Monday, March 20, 2023
United State Senator Chuck Schumer held a press conference in Macedon at Lakeview Health Service’s Woodland Commons to discuss his plan to battle the rise in the drug Xylazine. The deadly, skin-rotting zombie drug, also known as ‘Tranq,’ is becoming prevalent in Monroe, Wayne other Finger Lakes counties and is causing overdoses and deaths. Xylazine, a drug commonly used as a tranquilizer for large animals, is being mixed with fentanyl and heroin.
“The feds need to accelerate their efforts to crack down on this drug illegally being shipped from overseas and unlawfully making its way onto the streets of Rochester, Wayne County, and communities across New York,” Schumer said. “In far too many communities, including the Finger Lakes, the pandemic has made opioid addiction and its health impacts worse, and Xylazine could make this growing problem even more deadly which is why we need the feds to step up now.”
“Law enforcement is working together in tandem with our partners in medicine, prevention, and recovery,” said Monroe County Sheriff Todd K. Baxter in a separate interview. “Xylazine powder can be purchased for prices ranging from $6-$20 per kilo. At a price that low, drug trafficking organizations and dealers use this dangerous drug to reduce the amount of fentanyl or heroin used in a mixture, prolonging the effects of the drugs, while increasing profits. As those dealing this poison change their tactics, so must we in our response to this crisis which is why I appreciate the Senator’s push. Lives depend on it.”
Narcan doesn’t treat the effects of Xylazine because it is not an opioid, but medical experts still urge you to apply it to a victim to treat the drugs it’s mixed with. “Even though that won’t impact or affect Xylazine, it will offset the opioid overdose,” Wayne County Director of Mental Health James Haitz stated. “So, we still encourage folks to use Narcan.”
Schumer’s plan includes tracking down illicit sources of Xylazine, to supercharge the federal COPS Hiring Program with nearly $537 million in new funds to help stop drug trafficking, and new boosts to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) appropriations, including grants that can be used to fund testing infrastructure for Xylazine.
Click below for a live clip of the press conference (13WHAM)
Center frame: Senator Chuck Schumer
Rob Milby, Wayne County Sheriff
James Haitz, Wayne County Director of Mental Health
Jennifer Carlson, President & CEO, FLACRA
Harry Merryman, CEO, and Cathy Lovejoy, CPO Lakeview Health Services