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Texas Department of State Health Services warns of deadly drug combination

The Texas DSHS says to watch out for fentanyl laced with xylazine, an animal tranquilizer.

MIDLAND, Texas — The Texas Department of State Health services is warning health care providers of emerging xylazine-laced drug overdoses.

Fentanyl and xylazine is a deadly combination.

Xylazine is a drug that humans aren’t supposed to use at all. But, according to Texas DSHS, it has been laced with fentanyl.

“Any time you include another compound with an illicit drug, the effects could be exponentially more egregious," said Seth Herman, chief of the Midland Police Department. "That’s the issue with xylazine. There’s a legitimate use in veterinary medicine; it’s generally a large animal sedative.”

According to the Texas DSHS, xylazine has been found in unregulated fentanyl supplies in West Texas.

Whenever there’s an overdose related to fentanyl, Narcan is used to help patients.

But when xylazine is involved, it makes things more difficult.

“Narcan is a compound that diminishes the effects of an opioid, and fentanyl is an opioid… xylazine is not opioid based," said Herman. "So, the Narcan has no effect on the xylazine, which again is why we’re experiencing these opioid deaths. Not here locally yet, thank goodness.”

Ingesting xylazine can cause unconsciousness, low blood pressure, slow heart rate and breathing and even organ damage, due to loss of blood flow.

Once again, MPD urges citizens not to take any medication that isn’t prescribed by a doctor.

And parents, if you notice any medication in your child's room or bags that looks suspicious, contact law enforcement immediately so it can be safely tested.

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