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Connecticut attorney general leads a bipartisan coalition of 39 states combating illicit xylazine

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong
Ebong Udoma
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong is leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from 39 states who sent a letter to Congress urging the passage of federal legislation to combat the trafficking of illicit xylazine.

Xylazine is a potent veterinary medicine that is only approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is used to sedate and relieve pain in large animals.

The drug is widely mixed with opioids like fentanyl and is responsible for a surge in overdose deaths nationwide, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

That’s why the coalition wants tougher federal regulation of the drug which goes by the street name “tranq" and is easily obtainable online.

“We are starting with a letter to Congress to encourage Congress to take swift action to protect our communities from xylazine or tranq,” Tong said. “That’s now turning up in cities and towns across Connecticut, across this country. New England is particularly bad hit by 'tranq' and like fentanyl, it's killing people.”

The attorneys general of New York, Florida and Tennessee joined Tong in leading the coalition.

Other states in the coalition are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.