Flesh-eating ‘zombie’ drug claims first UK victim after ravaging US cities
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A flesh-eating drug which turns users into 'zombies' has claimed its first UK victim after making its way to the Midlands.
Karl Warburton, 43, is believed to have died last May from the effects of xylazine mixed with heroin, fentanyl and cocaine, a drug initially found in the United States.
The drugs cocktail is believed to have caused acute aspiration pneumonitis, a condition relating to inhaling toxins, with a coroner's report and death certificate showing xylazine was specifically responsible for his death.
READ MORE: 'Monkey dust' sweeps UK with terrifying drug zombies left roaming streets
Warburton's death marks the first reported casualty to come from a double bill of chilling new illegal substances spreading like wildfire around the Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
Xylazine, a tranquiliser most often used by vets, leaves people in a zombie-like state and rots their skin from the inside after multiple uses.
Such a drug has now found itself in the UK alongside "monkey dust", a separate drug which leaves its users mindless and phased out of the real world.
Warburton, a father-of-two, had taken xylazine and was found dead at his home in Birmingham last May surrounded by drug paraphernalia.
Those worried over the introduction of the drug to UK shores have questioned just how difficult a problem the new substance could be, with NPSAD director Caroline Copeland, telling DailyMail it's the "tiniest tip of a growing iceberg."
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Although few studies have been carried out on the effects of xylazine in humans, the US Food and Drug Administration had approved the use of the toxin in animals.
To process it for those taking a hit, xylazine is usually mixed with opioids like fentanyl, although the FDA has made it clear the drug, which leaves people "knocked out", is not an opioid itself.
Nurses are now describing the horrors of the drug, which leaves its users with rotted flesh as the drug is "eating away your flesh from the inside out," with some of the worst cases showing grim open wounds.
The drug, which has already spread throughout Philadelphia and Los Angeles, leaving people drugged out and zombified, has now made its way to Birmingham.
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