Horse “Tranq” and Fentanyl mix found in east Alabama, making opioid crisis deadlier

RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) — A local east Alabama sheriff is joining The Drug Enforcement Agency as the group issues a grave warning about a dangerous drug threat spreading across the country. The combination of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid known for its potency, and xylazine, an animal tranquilizer commonly referred to as “Tranq,” has become the deadliest drug menace the United States has ever faced.

Local authorities are already grappling with the lethal blend. Sheriff Heath Taylor of Russell County revealed his office has encountered the drug mixture on multiple occasions. 

“This drug Tranq, we have had at least three runs in with it in our office,” stated Sheriff Taylor, emphasizing the growing presence of the deadly combo.

The illicit mixing of fentanyl with xylazine, a substance typically used to sedate horses, has been detected in 48 states across the country. This alarming development has significantly heightened the risk of fatal drug poisoning. Additionally, the combination poses a challenge for law enforcement and first responders, as the effectiveness of the antidote naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is diminished. 


Sheriff Taylor expressed concerns about the legal implications of the situation, stating, “The problem that I see at this point is that it is not a controlled substance, so if we find somebody who has it and it hasn’t been mixed with anything, we can’t charge them.”

Furthermore, injecting this deadly combination can result in tissue necrosis, a condition in which the drug literally “eats” away at the flesh. According to Sheriff Taylor, “The tranquilizer side of the drug, for people that are shooting it, is eating their skin and their muscles, so it’s causing an alligator-type to look on the skin where they are injecting it.”

If you’re a prescription drug addict buying drugs on the street, you will be exposed to fentanyl. And one pill can and has killed. Please reach out to medical professionals for help. 

The DEA and local authorities are urging individuals to exercise caution, seek medical assistance, and refrain from purchasing drugs from illicit sources.