Drug Users Are Losing Their Fingers and Toes After Shooting ‘Tranq Dope’

Bill’s hands are so disfigured that he can no longer fit gloves over them. 

About two months ago, his right ring finger was amputated. In a matter of weeks, he could lose the middle finger on his left hand, which was swollen with a large, maroon-colored sore covering the knuckle when VICE News met him on a recent morning in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood. 

The lesions are markers of a drug Bill said he never intended to consume. Xylazine, an animal tranquilizer known on the street as “tranq” or “tranq dope,” has infiltrated Philly’s illicit opioid supply. The 59-year-old, who did not share his last name with VICE News, shivered as he hunted for mittens at an outreach event for drug users in Kensington. 

“Boy, this is angry,” said a nurse who volunteers with the harm reduction group Savage Sisters, while examining a wound on one of Bill’s fingers at a pop-up wound care clinic at Kensington’s McPherson Park, known locally as Needle Park because of its open-air drug use. 

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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