SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and law enforcement are warning about a new drug that’s contributing to rising overdoses across New York.

Xylazine, also called “Tranq,” is a sedative commonly used as a tranquilizer for large animals. The drug is resistant to naloxone and increases the risk of an overdose when combined with other drugs like fentanyl and heroin.

“Xylazine use is associated with increased skin ulcers, abscesses and other health complications,” Keith Brown, Schenectady County Director of Public Health, said.

The substance has already been detected in Albany and Schenectady Counties and Central New York.

“We’ve been tracing this now since about 2020, we’ve had a number of cases,” Craig Apple, Albany County Sheriff, said. “Because it’s so cheap and because it still has the harmful effects of fentanyl and heroin, people are dying out there.” 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced a plan to combat the rising use of Xylazine by calling on the Food and Drug Administration to track down the drug. The plan also includes $537 Million for law enforcement and other money to develop a test to detect the drug with grant funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 

“If we can launch all three of these approaches, the chances of Xylazine becoming the kind of scourge that it has in other places has decreased greatly,” Schumer said.