New York Department of Health officials are sounding the alarm over a dangerous substance that's circulating in the immediate area.

The DOH said this substance in the Central New York drug market contains a powerful tranquilizer that is meant to stop an elephant in its tracks.


This potentially lethal drug mixture is being sold in a powder-like form in bags labeled "Super Mario."  The DOH is urging residents to avoid these packages because of what they contain.

The active compounds included a combination of fentanyl, xylazine, diphenhydramine, heroin (trace), and carfentanil (trace).

Carfentanil is an elephant tranquilizer that is at least 100 more potent than fentanyl, reports the Washington Post. This drug has already claimed lives nationwide and it's now in Central New York.

What makes this "Super Mario"-branded drugs more dangerous is the addition of Xylazine, otherwise known by the street names "tranq" or "tranq dope." It is also a powerful sedative or tranquilizer, but it doesn't contain opioids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn it is not approved in the country for use in people because of the alarming side effects.

People who take xylazine can have difficulty breathing, dangerously low blood pressure, a slowed heart rate, and even death. Skin wounds can also become infected and worsen when xylazine is consumed.

"Illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl can be mixed with xylazine, either to enhance drug effects or increase street value by increasing their weight," the institution warned.


Because it doesn't contain opioids, naloxone can't reverse these side effects in the event of an overdose - and CPR may be needed.

Read More: CNY Native Jackie Siegel Warns Local Parents about Teen Drug Use

The "Super Mario" packages circulating in Central New York have resulted in serious health issues from admitted users.

Individuals using the substance reported it “knocking them out”. The sample was reportedly linked to severe wounds treated in the emergency department; with wounds reported to have developed within 2 to 3 weeks from use.

Victims said they experienced difficulty breathing, skin lesions, extremely long blackouts, and symptoms of an overdose.

Health officials are urging users to order test strips to help avoid mixtures that contain a deadly mixture of fentanyl and xylazine. You can request them HERE.

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DOH officials say they were able to confirm the drug's presence in Central New York through its Community Drug Checking Program. Those who participate in it said they noticed a supply change last month and raised concerns and provided samples of the mixture to the state.

Those who are in a crisis or are looking to get clean can contact the Office of Addiction Services and Supports by calling 1-877-8-HOPENY (46-7369) or by texting 467369.

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