Why are Texas health officials warning about a ‘zombie drug?’

The Texas Department of State Health Services said it has now reared its head in the Lone Star State.

The “zombie drug” is called xylazine, a veterinary tranquilizer, and it has been linked to a growing number of overdose deaths in the country.

Often combined with other drugs like fentanyl and Xanax, the tranquilizer is not an opioid with means its effects can’t be reversed with Narcan. While a lot of people don’t realize they are taking it, some people report using it with fentanyl to extend the drug’s effects.

Known on the street as “tranq” it has popped up recently in other parts of the country like New York and Philadelphia. The Texas Department of State Health Services said it has now reared its head in the Lone Star State.

It reports xylazine has been found in the illegal fentanyl supply in West Texas. At least four deaths here have already been linked to the dangerous drug.

The drug is very dangerous. It can cause unconsciousness, low blood pressure, slowed heart rate and breathing as well as organ damage from loss of blood flow.

However, probably one of the more notorious side effects is something called “necrotic skin ulcers.” Basically, with chronic use it can cause your skin to rot, leading to amputations. The state is warning health providers to be on the lookout for these symptoms.