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May 18, 2023

Xylazine Trends and Toxicology: Role of an Overdose Fatality Review

The White House Office of National Drug Control and Policy recently officially designated fentanyl adulterated or associated with xylazine as an emerging threat. Xylazine is a non-opioid tranquilizer approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for veterinary use but not human use. The presence of xylazine in combination with fentanyl varies across geography and is rapidly worsening negative health consequences among those who use substances.

A growing number of communities are using overdose fatality reviews (OFRs) to combat the overdose crisis. As OFRs across the country see a growing number of fatalities with xylazine involved, it is important to recruit members who can assist with understanding substance trends in the area and interpreting toxicology results.

This webinar will assist OFRs in understanding emerging drug trends and the role various partners play in addressing and preventing this growing public health issue.

During this webinar, presenters will:

  • Describe xylazine and fentanyl drug trends.
  • Review medical use and signs and symptoms of fentanyl and xylazine use and withdrawal.
  • Explain xylazine toxicology, lab testing, and medical treatment.
  • Summarize the roles of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and poison centers/toxicologists as OFR members.


  • Kahrlton Moore, Director, BJA (Opening Remarks)
  • Mallory O'Brien, MS, PhD, Senior Policy Advisor, BJA COSSUP and Consultant, IPA, CDC (Welcome)
  • Melissa Heinen, BSN, MPH, Senior Research Associate, IIR (Moderator)
  • Captain Jason Piotrowski, Office of Drug Monitoring and Analysis, New Jersey State Police (Presenter)
  • Daniel Brooks, MD, Medical Director, Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, Phoenix, Arizona (Presenter)


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