A drug addiction crisis is ravaging a once-quiet neighborhood and leaving users in a zombie-like state.
An animal tranquilizer called Xylazine, known on the street as tranq, has made its way into Philadelphia’s illicit fentanyl supply.
Tranq is a deadly sedative typically used to magnify the effects of heroin, fentanyl, or cocaine.
In video, residents in the city’s northeast Kensington neighborhood can be seen snorting, smoking, injecting, and even inhaling the drug.
Xylazine has not been approved for humans as veterinarians use it to sedate large animals like elk, deer, and horses for surgical procedures, according to Pyramid Healthcare.
One of the most grueling side effects of injecting Xylazine is the gaping wounds it creates on the skin that can become infected and lead to amputations if not properly treated.
A former tranq addict told The U.S. Sun of its debilitating and terrifying health effects.
She said the drug caused her to slice off her own rotting skin in a desperate attempt to preserve her limbs.
“I was just kind of maintaining taking care of my arms but then they turned black and necrotic and because of the judgment [in the hospital], I started cutting off the black skin myself,” she said.
“I don’t recommend that obviously because I did do some damage, I cut a tendon from not knowing what I was cutting.”
Users of tranq are often also unaware of their surroundings and can be seen walking in a trance-like manner, which is referred to as tranq walk.
“I’ve never seen human beings remain in these kinds of conditions,” Sarah Laurel founder of the outreach program Savage Sisters told the Daily Mail.
In an exclusive interview with addiction psychiatrist Eric D. Collins, The U.S. Sun learned that 90 percent of confiscated fentanyl drugs in Philadelphia contained Xylazine.
Philip Moore, chief medical officer for addiction treatment and recovery service Gaudenzia, said told the Daily Mail that getting people off of Xylazine is difficult.
Chills, sweating, restlessness, and agitation are common withdrawal symptoms that are observed.
Moore says it’s due to the fact that Xylazine isn’t the sole contributor.
In 2021, Philadelphia lost 1,276 people to drug overdoses which is a five percent increase from 2020.
The city’s website says that the drug crisis spans further than Kensington as 69 percent of the fatal overdoses in 2021 occurred in the victim’s homes.
Philadelphia district attorney Larry Krasner has been criticized in the past for his failure to handle the city’s drug crisis.
He was impeached in 2022, although his impeachment trial has been postponed indefinitely.