- Legislation sponsored by Rep. Kristin Marcell (R-Bucks) to require the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) to engage in a public awareness campaign to educate the public about the dangers of human use of xylazine has been included in a Senate bill that passed the General Assembly and is going to the governor.
House Bill 1690
was inserted into Senate Bill 683
Over the past several years, law enforcement officers and public health professionals have detected an increase in the prevalence of the illicit use of xylazine, an animal tranquilizer - or ‘tranq’ – in street drugs used in the Commonwealth. In fact, about half of all Pennsylvania counties saw cases where illicit use of xylazine caused a death in 2021. Worse, 90% of the opioids sampled by the City of Philadelphia showed xylazine in 2021.
“Yet too few people are aware of this drug’s existence,” Marcell said. “Increased public awareness of the impact of the illicit use of xylazine can help the effort to protect our residents.”
My legislation would require DDAP to enter into partnerships with health care providers, community-based health centers and hospitals to educate Pennsylvanians on the dangers of human use of xylazine.
It would also require the creation of informational materials for distribution to Pennsylvanians on the effects of xylazine on the human body, how to discuss the dangers with family and friends, and other information deemed necessary by DDAP to educate the public on this topic.
Xylazine, designed as a horse tranquilizer, is being used as a cutting agent for heroin and fentanyl used by humans. The drug’s users tend to get wounds that do not readily heal.