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Region seeing uptick in animal tranquilizer in illicit drug supply
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Region seeing uptick in animal tranquilizer in illicit drug supply

GREENFIELD — Of the drug residue samples Tapestry Health has sent to Brandeis University for testing, roughly half are coming back positive for the animal tranquilizer xylazine, a development that is affecting responses to overdoses.“When responding to an overdose now, it’s not necessarily assumed that it’s going to be an opiate, so Narcan may not always work,” explained Amy Davis, assistant director of rural harm reduction operations at Tapestry Health, which provides health care and support services in the four counties of western Massachusetts. “We should still give Narcan, but we need to focus on breathing.”Xylazine — a sedative used in veterinary medicine — is not necessarily a new adulterant, Davis said, noting reports of it being used in Puerto Rico and Philadelphia. In recent m...