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Alert on “Zombie Drug” Spreading in Baja

The Mexican Observatory on Mental Health and Addictions has issued an early warning about the rise of Xylazine, a veterinary drug, being mixed with Fentanyl and methamphetamine among addicts in Mexico. Known as the “zombie drug” in the United States, Xylazine is gaining popularity due to its potent, relaxing effects, similar to Fentanyl, and can be lethal in cases of overdose, leading to respiratory arrest.

Juan Manuel Quijada Gaitán, the National Commissioner of Mental Health and Addictions in Baja California, noted that while Xylazine use is still rare in Mexico, its presence has already been detected in our State. It remains a legal substance under the regulation of the Federal Commission against Health Risks (Cofepris) due to its veterinary applications. Like Fentanyl, it is used medically, primarily in veterinary practices, for its sedative properties that depress the central nervous system, akin to opioids.

The alert was triggered after consultations with prosecutors, health secretaries, forensic medical services, and associations such as Prevencasa in Tijuana and other rehabilitation centers. Gaitán expressed concern over the affordability of synthetic drugs like Xylazine and Fentanyl, which makes them accessible to those struggling with addiction. In the event of an overdose, it can be countered with naloxone.

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