” detailed Rahul Gupta.
Furthermore, “we need an antidote,” which does not exist to date, he he added.
Naloxone, an antidote that can resuscitate a person overdosing on an opioid (eg fentanyl), is not effective against xylazine.
Fentanyl and xylazine, both synthetic, are often found together in the same product, according to the DEA.
In February, the American health authorities issued an “import alert” to to better control deliveries of xylazine, to ensure that they are actually intended for veterinary use.