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Understanding the “Drug of the Living Dead” law

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Criminal Defense

The federal government struggles to keep up with the increasing number of designer drugs flooding the streets. One such drug, Xylazine, is also known as the “Drug of the Living Dead,” because the illegal use of Xylazine has been linked to excessive skin sores, which can lead to limb amputation. Repeated usage can cause dependency and withdrawal symptoms, and can be fatal.

Large animals such as horses and cows are sometimes tranquilized using Xylazine, which is not intended for human consumption. However, it is often sold on the streets mixed with Fentanyl. The Biden Administration has identified this dangerous combination as an emerging concern for the citizens of the United States, as overdose deaths caused by Fentanyl-laced Xylazine have increased over the past few years.

House Bill 1242 seeks to control the use of Xylazine

The “Drug of the Living Dead Law” (HB1242) was introduced in 2023. According to this law, use of Xylazine by someone who isn’t a licensed veterinarian is a Class A misdemeanor. This means that a person may spend up to eleven months and twenty-nine days in jail if they are found in possession of Xylazine and other materials that are used to combine it with Fentanyl. Those who produce or distribute the substance for human consumption commit a Class C felony and may face a sentence ranging from three to fifteen years in jail.

Does naloxone work to prevent overdose death with Xylazine?

Unfortunately, it is not clear if naloxone is effective in preventing death from Xylazine overdose. Likewise, routine toxicology screenings cannot detect Xylazine. Additional analytical procedures are necessary for identification, especially if symptoms of Xylazine exposure are present.

Arizona is cracking down on offenders who sell such harmful substances. You must seek legal assistance if you are charged with trafficking Xylazine or any other illicit substances so that you can defend yourself against these accusations, given that an unfavorable outcome in your case could potentially be life-altering in the worst possible ways.