(VitalNews.org) – Desperate Philadelphia business owners are going to extreme lengths to deter drug addicts and dealers. The “City of Brotherly Love” has seen crime and drug usage become rampant on its streets, particularly in the eastern area of Kensington. The neighborhood is known as “ground zero” for the destructive and addictive drug Xylazine, also known as “Tranq”. Xylazine is a sedative used to intensify the already powerful effects of other drugs such as fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin, and its use can prove fatal.
Local man, Frank Rodriguez, a recovering heroin addict and community volunteer, told reporters that Kensington is no longer a place for any business to succeed. His view is echoed by local business owner Mariangeli Saez, whose award-nominated restaurant has suffered a 60% reduction in nightly servings due to the frightening and unwelcoming atmosphere in the local streets, where many drug addicts live in tents, injecting themselves with narcotics in the open air. Rodriguez added that the streets are littered with used hypodermic needles, human feces and vomit; ordinary business employees are forced to clean the streets themselves in order to try to entice customers to their stores and restaurants.
As well as cleaning up the unhygienic mess, some business owners have come up with inventive ways to repel the drug addicts from their doorsteps. Some use sprinkler systems to soak unwanted visitors, while others simply throw soapy water over the sidewalks outside their buildings in an effort to make the ground unappealing to sit or sleep on.
Kensington’s drug-related crime soared while self-described “progressive prosecutor”, Democratic District Attorney Larry Krasner, held office. His inability to make a dent in the drug-fueled crime figures saw him impeached in 2022 for neglecting his duty, although he has kept his post due to his trial being postponed indefinitely.
Rodriguez, as a former drug addict, is familiar with the issues faced by the people injecting themselves on the streets of Kensington and visits them weekly in an effort to bring necessary supplies and to try to help them out of their destructive lifestyle. Despite this close link with the community, Rodriguez no longer lives in Kensington. He left the area several years ago in order to help himself overcome his drug addiction and stay sober.
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