Xylazine, the “zombie drug” that’s causing alarm in the US, has been linked to the death of a 43-year-old man in the UK, according to the BBC. Also known as “tranq”, the drug is used as a tranquiliser on cows and horses. But it is flooding the illicit US drug market, with dealers often mixing it with other illegal drugs like fentanyl and heroin. It has now been revealed that the drug was also found inside the boy of Karl Warburton, from Solihull, West Midlands.
The man died in May 2022 at home and had a history of drug abuse, the BBC said citing a coroner’s report. A report on his death was also published in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine and said the man was “likely to have bought heroin and not known it was laced with xylazine and fentanyl”.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first death associated with xylazine use reported in the UK, and even Europe, and indicates the entry of xylazine into the UK drug supply,” the report further said.
Dr Caroline Copeland, a lecturer in King’s College London and director of the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths told the BBC that health experts don’t know how widespread the xylazine problem is since the drug is not included in standard drug screens in the country.
“We need to find out how that person ended up with it in his system,” the doctor said.
According to Science Alert, several drugs were detected in the man’s toxicology report: Eight in both the blood and urine, and an additional three in the urine.
The death of the man, whose name has not been revealed, was concluded to have occurred from a combination of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and xylazine. There was evidence to suggest that this drug combination had been injected.
Xylazine is known to have severe effects on people who develop sores, or can even lose a limb in some cases.
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