A potentially dangerous drug dubbed “gas station heroin” is popping up in convenience stores and online — and it’s getting people hooked. Tianeptine, sold under names such as Zaza Red and Tianna, is a chemically unique but highly addictive substance. It hits opioid receptors in the brain, producing an opioid-like high and causing intense withdrawal symptoms when it is discontinued.
The drug can be found in capsule, pill, and bulk powder forms that people will swallow or dissolve into a liquid to drink, inject, or smoke. It is popular with opioid addicts seeking to reduce their cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms, and it has become a significant problem in some areas. Tianeptine is also a very potent stimulant and can cause dangerous side effects, including seizures and heart attack.
Despite its potent effects, the FDA does not regulate tianeptine, and there is no guarantee that each batch of the pills will contain the same dose or ingredients. Moreover, companies that market the product as a proprietary blend are not legally required to disclose any ingredients. In tested batches of the drug, the majority of identified ingredients were filler, such as dried plant material, baking soda, or liquid vegetable fat and dyes.
In addition, tianeptine can have negative effects when combined with other substances like alcohol and certain painkillers. Because of this, users must use extreme caution when consuming other drugs and supplements while taking the pills. The combination can also increase the likelihood of developing a serious overdose or even death.
When used incorrectly, tianeptine can lead to addiction, seizures, strokes, heart attacks, and even death. It can also interfere with normal functions of the body such as breathing and regulating blood pressure. This is why it is important to talk to a doctor before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication, including dietary supplements.
A 35-year-old man has been charged with burglary after two different incidents at a Lowndes County convenience store where he was allegedly trying to steal the drug ZAZA Red. Police say Joshua Bolin used a hammer to break into the Country Mart on Highway 182 East in Lowndes County, then threatened store clerks while demanding the pills.
In one video he is seen leaning over the counter, and in another he is seen using a hammer to smash the window. Bolin is currently being held in the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center awaiting his initial appearance in court.
While it is illegal to possess or sell tianeptine in the state of Mississippi, many retailers continue to make the drug available for purchase online and at local gas stations and convenience stores under various names. The drug has been banned in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee after officials saw a spike in unexplained, severe withdrawal cases at local poison centers and emergency departments.