New street drug Xylazine most hospitals can't test for, or treat say doctors

There are concerns about a new street drug called Xylazine which isn't even made for humans, but animals. And now the fight is becoming more prevalent in Michigan.

"We’re seeing increase in cases with associated deaths, associated with Xylazine," said Dr. Varun Vohra, adding it has found its way into street drugs.

"Xylazine is a harmful drug when used inappropriately," said Dr. Gjon Dushaj. "It’s not approved for human use and that’s not something that we should be taking. It’s used as a muscle relaxer in horses and other animals."

Medical experts believe Xylazine is being added to counterfeit drugs and many users are unaware. Doctors say although the consequences are typically deadly, some do survive.

"They either go comatose or unconscious non-responsive," said Vohra, the director of the Michigan Poison and Drug Information Center.

Xylazine is so powerful it can also eat a person’s flesh. If a person is rushed to the ER after consuming Xylazine, most hospitals can’t test for it - nor can they treat it.

"Drugs like Xylazine, they don’t necessarily respond to Narcan," Dushaj said. "So when you think someone should respond to Narcan and they're not,  that heightens our awareness that something else is possibly on board."

As the use of Xylazine increases in the state, the Michigan Poison and Drug Information Center at Wayne State University is taking action.

"We are currently doing a study in Michigan with a forensic toxicology lab who started testing for this in September, 2019," said Vohra. "And so far and so far we have found nearly 200 associated deaths or deaths associated with Xylazine"

Doctors are sounding the alarm for anyone who is using street drugs to seek help for the addiction because your life depends on it.

"When you buy drugs off the street you never know what your getting," said Dushaj. "And you should be careful about what you take."