American and Canadian officials respectively issued warnings in response to the increase of a highly potent veterinary sedative detected in the illicit drug supply..Xylazine, sometimes referred to as “tranq,” hasn’t been approved for human use and can have severe and often delayed effects, such as flesh-rotting, necrotic lesions and breathing depression..The substance has been spotted in the City Of Champions by the Edmonton Police Service (EPS).."EPS has apparently only encountered this drug on a couple occasions," Communications Advisor Scott Pattison for the EPS told the Western Standard on Tuesday.."It does not appear to be prevalent in our city, at this time.".READ MORE: 'TRANQ': Flesh-rotting animal tranquilizer permeating Canada's illicit drug lines.A report from Health Canada says the animal tranquilizer began emerging as an additive to opioids in 2019, most commonly mixed with fentanyl..Compiling illicit drug samples submitted to the federal agency’s Drug Analysis Service from law enforcement agencies across the country, Health Canada says the data, which shows a dramatic increase in recent years, “may not” be completely representative of drugs circulating the market..“Since 2019, there has been an increase in the number of xylazine identifications in samples submitted to the Drug Analysis Service by Canadian law enforcement agencies,” reads the report, noting the majority of samples, 75%, were submitted in Ontario..Xylazine has been prevalent in the eastern United States’ drug supply for years, occasionally making its way north to Ontario and sporadically popping up in other Canadian provinces..Permeating outward from regions it has typically been detected in, identifications across Canada jumped from 205 in 2019 to 2,324 in 2022..British Columbia saw the number of samples with xylazine quadruple from 58 in 2019 to 260 in 2022..The Health Canada report comes as officials south of the border warn the public of a “sharp increase” in the trafficking of fentanyl mixed with xylazine..“Xylazine is making the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced, fentanyl, even deadlier,” said the US Drug Enforcement Administration, highlighting officials seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 states..The administration further notes 23% of fentanyl powder seized in 2022 contained xylazine..Xylazine has no approved antidote and, since it’s not an opioid, naloxone does not reverse its effects. Its long-term impact on human health is unknown..BC's Interior Health says use of the tranquilizer is often associated with abscesses and other skin ulcerations that do not heal on their own, often becoming infected and complicated. Skin lesions do not appear near the injection sites, but can appear anywhere on the body.."Xylazine can increase health risks, and greatly increase the risk of overdose. Long blackouts, coma, and deaths have been reported," said Interior Health, noting it's unknown how prevalent the animal tranquilizer is in the ever-changing local drug supply..Now the leading cause of unnatural death in the province, the overdose crisis was declared a public health emergency in BC in 2016, and since then more than 11,000 British Columbians died as a result of illicit drugs..The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates a total of 32,632 opioid toxicity deaths occurred in Canada between January 2016 and June 2022 — with the majority in BC, Alberta, and Ontario..In America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 75,673 opioid overdose-related deaths occurred in the US during 2021 alone.