Community Alert: Xylazine Present in Opioids

New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) received an alert from The Massachusetts Drug Supply Data Stream (MADDS) regarding xylazine.

Their alert states, "Since initial reporting by MADDS in March 2021, the veterinary sedative xylazine continues to be detected in a substantial number of samples sold as fentanyl and heroin throughout Massachusetts. In 2021, 31% of 398 opioid samples tested statewide contained xylazine. As of June 15, xylazine was detected in 28% of 263 opioid samples tested in 2022."


Connecticut is seeing a similar trend. The presence of xylazine in fatal toxicology in Connecticut has been increasing, so we know it's in our illicit drug supply as well. It’s has gone from 0 in 2018; 71 in 2019; 140 in 2020 and 295 in 2021 in the fatal overdoses from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner.


Xylazine is a long-acting, sedating medication, but it is not an opioid, which means an xylazine overdose cannot be reversed by naloxone. However, if an overdose is suspected, ALWAYS administer naloxone in case opioids are also present in the person's system.


Click the image above to learn more about this drug.