The importance of regular xylazine testing in post-mortem cases has been highlighted by the CDC in recent a report. The analgesic drug xylazine, is used within the veterinary industry as a sedative. It has not been approved for human use, however, toxicology reports in the USA show that the use of the illegal drug is rising rapidly and is being mixed in with other drugs such as fentanyl.
In 2022, the US Drug Enforcement Administration reported that xylazine was found in 23% of seized fentanyl powder. In more recent news the White House declared fentanyl laced with xylazine as an ‘emerging threat’ on April 12th 2023.
A report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on June 30th 2023 found that “Among 21 jurisdictions, the monthly percentage of illicitly manufactured fentanyl-involved deaths with xylazine detected increased 276% from January 2019 (2.9%) to June 2022 (10.9%).” However, they note that because of inconsistent testing, detection is still likely underestimated.
According to the CDC researchers “Medical Examiners and Coroners might differ regarding whether they consider xylazine to increase fatal overdose risk, or they might be unfamiliar with xylazine and therefore not list it on death certificates. This variation highlights the importance of collecting postmortem toxicology data on all drugs detected in overdose deaths, rather than just those listed on the death certificate.”
The CDC advises that “Expanded postmortem testing for xylazine is needed to clarify prevalence in drug supplies” and that “Routine toxicology testing for xylazine in suspected overdose cases is critical for accurate surveillance”.
Randox Toxicology provide the only immunoassay test on the market which detects xylazine. Available now on our ToxPlex Array, you can simultaneously screen two samples for up to 29 drugs of abuse, including xylazine, in just 31 minutes.
The ToxPlex Array runs on our fully automated Evidence MultiSTAT analyzer. Medical Examiner and Coroner offices can use the MultiSTAT to reduce toxicology result backlogs and help alert authorities quickly to the presence of xylazine in local areas. The Evidence MultiSTAT can be operated by users with no laboratory experience, in any environment.
To learn more about our post-mortem screening visit: https://www.randoxtoxicology.com/post-mortem-toxicology/
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