Tranq addiction, which involves the drug xylazine, is an emerging public health issue. As a horse tranquilizer, this medication doesn’t have an approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human use. That said, its misuse, especially in combination with other substances, has led to an alarming rise in addiction and fatal overdoses.

As reports from emergency departments and post-mortem investigations indicate, this potent cocktail has contributed to a surge in overdose deaths. It then raises the question: “Is xylazine controlled effectively?”

To answer that question, here’s a blog post that will touch on the complexities of tranq addiction. This will explore the associated risks, the ties between xylazine and fentanyl, and the current control status of xylazine. 

Furthermore, we will examine the challenging aspects of xylazine withdrawal, a crucial part of the recovery process. With a clear understanding of these issues, we can work towards effective prevention, treatment, and recovery strategies for those affected.

Xylazine and fentanyl

Source: Oregon Trail Recovery

What is Tranq or Xylazine?

Xylazine, often referred to as “tranq,” is a non-opioid drug primarily used as a sedative, muscle relaxant, and pain reliever in veterinary medicine. It is particularly effective for large animals such as horses, hence its infamous nickname, “horse tranquilizer.”

Despite its intended use, xylazine has emerged on the illegal drug market. It has became popular for its intoxicating effects and often combined with opioids, resulting in a significantly elevated risk of overdose and death.

Is Xylazine Controlled?

Xylazine is not a controlled substance under federal law, although some states have moved to control it at the local level. For instance, Pennsylvania categorized xylazine as a Schedule III controlled substance in 2021.

Florida also categorized xylazine as a Schedule I drug in 2018, meaning it is illegal to possess or sell in the state due to its lack of medically approved human uses.

In March 2023, Ohio authorized an emergency classification of xylazine as a Schedule III drug.

Building on these developments, a bipartisan group of Congressional lawmakers introduced the Combating Illicit Xylazine Act in late March. This proposed legislation seeks to establish a nationwide Schedule III classification for the drug to address its illicit use more effectively.

Despite xylazine itself not being federally controlled, possession or distribution of the substance can still potentially result in legal ramifications under specific circumstances, mainly when it is associated with harm or the intent to misuse.

Law enforcement agencies and policymakers are continuously battling this issue, attempting to balance necessary control measures and the risk of further criminalizing substance misuse.

As we see the devastating effects of tranq addiction, the conversation around the control status of substances like xylazine becomes even more crucial. This dialogue is not just about law enforcement but also about public health, harm reduction, and providing appropriate support for those grappling with addiction.

is Xylazine controlled


Tranq Addiction and Withdrawal

Misusing xylazine, or ‘tranq,’ puts you at risk of addiction. The drug’s sedative effects can create a sensation of calmness and relaxation, which some individuals may seek to replicate through repeated use.

Furthermore, when used in combination with opioids like fentanyl, xylazine’s effects are dangerously intensified, leading to a higher risk of both addiction and overdose.

Addictive properties of xylazine hinge upon its psychoactive effects, which alter the user’s mental state and can lead to physical and psychological dependence. The body craves the drug to function normally, leading to compulsive use despite harmful consequences.

Signs and symptoms of xylazine addiction may include:

  • increased secrecy
  • social withdrawal
  • anger outbursts
  • slurred speech
  • unsteady movement
  • hyperactivity
  • sudden lethargy

In more severe cases, individuals may display needle marks, unexplained weight loss, and a general disregard for personal appearance or hygiene.

Xylazine withdrawal presents its unique challenges and potential dangers. Given that xylazine is a sedative, withdrawal symptoms can be intense, including agitation, insomnia, tremors, anxiety, hallucinations, delirium, and seizures. Moreover, withdrawal becomes even more complicated and potentially hazardous if xylazine has been used with other substances.

You should not try to attempt withdrawal on your own. Detoxification from xylazine requires a managed and monitored environment for the safety of the individual and to mitigate any severe withdrawal symptoms.

In an Intensive Outpatient Program offered by Oregon Trail Recovery, the focus is not only on managing withdrawal symptoms but also on providing the necessary emotional and psychological support to cope with cravings and prevent relapse.

In understanding the complexities of xylazine addiction and withdrawal, we can better support individuals with the tools they need for successful long-term recovery.

Xylazine withdrawal

Source: Oregon Trail Recovery

Xylazine and Fentanyl: A Dangerous Combination

The misuse of xylazine has become increasingly entwined with the illicit use of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Together, they form a hazardous cocktail that drastically increases the risk of health complications.

The link between xylazine and fentanyl arises from the illicit drug market, where these substances are frequently mixed to enhance the user’s experience. This is often done without the user’s awareness, making users consume higher doses than intended or can tolerate.

Xylazine acts as a depressant, slowing heart rate and respiration, while fentanyl, despite being a pain reliever, has similar effects at high doses. The simultaneous consumption of both drugs can therefore lead to respiratory depression, a condition that reduces the ability to breathe and can ultimately be fatal.

Xylazine also has the potential to enhance the effects of fentanyl by creating an intense feeling of tranquility and sedation. This amplified sensation can be alluring to users, intensifying the risk of dependence. The combined use of these substances presents a heightened risk of cardiac complications and potential damage to the central nervous system.

Seeking Help for Tranq Addiction

For those struggling with tranq addiction, remember that help is available. From professional rehabilitation centers to local community resources, numerous avenues exist to seek assistance.

Rehabilitation programs provide structured environments where individuals can detox safely, under medical supervision, and participate in therapy sessions to address the psychological aspects of addiction. Intensive Outpatient Programs can provide the flexibility to maintain work, school, or other obligations while receiving the necessary treatment.

Xylazine and fentanyl Oregon


The misuse of ‘tranq’ and its frequent illicit combination with fentanyl has underscored an alarming public health crisis. With its non-approved use in humans, and its entry into the illegal drug market, the risks of xylazine addiction have escalated significantly. These range from the immediate threats of overdose and severe health complications to the long-term challenges of addiction.

Moreover, the legal ambiguity surrounding xylazine adds another complexity to this issue. While control measures are vital to curbing the rampant misuse of this drug, it’s equally important to consider harm reduction strategies and provide appropriate support for those struggling with addiction.

The path to recovery might seem steep, but overcoming tranq addiction is entirely possible with the right help and support. The first step is recognizing the problem and seeking help, which is a testament to personal strength. If you are struggling with tranq addiction, know that a healthier, substance-free life is within reach.

Looking for treatment for addiction near me? Contact Oregon Trail Recovery for comprehensive and compassionate support!