The Current State of Xylazine

by | Apr 24, 2024

The Current State of Xylazine


What is Xylazine? 

A tranquilizer called xylazine has been increasingly found on the black market and associated with an alarming number of overdoses and deaths in the United States. State legislatures across the county have reacted in different ways to combat this emerging public health threat. 

Xylazine, also known as “tranq,” is a non-opiate sedative, analgesic, and muscle relaxant only authorized for veterinary use. Xylazine is not approved by the FDA for human use, nor is it a controlled substance under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act.  

CDC Concern Increasing Regulations 

The CDC has authored several articles regarding the concern over the number of overdoses involving xylazine mixed with fentanyl and other black-market drugs. In response to the challenges faced and the growing concern, more and more state legislatures have introduced bills increasing regulations around this medication.  

State Actions Being Taken 

Recently, we have seen changes to regulations around xylazine as many states have decided to classify it as a controlled scheduled drug, therefore requiring it to be treated as any other controlled substance.  

Any facility that handles this drug (such as drug manufacturers, wholesale distributors, hospitals, pharmacies, and scientific researchers) must register with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and obtain a Controlled Substance license issued by the state’s Boards of Pharmacy (if applicable).  

Records of all transactions involving Controlled substances must be maintained and available for review by the FDA or the Boards of Pharmacy at any given time and facilities must ensure the security and integrity of this medication as required by the DEA and any specific rules/regulations set by the Boards of Pharmacy they are licensed in. Below is a list of the states that have classified xylazine as a scheduled drug: 

  • Delaware (CIII) 
  • Florida (CI – with currently no exceptions for veterinary use) 
  • Massachusetts (CVI) 
  • Ohio (CIII) 
  • Pennsylvania (CIII) 
  • Rhode Island (CV) 
  • South Dakota (CIII) 
  • West Virginia (CIV) 

Arizona has also taken action and has chosen to classify xylazine as a dangerous drug.  

Future Bills and Regulations 

Because of the known harms and increased use of xylazine in the black market, we expect to see more states regulating and classifying this drug. Currently, fifteen states have pending bills/executive orders to more tightly regulate the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of this sedative approved only for veterinary use.  

  • Arizona 
  • California  
  • Delaware  
  • Florida  
  • Hawaii  
  • Illinois 
  • Michigan  
  • Missouri 
  • New Jersey 
  • New York 
  • Ohio  
  • Pennsylvania 
  • South Carolina 
  • Vermont 
  • Virginia 


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