Keystone Lab, a dual-CAP accredited and CLIA certified lab based in Asheville, NC, has officially added xylazine to its in-house urine clinical toxicology menu. Keystone provides clinical and forensic toxicology testing services throughout the southeastern U.S. and is one of few labs in the nation to offer xylazine testing.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, xylazine is a non-opioid tranquilizer that is only authorized in the U.S. for veterinary use. Products containing xylazine most commonly use the street names of “tranq,” “tranq dope,” and “zombie drug.”
Further Reading: Combination Fentanyl and Xylazine Test Strip to Combat Opioid Deaths
The current presidential administration designated fentanyl combined with xylazine as an emerging threat to the United States. The DEA Laboratory System reported that in 2022, approximately 23% of fentanyl powder and 7% of fentanyl pills seized by the DEA contained xylazine. They also reported that xylazine-positive overdose deaths increased by 1,127% in the southern U.S. between 2020 and 2021, with those numbers continuing to increase.
“Xylazine is frequently used as an adulterant in heroin and illicit fentanyl, and its prevalence in toxicology samples are primarily from medico-legal death investigations and DUI cases. It has become a major issue in the U.S., with xylazine-positive overdose deaths dramatically increasing in southern states. Xylazine also has an extremely high presence in North Carolina counties, which has urged Keystone to move quickly toward test development for this drug,” says Dr James Bourland, scientific director of Keystone Lab. “Adding this test in-house will allow Keystone to better service the patients of our clients and provide additional peace of mind as xylazine usage continues to spread.”
About Keystone Lab
Keystone Lab is a dual CAP-accredited and CLIA certified lab providing clinical and forensic toxicology testing services for more than 35 years. Keystone has developed an innovative platform of services to ensure the success and growth of organizations throughout the United States.