Test strips will soon be available to detect the presence of the animal sedative xylazine, also known as tranq, in illicit substances, STAT reports.
The strips can be used by health departments, grassroots harm-reduction groups and individuals. Xylzaine is increasingly found in illicit substances in the United States.
“It’s the exact same concept as fentanyl test strips,” said Alex Krotulski, a forensic toxicologist at the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education, who recently published a study on the strips’ effectiveness. “Their utility is really going to be among people who are using opioids who want to know if their opioids are adulterated.”
BTNX, the Canadian-based company that will distribute the xylazine test strips, also makes fentanyl test strips. The company told STAT the xylazine test strips will cost $200 per box of 100 – substantially more than fentanyl test strips.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a warning about the widespread threat of fentanyl mixed with the veterinary tranquilizer xylazine.