Two new substances linked with illicit opioid use have been spreading in North America, increasing drug abuse complications and overdoses. “Frankenstein opioids,” or nitazines, are Schedule I drugs increasingly mixed with fentanyl or heroin. Xylazine, which goes by the street name “tranq,” is a veterinary sedative. Many people unknowingly use these substances and become addicted, which has worsened the drug epidemic.
The Opioid Epidemic: From Fentanyl to Nitazines and Xylazine
The deadliest wave of the opioid epidemic traces back to the introduction of a synthetic opioid called fentanyl. Originally developed for medical purposes such as managing severe pain, fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Its potency and relatively low production cost have made it attractive to illegal drug manufacturers and dealers, leading to its widespread use in the illicit drug market.
Fentanyl has drastically changed the landscape of substance abuse and has been a driving force behind a devastating surge in overdoses and deaths. Drug traffickers often mix fentanyl with other drugs like heroin or cocaine, increasing their potency and the risk of fatal overdose. Adding substances like nitazines and xylazine to the drug supplly has only heightened these dangers.
The Combined Threat of Fentanyl, Nitazines and Xylazine
The nitazines currently circulating in the U.S. and Canada come from unregulated Chinese labs. Nitazines are cheaper to produce than fentanyl and can be up to 40 times more potent, creating a deadly cocktail that users are often unaware they are consuming. This lack of awareness compounds the already considerable risk, making every dose a potential game of Russian roulette.
The DEA has seized xylazine/fentanyl mixtures in almost every state. Adding xylazine to fentanyl prolongs its euphoric effect and increases the overdose risk. Because xylazine is not an opioid, it does not respond to naloxone, which is the standard medication administered to reverse a fentanyl overdose. Long-term xylazine use causes festering skin ulcers, severe muscle and bone infections and necrosis that can lead to amputation if left untreated.
Fentanyl alone is incredibly dangerous due to its high potency, but when combined with other substances like nitazines and xylazine, it becomes even more lethal. The current phase of the opioid epidemic is a tragic reminder of the urgent need for effective, comprehensive substance abuse treatment.
Nitazines and Xylazine Detox at Pillars Recovery
When dealing with substances as potent and dangerous as nitazines and xylazine, professional support is critical. Overcoming addiction begins with a specialized, medically managed detoxification process. Led by our renowned addiction doctor, Pillars Recovery specializes in managing withdrawal symptoms to provide the safest, most comfortable detox experience possible.
We use medication-assisted treatment, which combines the strategic use of FDA-approved medications with counseling and behavioral therapy. This integrated approach helps clients navigate the physical withdrawal process while addressing the underlying psychological aspects of addiction. Once you are stable, you can move seamlessly into the next phase of inpatient treatment at our women’s or men’s facility, where we’ll equip you with the tools you need to maintain long-term recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, don’t wait to seek help. Reach out to Pillars Recovery today online or by calling 866-794-9915. Our compassionate team is available 24/7 to answer any questions and help you take the first step on your recovery journey.