Disturbing new footage depicts people stumbling down sidewalks littered with burning garbage piles while in a trance-like state, at the center of Philadelphia's "tranq" drug epidemic.
In the video released on TikTok by thebizzleeffect, the Kensington neighbourhood in northeast Philadelphia, which has gained notoriety for its open-air drug market, is crammed with throngs of drug-addled people, many of whom are splayed barefoot on the dirty ground or slumped over.
Some of the addicts are shown slumped over and straining to stay upright, giving the impression that they have no control over their body.
Others are observed dozing off on impromptu stoops or in one of the several temporary homeless camps scattered across the violent neighbourhood.
The streets of Kensington, where people struggling to live from chronic drug addiction, are littered with piles of trash, some of which are aflame.
The majority of Kensington's zombie-like residents lack tents and sleep outside among piles of trash while carrying their few belongings in plastic bags, shopping carts, backpacks, or laundry baskets.
Others appear to be little more than the soiled clothing they are wearing.
Kensington’s desperate business owners have resorted to using booby traps and “hacks” for protection, Frank Rodriguez, a recovering heroin addict-turned-activist, told Fox News.
“There are businesses that set up sprinkler systems, so they can just be inside and hit a button and the sprinkler system goes off,” Rodriguez said.
The worrying new video emphasises Philadelphia's apparent inability to manage the expanding usage of the narcotic xylazine, sometimes known as "tranq"—a potent horse and cow tranquiliser used to increase the effects of heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl.
This year, Dr Rahul Gupta, head of the Office of National Substance Control Policy, declared the drug to be an "emerging threat" due to its extreme hazard.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, those who inject drug mixes laced with "tranq" may also have gaping wounds and necrosis, which is the rotting of flesh and may require amputation.
According to city data, xylazine was discovered in more than 90% of the drug samples examined in Philadelphia in 2021.
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