Imagine an island where most people are addicts and you will have imagined Puerto Rico. Everything about Puerto Rico is manipulated by drugs. In fact, Puerto Rico has been described as “the new front door of the war on drugs”, or “the backdoor to America.”
The localization of the island itself, the many rich ports, its commonwealth political status and relationship to the United States make it the ideal situation for drug cartels from South America and the Caribbean. The problem is that all of the drugs do not get exported and a good portion remains on the island.
One of the island’s most common drugs, mainly for being cheaper than others and producing a strong high effect, is Xylazine, better known as horse tranquilizer. This has been around for a better part of the past decade and is supposed to be used by veterinarians as an anesthetic for dental work or castration in horses.
Something that is made for animals, like Xylazine,
Probably isn’t good for humans.
When consumed by humans it causes some powerful effects such as the mind will fade in and out of conscience and the body to bend to the ground even while standing on its feet. The effects last for a little less than six hours, which is just enough time for the person to find more of the drug. Many resort to theft and panhandling in an effort to get their next fix.
A National Geographic show called “Drugs Inc.” did a special on Puerto Rico and the abuse of Xylazine. They called the addicts sleep walking zombies, living on a zombie island. Xylazine is highly addictive and started out being used to cut Heroin with. Puerto Rican injecting drug users have reported using this drug since the early 2000’s and there is no doubt that Xylazine severely impacts the health of its users and is associated with physical deterioration.