Friday, October 04, 2013

Puerto Rico's Private Drug Hell

Deadly and more addictive than crystal meth. A drug with horrific sleep walking side effects - the horse tranquilizer Xylazine, known on the streets of Puerto Rico as 'Anaesthesia'. It's a shocking new drug that is unique to this island. It turns users into zombies, causing them to faze in and out of consciousness even while standing on their feet.

Xylazine first began appearing on the black market in Puerto Rico's horse farming towns in early 2000. It works as a suppressant on the central nervous system. It's so strong, Puerto Rican vets normally use it to tranquilize horses for dental work and castration procedures. Xylazine is cheap and easy to purchase on the black market without a veterinary license. One 100mg bottle can cost between $60 to $80 which can turn over $5-6,000 on the street once it has been cooked and prepared.

One in seven are drug users in Puerto Rico. Often the conditions on the streets are so bad that many addicts are happy to be sent to prison just to receive treatment. It is a country that has double the murders of New York but only half the population (3.7 million). On average there's a murder every 8 hours with 80% drug related.

With 90% of the world's cocaine coming from South America, and Puerto Rico becoming the cartels preferred route into cities on the east coast of America, how long will it be before drugs like Xylazine buries it's hooks further afield? The drugs crisis in Puerto Rico is sinking to new depths, as more and more addicts join the ranks of 'the living dead', turning this paradise into a 'zombie island'

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