ST. LOUIS – A veterinary drug used to sedate horses is being mixed into drugs sold illegally on the streets across St. Louis. A FOX Files investigation reveals an alarming spike in the last month of a new drug mixture that is literally rotting people’s skin. The video from this story may be difficult to view because the wounds are so graphic, but the issue is important to understand.

FOX 2 spoke with a man who wanted to remain anonymous. He showed us the open wounds he has on his arms that won’t heal. They’re caused by injecting fentanyl mixed with xylazine, a sedation drug used by veterinarians on large animals. In humans, the drug causes the skin to form large, open sores. Drug dealers are cutting fentanyl with xylazine to extend the high and make more money by adding a less expensive, easy to get drug.

The addict we spoke with says xylazine is all over south St. Louis. The Missouri Network For Opiate Reform and Recovery, also known as Mo Network, treats people with the large wounds. Their research director says they’re giving away wound-supply kits at unprecedented rates. All of the street drugs tested by Mo Network are 100% positive for xylazine.

Narcan only works on fentanyl overdoses, not xylazine. DEA Special Agent in Charge Mike Davis says almost a quarter of the DEA’s fentanyl powder seizures now contain xylazine. The animal drug is also showing up in cocaine, meth, and heroin.