Schumer unveils plan to deal with dangerous street drug during Watertown visit

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 4:56 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made his way to the north country Friday to address concerns about the growing prevalence of the street drug “tranq.”

Xylazine is legally used as an animal tranquilizer, but recently drug dealers have been cutting heroin and fentanyl with it.

“What’s happening is that evil drug traffickers and drug peddlers have realized this gives a real high and they’re selling it to innocent kids and everybody else, saying this is even a better high than fentanyl, as bad as that was. And the drug mimics opioids when it’s mixed so it puts New Yorkers in danger in the north country, here in Jefferson County and across the state,” said Schumer (D. - NY).

Since it’s not an opiate, “tranq” is resistant to Narcan, the medication used to treat overdoses.

The drug has fueled overdose deaths in Syracuse.

Health officials told us earlier this month that it’s only a matter of time before the drug saw widespread use in Jefferson County.

“There’s a rapidly increasing presence of this dangerous drug on our streets. It’s inciting fear in local law enforcement officials, for good reason,” said Schumer.

The Senator revealed a three-point plan for tackling the issue.

First, he called upon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to crack down on xylazine imports from overseas.

Second is what he calls “super-charging” law enforcement with $537 million to combat drug trafficking.

Third is a boost to substance abuse services.