Brandeis StreetCheck Project Keeps Close Eye On Street Drug Supply

Photo: Chaiel Schaffel/WBZ NewsRadio

WALTHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A project at Brandeis University is helping people better understand what's inside the street drug supply.

The StreetCheck project tests thousands of used street drug samples from across Massachusetts and the rest of the country to determine if there are any additives in them, then publishes the data online for healthcare providers and drug users.

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"In essence, we’re really looking hard at a lot of trash, but it’s really important trash," said Dr. Traci Green, who runs the program.

Green stressed the importance of making the data easily available to people to help see trends and prevent the worst.

"People have to die, be arrested, be hospitalized, pretty much be maimed or really badly hurt to know what exactly it was that caused this problem," Green said.

Green said the project is especially important with the rise of a drug called Xylazine, also known by the street name Tranq. Xylazine began as a horse tranquilizer, but in recent years has been getting added to Fentanyl to give users a longer high.

"The presence of Xylazine means that overdose looks different. We have to respond differently," Green said.

WBZ’s Chaiel Schaffel (@CSchaffelWBZ) reports.

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