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The Potential Threat of the Zombie Drug in California

meth zombie drug

Within the illicit drug landscape, a new drug in California has turned heads and piqued the concerns of public health and government officials. This hazardous concoction has garnered attention as an emerging threat to the United States. Banyan Treatment Centers Palm Springs is here to navigate the potential implications and risks posed by the zombie drug in California. What is this alarming substance, and how might its presence evolve within the state? What effects does it induce in those exposed, and how can healthcare providers manage its repercussions? Join us in unraveling the complexities surrounding this perilous substance and understanding the measures required to address its emergence in California's illicit drug market.

What Is the Zombie Drug?

This hazardous drug is a strong mixture of xylazine and fentanyl that has been tampered with or mixed. Law enforcement and public health experts are becoming increasingly concerned about this troubling trend that has surfaced in the illegal drug market in recent years. Xylazine, which was once licensed by the FDA for use as a veterinary sedative, has made its way into the black market and is known by street names like "tranq" or "tranq dope." On April 12, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration identified fentanyl laced with xylazine as an emerging threat to the United States due to the seriousness of the situation.1

Zombie drug effects in humans can include:1

  • Opioid-like persistence: Users may continue to experience effects similar to opioids even after receiving opioid-blocking medications.
  • Cardiovascular issues: The drug can cause low blood pressure, slow heart rate, or disruptions in heart rhythm, putting a strain on the heart.
  • Central nervous system impact: Due to its alpha-2 adrenergic agonist properties, the drug affects the central nervous system similarly to certain medications, leading to unique physiological responses.
  • Severe skin problems: Users, especially those with substance use disorders, may face skin issues such as abscesses and ulcers, adding another layer of health concerns.

If you suspect exposure or encounter someone experiencing these effects, seek immediate medical attention. Healthcare providers can offer supportive care, manage withdrawal symptoms, and address the associated skin problems to minimize potential complications.

The Emerging Presence of the California Zombie Drug

Concerns have been mounting over the potential infiltration of the zombie drug into California's illicit drug supply. This perilous mixture of fentanyl and xylazine, already designated as an emerging threat to the United States, has manifested with particular severity in the northeastern regions. While the presence of xylazine in California's illicit drug market has not reached the alarming levels observed in the northeastern U.S., experts and health authorities remain vigilant, expressing apprehension about the drug's potential to gain ground in the state. Monitoring and addressing the emerging threat of the California zombie drug are imperative to proactively safeguard the well-being of individuals at risk of exposure.1

Understanding and responding to the emergence of the zombie drug in California necessitates a coordinated effort, especially considering its deadly composition. Public health initiatives, community education, and proactive measures within the healthcare system are vital components of a comprehensive strategy to curb the potential rise of this dangerous substance in the Golden State.

How Banyan’s Southern California Can Help You Heal

In the face of the escalating threat posed by the zombie drug in California, seeking professional assistance becomes paramount for those affected. With a well-established track record of providing compassionate and efficient drug addiction help in California, we are prepared to support you on your path to recovery. Our California rehabs provide an extensive array of addiction treatment programs specifically designed to tackle the special difficulties presented by substance abuse. Personalized and evidence-based approaches are the foundation of Banyan's approach, which extends to residential programs for immersion care or outpatient programs, offering flexibility for individuals with ongoing obligations.

Our Palm Springs rehab also offers medical detoxification services, recognizing the crucial need for a safe and supportive start to the recovery process. Our detox programs are led by medical specialists with extensive experience, and they put the comfort and health of people going through the first phases of withdrawal first. We understand the intricacies of addiction and are dedicated to providing a road to recovery at Banyan.

To learn more about the program types we offer and how they can benefit your or your loved one’s recovery, call Banyan Palm Springs at 888-280-4763.


  1. CDPH - State of California: Health and Human Services Agency: California Department of Public Health
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
The Potential Threat of the Zombie Drug in California
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