TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) – The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office is warning of an increase in the use of an animal tranquilizer in people, which doesn’t respond to Narcan.

The Sheriff’s Office issued a warning on October 5, saying it has seen an uptick in overdose cases where Narcan isn’t effective or the person requires multiple doses.

The warning tied this to the rise of Xylazine, also known as “tranq dope”. The drug is an animal tranquilizer not approved for humans, the Sheriff’s Office said. The warning also said the drug is showing up in the heroin and cocaine supply.

While it is a sedative and lowers the heart rate and breathing, it is not an opioid, the Sheriff’s Office said. As such, “a deep xylazine sedation” won’t respond to naloxone, unlike an opioid overdose which usually results in a “dramatic awakening”, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

However, the Sheriff’s warning said that Narcan is still important to use because “tranq dope” is often mixed with an opioid. The County Health Department has a list of local services and support regarding opioid use.