Officials said a new drug called Xylazine is making the drug crisis in Maine even more dangerous and deadly.

Animal Tranquilizer

Xylazine is a tranquilizer for horses and cattle. The drug is cheap and is being mixed with heroin and fentanyl and then sold on the streets. The drug is not approved for human use, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Severe Health Effects

The effects are powerful and can lead to a decrease in heart rate, lower blood pressure and slow breathing. Lasting psychoactive effects are also a concern to health officials.

Rotting Tissue and Amputation

Injecting Xylazine causes serious wounds and can lead to the human tissue rotting called necrosis, said the Bangor Daily News. The corrosive properties could cause an infected area to get worse and lead to amputation.

Increase in Fatal Overdoses

The first sign of Xylazine in Maine was in 2021. The death rate from overdoses from the drug in the state has increased 6 percent in 2023 from 2022 data.

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Test Strips

At the annual Opioid Response Summit, and to combat the drug epidemic, Governor Janet Mills is providing the state of Maine $1 million in funding for Xylazine test strips.

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