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Moody issues a xylazine alert: Prevalence of drug is increasing in Florida

 FDLE Special Agent in Charge Eli Lawson talks during a news conference at the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. With him, from left, are 12th Circuit State Attorney Ed Brodsky, Sarasota Police Chief Rex Troche, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Hoffman. They issued a public safety alert about the dangers of xylazine.
Office of the State Attorney for the 12th Judicial Circuit / Twitter
FDLE Special Agent in Charge Eli Lawson talks during a news conference at the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. With him, from left, are 12th Circuit State Attorney Ed Brodsky, Sarasota Police Chief Rex Troche, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Hoffman. They issued a public safety alert about the dangers of xylazine.

At a Sarasota news conference, Attorney General Ashley Moody says xylazine is being mixed with other, more common illegal drugs, and being sold to unsuspecting users.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has issued a public safety alert for Floridians about the dangers of a xylazine, a powerful veterinary sedative.

Moody discussed the drug’s dangers Wednesday during a news conference at the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. She was joined by Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Hoffman, FDLE Special Agent in Charge Eli Lawson, local State Attorney Ed Brodsky and Sarasota Police Chief Rex Troche.

According to Moody, more than 230 Floridians died with xylazine in their system in 2021, and the prevalence of the drug is increasing.

It is now the sixth-most frequently identified drug in Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime labs, Lawson says. “This growing challenge is serious,” he says.

The drug, which is being mixed with fentanyl, makes it difficult for first responders to administer immediate treatment to those overdosing on the synthetic opioid.

Moody says xylazine is being mixed with other, more common illegal drugs, and being sold to unsuspecting users.

“It is now so important that you seek help. One dose, one use can kill, because of these highly potent synthetic opioid drugs and other drugs that are causing overdose deaths.” Moody says.

Moody is also asking the Drug Enforcement Administration to add xylazine to the federal list of controlled substances. It has been outlawed in Florida since 2016 but is showing up throughout the state.

“We have confirmed through our detectives and laboratory personnel that xylazine has been seized here in Sarasota County,” Hoffman says. “The drug’s lack of a response to Narcan complicates law enforcement’s abilities when encountered.”

The drug has been approved only for veterinary use by the Food and Drug Administration.

Moody’s office says anyone struggling with substance-abuse issues should visit DoseOfRealityFL.com, a statewide resource with information for combating drug abuse. Those struggling with addiction can find treatment resources at TreatmentAtlas.org.

Copyright 2023 Health News Florida

Tom Urban - News Service of Florida
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