Home World This Philadelphia drug has “descended” deeper into disarray this year, with emaciated addicts and former users…

This Philadelphia drug has “descended” deeper into disarray this year, with emaciated addicts and former users…

This Philadelphia drug has “descended” deeper into disarray this year, with emaciated addicts and former users…

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Warning: This story contains graphic images.

Philadelphia’s most lawless, drug-plagued neighborhood is becoming more miserable and pain-ridden in 2023, a former resident said, calling on local officials to take action.

“Kensington has descended into a deeper level of despair in 2023 as a whole. There’s been no progress,” Frank Rodriguez, a recovering heroin addict who was dealing drugs in the neighborhood, told Fox News. “Kensington is the land of outlaws. Any vice you have, or anything you want to get involved in, you can go to Kensington and the cops won’t bother you.”

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Kensington Streets in Philadelphia

A child looks at drug addicts in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. (John Michael Rush/Fox News Digital)

More than 1,400 people died in Philadelphia — a new record — from drug overdoses in 2022, according to the city’s health department’s latest data available. This represents an 11% increase over the previous year.

Kensington, a neighborhood known globally for drug dealing and outdoor consumption, is among the areas most affected by overdose deaths, data shows.

“If this is not the time to step back and re-evaluate everything, “When is that?” Rodriguez said. “I think city officials have accepted defeat.”

See Kensington Avenue, where drug users and needles line the sidewalks:

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Overt drug use has become normal in the neighborhood, and residents, including children, regularly see addicts injecting fentanyl and methamphetamine. The area has also become a hotspot for drug users addicted to xylazine. The animal tranquilizer, which has infiltrated the nation’s illicit drug supply, was found in more than 90% of drug samples tested in Philadelphia in 2021, according to the city’s health department.

Xylazine – often called trunk or zombie drug – can eat away at flesh, leaving its users with open wounds.

Tranq Users Flesh-eating wounds ooze or bleed

A drug addict in Philadelphia shows off his open wounds. Prolonged use of tranc can lead to open wounds or skin ulcers, according to the CDC. (Fox News)

“You’re seeing people who are skin and bones, and their skin is rotting away,” Rodriguez told Fox News. “It’s a terrible comparison, but it almost reminds me of the images we see of the Holocaust.”

“There are people who come from all over America to go to Kensington to use,” he said, describing the neighborhood as “the epicenter of the drug crisis in America.”

Crisis in Kensington: This Philadelphia area went from safe haven to ‘hell on earth’

Rodriguez told Fox News that Philadelphia Mayor-elect Cheryl Parker could change Kensington.

Parker, a Democrat and former City Councilwoman, told voters in November that she wanted to bring in the National Guard to help clean up the neighborhood. She also voted against safe drug consumption locations in the city.

Rodriguez, who met Parker during her campaign, said the city’s mayor-elect understands the issues surrounding addiction. He hopes that it will bear fruit after her inauguration next month.


“The best thing that can happen to Kensington is for law enforcement and higher-ups in the city to not allow what they don’t want into their community,” Rodriguez told Fox News. “They would never let anyone shoot up or smoke weed on their street corner.”

“So why would they let this happen to someone else on the street?” He said.

The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.

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