The Southern Nevada Health District has detected xylazine in the local illicit drug supply through its community surveillance program where drug paraphernalia is anonymously collected and sampled in Clark County. While xylazine use has not been widely reported in Nevada, the Health District registered three overdose deaths involving xylazine in 2023 (compared to one death in 2020).

The surveillance program is part of an expanded effort to detect substances more quickly and respond. The program that detected xylazine has collected 502 samples since December 2022. In the reports received by the Health District, methamphetamine was detected in 53.7% of samples and heroin in 38.9%. Samples were taken from various paraphernalia to ensure a broad representation of the way substances are used in the community.

Xylazine, also known as “tranq,” is a potent tranquilizer that is increasingly being found in the national illicit drug supply and has been linked to overdose deaths throughout the United States. In Clark County, the age-adjusted overdose death rate involving any drug per 100,000 residents rose by 46.3% from 2018 to 2023, with overdose deaths involving fentanyl increasing by 561%, and overdose deaths involving methamphetamine increasing by 57.4% during the same period.

Xylazine is only approved for veterinary use and is not approved for human consumption. It can be life-threatening and is especially dangerous when combined with opioids, such as fentanyl. The use of xylazine can cause drowsiness, amnesia, blood sugar abnormalities, slowed breathing, slowed heartbeat, dangerously low blood pressure, wounds that can become infected, and death.

Harm reduction practices can help prevent further overdose deaths and the incidence of xylazine-related wounds and infections. The Health District provides test strips for both fentanyl and xylazine without a prescription at 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107. Additional distribution locations for fentanyl test strips can be found at

Xylazine is not an opioid, and naloxone (Narcan) will not reverse the effects of xylazine. Because xylazine is often found in substance mixtures containing fentanyl, it is important to take extra caution. Narcan should be given in response to any suspected overdose as a means of reversing any possible opioid effects. In addition, 911 should be called for further medical evaluation. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides information on responding to an opioid overdose at How to Respond to an Opioid Overdose |

To learn more about xylazine go to People who are using substances, or their loved ones, can get more information about support and resources at

The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at Follow the Health District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.