Doctor answering a patient, whose question is, "What is tranq dope?"

What Is Tranq Dope?

Xylazine, also known as “tranq dope,” has been increasing in the drug supply at an alarming rate. Like fentanyl, “tranq dope” is mixed with opioid drugs since it is cheaper and easier to access. However, it is also much more dangerous than opioids and produces more severe withdrawal symptoms. Even more concerning is that most people using this drug do so unknowingly. When seeking recovery services for opioid addiction, ask your care team to test for xylazine since this drug is often overlooked.

At Promises Brazos Valley, we stay on top of the latest and most effective addiction treatment techniques to ensure you receive the best care. Our comprehensive treatment programs can help you overcome the most challenging addictions, including xylazine, fentanyl, and heroin. If you or someone in your life is struggling with substance use disorder, contact us at 979.426.0086 to discuss treatment options.

What Is Tranq Dope?

Xylazine is a powerful animal tranquilizer used by veterinarians. Other street names of xylazine include the following:

  • “Tranq”
  • “Zombie drug”
  • “Philly dope”

Xylazine is classified as a depressant drug since it slows down the body’s functions, relieves pain, and relaxes the muscles. It is not approved for humans, but people are using it to get high, most prominently in Philadelphia. Its effects are similar to opioids, although it does not interact with opioid receptors in the brain. Some people use this drug when they struggle with opioid use disorder but cannot access opioids.

“Tranq dope” is a particularly dangerous drug for humans, especially when consumed without one’s knowledge. It is a legal substance, so the usual restrictions for scheduled drugs do not apply. Many dealers now cut their drugs with xylazine because it is easily accessible and cheap. 

The potency and intense withdrawal symptoms make “tranq dope” so dangerous. Many purchase drugs like heroin or fentanyl without knowing it has been cut with this potent animal tranquilizer. Also, since it is used to cut other drugs, you cannot know how much xylazine is in each batch, increasing the risk of overdose. 

What Are the Side Effects of Tranq Dope Abuse?

Although xylazine does not interact with opioid receptors in the brain like heroin or other opioids, it produces many of the same side effects. Some common side effects of “tranq dope” include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Tremors

Another side effect unique to “tranq dope” is the development of skin ulcers. If you access street drugs and start to develop open wounds and abscesses, the batch may have been cut with xylazine. 

Why Is Xylazine So Dangerous?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can be highly effective in helping people manage uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. MAT has helped many people get through withdrawal and overcome addiction. The issue with “tranq dope” is that many medications used in MAT are ineffective. Xylazine does not interact with opioid receptors in the brain, so drugs like methadone and buprenorphine cannot provide relief.

“Tranq dope” causes intense withdrawal symptoms, and there are not yet any medications that have been proven to alleviate withdrawal symptoms adequately. Many people struggling with xylazine addiction do not seek treatment or do not find success in rehab. The severity of xylazine withdrawal symptoms and MAT’s ineffectiveness could be why overcoming this particular addiction is so difficult.

Find Xylazine Addiction Treatment at Promises Brazos Valley

Since this animal tranquilizer is turning up in more and more street drugs today, you should seek treatment for any drug addiction as soon as possible. Although most facilities do not routinely test for xylazine, tests are becoming more readily available, and you can request “tranq dope” testing for your safety. If you are concerned that a loved one may have a problem with “tranq dope,” contact Promises Brazos Valley today at 979.426.0086 for guidance. 

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