Flesh-eating zombie drug tranq dope that is ripping through the US killed my brother… its evil and could hit the UK next | The Sun

A WOMAN whose brother was killed by a flesh-eating zombie drug ripping through the US has warned it could hit the UK next.

Karl Warburton, 43, was found dead at his home in Solihull after using a cocktail of drugs – including the powerful sedative xylazine, which leaves users in a trance-like stupor.

A West Midlands coroner ruled that Warburton died because of acute aspiration pneumonitis, a condition often caused by inhaling toxins.

The father-of-two became the first known person to die in the UK after taking what is known as “tranq dope”.

Xylazine, which is known on the streets as tranq dope, has been dubbed a zombie drug due to the way it eats through flesh, leaving users with disgusting wounds.

The horror drug is known to have killed 107,000 people in the US in 2021.

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The drug is hard to trace in the UK because screenings here are not designed to trace it and there are fears it is increasingly being added to heroin supplies in this country.

Karl died in May last year after taking a fatal mix of fentanyl and heroin – which dealers are said to mix xylazine into.

Tranq users have found raw wounds erupting on their skin at the injection sites which have rotted the surrounding flesh and caused infection, sometimes leading to amputation.

Karl’s older sister, Diane Warburton, fears similar scenes could now be seen on many of Britain’s streets in the near future.

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Diane, 48, a mum-of-three told MailOnline: “It doesn’t bear thinking about, this xylazine is a killer. It’s evil stuff.”

She added: “There is a big problem with drugs in Birmingham and in the Midlands, as there is across the country, and this new drug, now here from America, will make the issue much worse.

“The thing is when you get as low as Karl did, you don’t really care what you’re putting into your body as long as it numbs you.”

Diane said she had no idea of how or where he got the drug and believes Karl didn’t even know what was in the stuff he took before he died.

She added the drug dealers don’t care what they cut their heroin with, just as long as they maximise the money they make.

She also warned that the sale of the drug had to be stopped before it could take hold here.

Karl's death certificate listed xylazine as contributing to, but not directly causing his passing.

His older brother Alan, 46, also shared his worries about tranq dope.

Alan said: “I think the police just see it as a drug overdose like they always do, and they do f*** all about it.

"It’s really serious, especially when you see what he was killed with. There’s more to it.” 

But an expert fears the West Midlands' dad isn't the first in the UK to die after using it – nor will he be the last.

National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths group director Caroline Copeland told The Times: “Xylazine is not in the standard drug screens done and there could be many more going undetected.

"How big is the UK’s Xylazine problem? This could be the tiniest tip of a growing iceberg.”

It was found that Karl was unlikely to have been a regular user of Xylazine because his body was found to be physically fit at the post-mortem examination.

The dad had a rough upbringing and turned to crime and drugs.

And that's why neighbour Teresa Hayes, 68, was shocked to hear he had died after taking heroin.

She said she knew he would smoke cannabis – but never expected he took anything else.

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Teresa said: “When I heard about heroin, I said, ‘No. not Karl.’

"I have never known him to have hard drugs at all. I still find it hard to believe that he took those drugs.”

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