A distressing new video shows addicts stumbling in a trance-like state along sidewalks strewn with burning trash heaps at the epicenter of Philadelphia’s “tranq” drug epidemic.
The Kensington neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia, which has become notorious for its open-air drug market, is seen crowded with hordes of drug-addled people — many of them sprawled barefoot on the filthy ground, or slumped over in the video posted on TikTok by thebizzleeffect.
Some of the addicts appear to have no control over their bodies as they are seen hunched over and struggling to remain on their feet.
Others are seen passed out on random stoops, or in one of the many makeshift homeless encampments dotting the crime-ridden neighborhood.
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Piles of garbage — some engulfed in flames — are seen littering the streets of Kensington, where men and women living with crippling drug addiction fight to survive.
Most of Kensington’s zombie-like inhabitants do not have tents and sleep directly on the ground amid clumps of refuse, with their meager possessions stuffed into plastic bags, shopping carts, backpacks or laundry baskets.
Others seem to have little more to their name than the grimy clothes on their back.
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 alarming new video highlights Democrat-controlled Philadelphia’s apparent failure to get a handle on the rising use of the drug xylazine, better known as “tranq” — a powerful horse and cattle sedative used to enhance the effects of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.
The drug is so dangerous that Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, labeled it an “emerging threat” earlier this year.
People who inject drug mixtures laced with “tranq” also can develop gaping wounds, including necrosis — the rotting of flesh — that may lead to amputation, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Xylazine was found in over 90% of drug samples tested in Philadelphia in 2021, according to city data.
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy stopped off in Kensington in July and shared footage from his visit, writing in the caption, “The people I met in Kensington, PA, couldn’t care less if you had an R or D next to your name. Fentanyl, Violence and homelessness are the problem. That’s what we show up to fix. America First.”
Philadelphia health officials have previously acknowledged that the “City of Brotherly Love” has been overwhelmed by the “tranq” epidemic.
“Xylazine has hit Philadelphia particularly hard, causing increased overdose deaths as well as severe wounds that can lead to sepsis and amputation,” the Philadelphia Department of Health and Board of Health said in a joint statement in April.
That same month, Philadelphia’s Opioid Response Unit unveiled an action plan to tackle the “tranq” crisis by reaching out to local communities in a bid to step up prevention, partnering with schools and places of worship to promote anti-drug messaging, expanding access to treatment programs and joining forces with law enforcement agencies to disrupt the open-air drug market.