Nevada County has now had positive tests for xylazine (also known as “tranq” and “tranq dope”) on both sides of the county. The first positive tests were from Truckee in late June 2023 and in Western Nevada County in late October 2023.
Xylazine is a non-opioid veterinary tranquilizer that lowers blood pressure and heart rate and has a sedating effect. While xylazine is not an opioid, it is often mixed with opioids like fentanyl and heroin. As a result, in the event of an overdose where xylazine is suspected, giving Narcan is still a key part of overdose response.
The Homeless Housing Resource Center has a helpful fact sheet (also available in Spanish) with research and information about xylazine, including overdose response best practices.
As the fact sheet states: “It is important to note that any person who is suspected to be experiencing an overdose should have their respiratory and cardiac status assessed and should be administered naloxone and/or rescue breaths and chest compressions as appropriate and based on responder training. Call 911 and administer naloxone if a person is not breathing.”
Xylazine test strips are available through BTNX and DanceSafe to test for the presence of xylazine in drugs. Contact KnowOverdoseNC@gmail.com to inquire about their availability, since supplies are limited.
Additional information about xylazine is available at the resources listed and shared below: