New York Daily News: By Shant Shahrigian – “Evil” drug dealers are peddling a vile substance that could make dreaded fentanyl look “tame” in comparison, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned Sunday.

“We all know what a scourge fentanyl has been across the New York area,” the New York Democrat said, referring to the deadly synthetic opioid that’s been fueling a spike in city overdose deaths.

“Now we’re seeing a new, even worse type of drug being mixed with fentanyl,” he continued. “This new drug could be a nightmare. It’s called xylazine. It’s a deadly, skin-rotting zombie drug that evil drug dealers are now mixing with fentanyl, with heroin and with other drugs.”

Saying xylazine, also known as “tranq,” is “already bringing a horrific wave of death and overdose to upstate New York,” he called on the feds to take action as the drug spreads in the Big Apple and on Long Island.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., attends a news conference about abortion access, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., attends a news conference about abortion access, Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington – AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Schumer urged the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to send in a “diversion control team” to help prevent xylazine — which veterinarians use legally — from being used in the illicit drug trade.

He also promised increased federal funding to help with substance abuse and mental health in the city and on Long Island, though he did not specify the amount.

Last year, Suffolk County saw 16 deaths involving xylazine and Nassau County, four, Schumer said.

There’s been a comparable rise in xylazine-related deaths in New York City, according to a Schumer spokesman, who cited the city medical examiner’s office. The medical examiner’s data have not been finalized.

“Xylazine is making the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced, fentanyl, even deadlier,” Drug Enforcement Administration chief Anne Milgram said in a recent public safety alert.

Unlike fentanyl, which fueled a 27% increase in city overdose deaths in 2021, the overdose prevention drug Narcan doesn’t work on xylazine, Schumer noted.

“Xylazine is dangerous, it is deadly, it is here. We have to fight,” he said.

Top Feature Photo: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would make addressing the scourge of xylazine a priority in upcoming budget proposals.