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Xylazine: Understanding the Latest Emerging Substance


Xylazine (or “tranq”) is a non-opioid sedative and tranquilizer only approved for use in veterinary medicine. However, over the past several years, human consumption of xylazine has begun rapidly increasing. Although initially only identified in illicit drug supplies in limited areas, xylazine has been found in 48 states as of April 2023. Xylazine is frequently, though not exclusively, used in conjunction with opioids, particularly fentanyl—due to xylazine’s ability to prolong their effects. Xylazine use presents many potential dangers to people, including an increased risk of overdose and the development of necrotizing tissue damage.

This webinar will bring together experts from across disciplines to discuss the history of xylazine use, what is known about its current scope of use and consequences, the effects of xylazine on people, and wound care and other harm reduction strategies. It will also offer an opportunity for participants to ask questions in a roundtable panel discussion format.


  • Describe Xylazine and its history of use and consequences.
  • Explain how harm reduction strategies need to be adapted for complications in Xylazine use.
  • Describe the current trends that detail the scope and the extent of the Xylazine issue.


Jason BienertRN, CWCN

Josh Esrick, MPP



Gail PoirierSection Chief, Strategic Intelligence Section (NIT)

Jaclyn Iera, Program Manager, Office of Forensic Sciences



Jeanne TuonoAssistant Regional Director (Region 3)

July 25, 2023
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