The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) has disclosed the results of its investigation, which lasted for a month, aimed at determining the composition of a suspected narcotic substance. This substance was associated with individuals captured in a video at the Coast region, exhibiting symptoms of drowsiness, confusion, and resembling ‘zombies’.
In a statement to the media, NACADA’s Acting CEO, Prof. John Muteti, mentioned that they collected 20 samples of this unidentified substance in various forms from three coastal counties. These samples were subjected to forensic analysis, and the tests revealed that the narcotic substances were not Fentanyl, as initially suspected, but rather a combination of heroin along with several prescription drugs and animal tranquilizers.
Muteti explained, “The zombie-like symptoms observed in the drug users can be attributed to one or a combination of the following factors: a high dose of heroin, a combination of heroin with high doses of prescription drugs like Diazepam and Amitriptyline, a combination of methadone with heroin, high doses of prescription drugs along with other substances, and the use of heroin either alone or in combination with Xylazine, which is a veterinary animal tranquilizer.”
According to Muteti, the detection of Xylazine in the samples is a cause for concern, as it raises the possibility of a public health crisis when treating cases of Xylazine overdose. This is because the life-saving drug Naloxone is not effective in counteracting its overdose effects.
Muteti emphasized, “The scientific evidence obtained from our investigation clearly indicates the emerging issue of non-medical use of veterinary drugs. Urgent measures are needed to regulate and control the diversion of such drugs into the illegal market. This should include serious consideration of scheduling Xylazine and other veterinary drugs that are susceptible to abuse to prevent such situations.”
Muteti also commended members of the public for bringing this matter to NACADA’s attention.