Columbus police, DEA says more cases of fentanyl mixed with ‘zombie drug’ are being reported in central Ohio

PUBLISHED 11:43 PM EDT OCT. 19, 2023 on 10 WBNS

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Drug Enforcement Administration said the flow of the drug fentanyl continues to get worse and now it’s being mixed with a drug sometimes known as the “zombie drug.”

Columbus police said the drug has been reported here in Ohio.

For the last several years, the Columbus Police Crime Laboratory has encountered xylazine mixed with fentanyl or fentanyl-related substances.

The drug wasn’t deemed as a controlled substance until March 29 of this year, and since then, police say the drug has been reported 72 times by the Laboratory.

“It was designed for veterinary use, so it is not meant for human consumption and it has not been tested on humans,” said Fran Gerbig, the executive director of Prevention Action Alliance.

She said the drug is known on the streets as “tranq” or the “zombie drug.”

The drug is known to cause heart rates to slow down to sometimes deadly levels.

It even causes skin abscesses and ulcers that could require amputation.

As the problem continues to get worse, Gerbig said that’s why facilities like hers are more important now than ever.

“Everybody has the right to live their best lives and there really is no room in your best life for substance misuse,” said Gerbig.  Read more here.