Health Officials Sound the Alarm on Gas Station Heroin

Officials SOUND THE ALARM - Keep Your Eyes Peeled

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Public health professionals are sounding the alarm about “dietary supplements” sold at convenience stores and petrol stations, which are actually addictive narcotics. People are blaming these goods, which have been dubbed “gas station heroin,” for an increase in drug abuse incidences. These medications are still freely available despite the fact that the FDA has not approved them.

Tianeptine is an “atypical” antidepressant drug that was invented in France in the 1960s, and in some countries is used to treat serious depression. The United States government has never authorized its usage for medicinal purposes, despite its widespread availability. Notable brands that sell it as a “dietary supplement” include Neptune’s Fix and ZaZa Red. Product developers assert their wares alleviate aches and pains, alleviate nervousness and sadness, and sharpen cognitive abilities. They are sold without a prescription in many jurisdictions, leading some to believe they are safe to use, however this is not always the case.

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New Jersey public health officials have issued a warning following 20 reports of significant adverse effects from tianeptine products in the state between June and November of last year. Compared to years past, when only one or two reports were common, that is a significant increase. Addiction can lead users to risky overdoses, according to experts, and the substance is very addictive since it mimics an opioid. In order to overcome their tianeptine addiction, some users have required therapy with anti-opioid medicine.

U.S. law prohibits the use of tianeptine in food or supplements, despite the fact that the chemical is not a banned substance. As a result, there is some ambiguity around many of the products sold in corner stores and on the internet. Stop using them immediately, according to the FDA. The number of cases has been steadily increasing since 2019, reaching about 400 nationwide in 2023. The agency has linked these medications to “severe adverse event reports” including seizures and death. We don’t need this added to the ongoing opioid crisis.