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Awareness & Recovery: Sioux Falls Halfway Houses for the Hazards Xylazine Abuse

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Sioux Falls, nicknamed “The Queen City” is the largest city in South Dakota.  It blends history and culture with a modern vibe. The city boasts a beautiful park system along the Big Sioux River. Falls Park is a must see, featuring the iconic Sioux Falls itself, cascading 100 feet down quartzite cliffs. However, within Sioux Falls’ attractiveness, there exists a looming threat: xylazine abuse and the serious hazards that come with it.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota has seen a concerning increase in drug-related issues, including xylazine abuse. Xylazine’s involvement in drug overdose deaths has varied over time. In 2015, it was implicated in less than 1% of overdose deaths across 10 US cities. However, by 2020, this percentage increased significantly, reaching nearly 7% in the same cities. In Maryland, xylazine was found in almost 80% of drug samples containing opioids. Similarly, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, xylazine was detected in numerous overdose cases.

South Dakota halfway houses offer personalized recovery plans designed to support individuals dealing with drug addiction, such as xylazine or opioids. This individualized approach is key for achieving effective rehabilitation. Halfway houses in Sioux Falls focus on creating a supportive environment for people transitioning from inpatient treatment to independent living. If you or someone you know is struggling with xylazine or other substances, it’s important to consider the benefits that halfway houses can provide in aiding recovery.

What is the drug rate in South Dakota?

South Dakota’s drug situation is complex. While the state has a lower rate of self-reported illicit drug use compared to the national average, it has also seen a concerning rise in drug overdose deaths. According to some studies, 6.07% of South Dakota residents reported using illicit drugs in the past month, compared to a national average of 8.82%. This suggests that overall drug use may be slightly less prevalent in the state.

However, despite the lower reported use, South Dakota has experienced an increase in drug overdose deaths. In 2021, the state had 12.6 deaths per 100,000 people due to drug overdose. This number is still lower than the national average, but it has risen significantly from 7.1 deaths per 100,000 people in 2011.  Fentanyl and methamphetamine are particularly concerning drugs involved in a large portion of these overdose deaths.

What is xylazine used for?

Xylazine, also known as “tranq” or “tranq dope,” is a non-opioid tranquilizer. It is a prescription medication used in veterinary medicine. It acts as a sedative, analgesic (pain reliever), and muscle relaxant for various animals, most commonly cats, dogs, horses, sheep, and cattle. Veterinarians sometimes combine xylazine with other medications, like ketamine, to achieve anesthesia during surgery. Although it is not approved for use in people, it has significant implications due to its presence in the illegal drug supply in the United States, especially South Dakota. 

It can cause severe side effects in humans, including dangerously slowed breathing (respiratory depression), low blood pressure, and even seizures. The risk of death is significant, especially when xylazine is combined with other drugs, particularly opioids. Abuse of xylazine can significantly increase the risk of overdose from other drugs, particularly opioids. This is a major concern as xylazine is increasingly being found cut into illicit drugs. Long-term use of xylazine in humans can lead to the development of skin ulcers. These ulcers are notoriously difficult to heal and prone to infection.

What reverses the effects of xylazine?

Xylazine overdose is a serious situation. There is currently no specific medication to completely reverse its effects. This is because xylazine is not an opioid, and naloxone, the medication used to reverse opioid overdoses, won’t be effective for xylazine alone. 

However, there are still steps you can take to help someone experiencing a suspected xylazine overdose. Since xylazine is often mixed with opioids like fentanyl, administering naloxone can still be beneficial. Naloxone can help counteract the opioid effects, which can be critical in saving the person’s life.

In the long term, to prevent xylazine overdoses and dependence, consider seeking help from a drug treatment center in Sioux Falls. These centers offer medical detox, therapy, and support groups in a safe environment. They can help individuals overcome addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Promoting Safety by Being Aware of the Serious Hazards of Xylazine Abuse through Sioux Falls Halfway Houses

Xylazine abuse poses a significant threat to health and safety. This veterinary medication, increasingly mixed with illegal drugs like fentanyl, is not intended for human consumption and can have severe consequences. One major danger is the increased risk of overdose. Xylazine slows down the central nervous system, particularly breathing. When combined with opioids that have the same effect, this significantly raises the chance of a fatal overdose. The rate of drug overdose deaths involving xylazine in Sioux Falls, South Dakota increased significantly from 0.03 per 100,000 standard population in 2018 to 1.06 in 2021.

Halfway houses in Sioux Falls serve as not only stable residences but also as hubs of community-building among residents. Through meaningful connections with peers who share similar experiences, individuals establish a supportive network that fosters accountability. This communal setting is particularly vital during their stay in the halfway house and as they transition into society. These residential health facilities specialize in assisting individuals grappling with drug addiction, including xylazine. With recovery within reach, South Dakota halfway houses provide essential support for those striving to reclaim a healthier lifestyle. Reach out today for additional guidance!


[1] Substance Use Data & Reports – Department of Health South Dakota

[2] Xylazine – Centers of Disease Control and Prevention

[3] Xylazine cases arriving in South Dakota – Dakota News Now

Primary Service: Treatment for substance use disorders (SUD's)

Address : 4000 South West Avenue , Sioux Falls, 57109

Primary Service: Dual diagnosis / co-occurring treatment - Mental health and substance abuse

Address : 516 W 12th Street, Sioux Falls, 57104

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