On Tuesday, WPIX drove through Philadelphia’s troubled Kensington area to observe firsthand how xylazine, an animal sedative, turned fentanyl junkies into “zombies.” They encountered a sea of individuals with leg injuries, swollen hands, and lost limbs.
Becoming an Epidemic
Jennette Freas, 48, who receives assistance with wound care at Prevention Point Philly, said, “Next thing you realize, you awaken with these big-a** wounds all over you. They appeared out of nowhere. Not always where you start out matters.”
On the streets of Philadelphia – the ground zero of America’s opioid crisis – a new street drug is baffling doctors.
It's called Xylazine or Tranq – and it's causing horrific wounds on the bodies of those who use it.@Stone_SkyNews reports 👇https://t.co/JmWwKSrRRb pic.twitter.com/egCV5QVbDy
— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 16, 2023
It is thought that the concept to blend xylazine, sometimes known as “tranq,” into the heroin and fentanyl supply originated in Puerto Rico.
That’s before the animal tranquilizer appeared in Philadelphia, according to Shawn Westfahl, director for overdose avoidance at the nonprofit organization.
90% of Philadelphia’s drug supply now contains xylazine. A government law enforcement source informed WPIX that it has also been found in drug stash homes in New York City.
It feels like it lasts longer when you add a horse tranquilizer, according to Westfahl.
America is broken… pic.twitter.com/njnSauSc9r
— Disprin – Minister of Medicine (@WFokkop) February 16, 2023
A victim, Art El Malik, acknowledged several years ago that his drugs were changing the color of their white or pink packaging. Art El Malik claimed he first attempted fentanyl in Seattle before trying to return to his hometown of Philadelphia.
Victims of Circumstance
El Malik told WPIX, “We would wake up and we would be utterly ill. We’d see individuals strolling about with their knuckles on the ground, acting like animals.”
El Malik claims that physicians have cautioned him about an infection that might result in amputation since his hands have grown to roughly three times their usual size.
Well, El Malik answered, “there is a chance. Several of my pals have already lost limbs.” WPIX saw one young man without a left foot in a wheelchair.
Sean Anderson, 44, a native of Delaware, claimed his shin recently suffered from two holes before healing. Delaware is not like this, Anderson remarked. This is totally from another planet.
Anderson said when he was a little boy, his mother introduced him to drugs and heroin. Following the coronavirus death of his mother, he moved to Philadelphia. He said a nearby dealer handed him a free bag of marijuana.
Anderson claimed, “This person offered me samples while I was leaving and that’s what got me trapped. They provided free dope samples. I’ve been trapped ever since I got it.”
The majority of those who reside along Kensington Avenue in tents, wheelchairs, and among trash are now dependent on the medications xylazine and fentanyl.
The Drug Enforcement Administration does not have xylazine on its list of prohibited substances, which is surprising. The Food and Drug Administration, which oversees the medicine, warned last November that it was tainting the country’s supply of illicit drugs.