Deceased Van Buren County resident tests positive for animal sedative

The Van Buren/Cass Health Department reports it has documented a recent case in which a Van Buren County resident died and later tested positive for Xylazine.

Xylazine is a potent sedative used commonly in veterinary clinics and is not approved for human use.

Xylazine has appeared more frequently in Michigan, often mixed with fentanyl or other substances. Some drug users may not know they have taken Xylazine. Unlike fentanyl, which can be tested at-home with drug-testing kits, Xylazine cannot be screened in illicit substances without extensive lab testing.

Xylazine causes sedation and anesthesia, respiratory depression, slow heart rate, muscle relaxation and pain relief. In humans, it also causes significant slowing of the heart rate and low blood pressure. Because xylazine is not an opioid, an overdose cannot be reversed with naloxone.

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