Legislation would crack down on the highly dangerous sedative causing overdoses nationwide

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe
Manchin (D-WV) introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Combating Illicit
Xylazine Act
to take action against a dangerous drug causing overdoses in
West Virginia and across the country. Xylazine, also known as “tranq,” is an
easily accessible veterinary tranquilizer that leads to depressed breathing and
heart rate, unconsciousness, necrosis and even death.


“In the last year, more than 106,000
Americans and 1,400 West Virginians died from drug related overdoses,” Senator Manchin said. “It’s
heartbreaking to lose so many of our fellow Americans and West Virginians to
this devastating epidemic, and Congress must take meaningful action to address
the crisis, which includes the surging threat of the highly dangerous xylazine
drug. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan, bicameral legislation to ensure
our law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to monitor and control
the spread of illicit xylazine, while ensuring its continued access for veterinary
medicine. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this
commonsense reform to combat the drug epidemic that continues to ravage our


The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently reported 23% of fentanyl powder contained xylazine in 2022. Despite this alarming report and many others about the rise of
xylazine, federal, state, and local law enforcement do not have the tools
necessary to effectively monitor its spread or combat its growing presence in
drug trafficking circles.


The Combating
Illicit Xylazine Act
would address these gaps by:


  • Classifying its illicit use under Schedule III
    of the Controlled Substances Act;
  • Enabling the DEA to track its manufacturing to
    ensure it is not diverted to the illicit market;
  • Requiring a report on prevalence, risks, and
    recommendations to best regulate illicit use of xylazine;
  • Ensuring all salts and isomers of xylazine are
    covered when restricting its illicit use;
  • Declaring xylazine an emerging drug threat.


Xylazine is essential in veterinary medicine
with large animals, and while this legislation will help law enforcement crack
down on its illicit use, it will also protect medicinal access for
veterinarians, farmers, cattlemen and ranchers.


Senator Manchin was joined by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Maggie Hassan
(D-NH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jim Risch (R-ID), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV.)
and Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), August
Pfluger (R-TX), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Ken Buck (R-CO) and Chris Pappas (D-NH).

The full
text of the bill is available

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