Three Emerging Drug Threats to Know About

illicit drugs
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In the last few years, legal drugs have gotten milder. For those who want to limit their drug intake, there are low-tar nicotine cigarettes, light beers and wine coolers and decaffeinated beverages. But this is the opposite for illegal drugs, which have only grown stronger over the years. According to this article, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana have all increased in strength. 

Not only are illicit drugs increasing in potency, but also they are being combined with other substances to make them even stronger. Drug users are focused on getting a better high, but they are also raising their risk for overdose and death. The three greatest drug threats on the market today are Tranq, Gray Death and Pink. Here’s what you need to know. 

1. Tranq (Xylazine) 

Xylazine is a non-opiate, analgesic and muscle relaxant approved by the FDA for veterinary use. This means that it can be used in cows, sheep and other animals, but it is not intended for humans. However, people have been combining xylazine with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used to treat severe pain. 

The combination of xylazine and fentanyl can be incredibly dangerous and deadly. In early 2023, the U.S. Administration reported that xylazine is an ‘emerging threat’ due to its ties to an increase in overdoses and deaths. The DEA has already seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 states. 

Tranq is a serious health concern for several reasons. First, injecting the drug can lead to skin wounds, lesions and ulcers that can become infected. The skin can also rot and die, a condition called necrosis, which can lead to amputations. Second, tranq has a number of serious side effects, such as: 

  • Blurry vision
  • Disorientation
  • Drowsiness 
  • Shallow breathing 
  • High blood sugar
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low heart rate 
  • Coma 

Lastly, because xylazine is not an opioid, naloxone will not reverse its effects. Still, experts recommend administering naloxone if someone is suffering from a drug overdose. 

2. Gray Death 

Gray Death is a powerful substance that contains a combination of opioids such as heroin, carfentanil and fentanyl. The synthetic combo is far more potent than heroin, and overdoses have already been reported in many states. 

What’s especially concerning about Gray Death is that each batch varies so users don’t know what they are taking. Instead of it being one drug, Gray Death can contain several potent opioids, along with anything else the dealer has on hand. This makes the drug extremely dangerous, even in small doses. 

3. U-47700 (Pink)

U-47700 is also known as Pink, Pinky or U4 on the streets. It’s a powerful, synthetic opioid medication that comes mostly from illegal chemical labs in China. Even small doses can be extremely dangerous – it’s said to be eight times more potent than morphine.

Technically, the drug is made from legal substances, similar to bath salts. Because of this, Pink is often sold misleadingly online as a ‘research chemical.’ However, the chemicals used in Pink can be dangerous and deadly, especially when combined with other substances like fentanyl. 

Struggling with Addiction? Our Recovery Centers in Arizona Can Help. 

Wolf Creek Recovery can help you or a loved one start your journey to recovery. We understand what addiction can do to a person’s physical and mental state, and why they often turn to harder and harder drugs. But there is a way out, and it starts with admitting your problem and accepting help. Contact our admissions department to learn more.