An insane story shows a dangerous supplement that is now dipped “gas station heroin” is being sold at convenient stores and online and getting users hooked.
The pills contain tianeptine and are sold under the name “Za Za Red” and “Tianna.” They are also hawked as a dietary supplement that helps to improve brain function and to treat anxiety and depression according to a new report from NewsNation.
“So far there’s absolutely no understanding of the dosage. And certainly, no, it’s not approved for any medical use. And it’s absolutely not approved as a dietary supplement. In fact, it’s actually on the FDA’s list of concerning substances,” Dr. Kirsten Smith, a researcher with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told NewsNation.
Many users, Smith added, suffer “extremely painful opioid-like” withdrawals that are “actually as bad as if not worse than some of the opioids they’ve tried.”
One man spent $2,000 a month on the pills. Yes, we’re serious. Sacrificing food for his family to buy more before finally quitting cold turkey.
Another user claims they had a “Six to nine bottle a day habit..”
Poison control centers have seen a surge in tianeptine related calls, with roughly 900 since 2015 – the previous decade had just 27 calls according to Consumer Reports.
In a statement to NewsNation, the FDA said it was “committed to doing everything within its resources and authorities to identify and remove unsafe and illegal dietary supplements from the market.”
But the agency added that it “currently has no systematic way of knowing what dietary supplements are on the market, when new products are introduced or what they contain — even if they contain ingredients we have previously acted against.”
Thanks to our friends at The New York Post for contributing to this story.
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