The Rise of Xylazine: A ‘Zombie’ Drug in the UK’s Cannabis Vapes

The UK is facing a new drug menace as xylazine, an animal tranquilizer, has been detected in cannabis THC vapes. This revelation has raised alarms about the safety of vaping products and the potential for a public health crisis.

Xylazine, known on the streets as ‘tranq’ or ‘zombie drug’, is traditionally used by veterinarians for sedating large animals. Its emergence in the recreational drug scene is particularly troubling due to its potent effects and the risk of overdose.

The drug has been linked to at least one death in the UK, and experts fear that its misuse could mirror the crisis seen in the US. The presence of xylazine in THC vapes suggests that users seeking the effects of cannabis may inadvertently expose themselves to this dangerous substance.

A Growing Concern

The discovery of xylazine in THC vapes is not isolated. Investigations have found the drug in various illicit substances, including counterfeit prescription drugs. The UK’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has recommended classifying xylazine as a Class C drug, which would place it alongside substances like laughing gas and anabolic steroids.

Health officials are particularly worried about the drug’s ability to cause severe respiratory depression, dangerously low blood pressure, and potentially fatal skin ulcers. The risk is compounded when xylazine is combined with other sedatives, making it a silent but deadly addition to the UK’s drug market.

Call to Action

The infiltration of xylazine into the UK’s drug supply is a call to action for stricter regulation and public awareness. Health experts are urging for immediate measures to prevent an epidemic and to educate the public on the dangers of this emerging threat.

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