Mississippi is on track to join a growing list of states banning a pill, dubbed “gas station heroin,” which can cause withdrawal symptoms similar to that of opioids. The pills have been dubbed “gas station heroin” since the substance is readily available at convenience stores and online.
Under Mississippi House Bill 4, tianeptine, commonly known as Zaza Red, Tianna, and TD Red, would be classified as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, banning its sale and use statewide. If passed, Mississippi would join Alabama, Michigan, Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, and Ohio in passing bans on tianeptine.
On Wednesday, lawmakers in Mississippi passed the House Bill 4 by a wide margin, according to local station WCBI.
On their website, Tianaa markets the pills containing tianeptine as “dietary” with having “relaxing and energizing properties” and “strong soothing abilities.”
However, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), tianeptine is addictive and has similar withdrawal side effects like paranoia and hallucinations if the user abuses the drug.
According to Vice, tianeptine targets the same receptors in the brain as opioids.
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“The associated health effects included neurologic, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal signs and symptoms, with some effects mimicking opioid toxicity and withdrawal.” The Center of Disease Control (CDC) warned users to stop taking the pill before it becomes addictive.
According to the National Library of Medicine, nearly three million Americans are addicted to opioids.
Despite Tianna, and TD Red claiming that their products can be used to relieve depression and provide energy, the FDA warns that tianeptine is not approved for any medical issue. While tianeptine is not approved by the FDA for prescription regulation, it is used as medicine in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Zaza Red and Tianna did not immediately respond to Online News 72h Digital’s request for comment.
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Hunter Barnett shared his experience with tianeptine with Vice.
Barnett started taking just a few pills at a time to manage an esophagus condition. But as his tolerance grew, he began taking between three and six bottles of pills each day.
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Once he stopped, Barnett shared that withdrawal symptoms were “the absolute worst experience of my life,” surpassing detoxes he had gone through after taking opioids such as oxycodone and fentanyl, he told Vice.