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Florida Drug Defense Attorney > Blog > Drug Crime Defense > Tianeptine, Also Known As Gas Station Heroin

Tianeptine, Also Known As Gas Station Heroin


The difference between an over-the-counter supplement, a prescription medication, and a street drug has more to do with where the substance is available than how it affects the body.  In the 19th century, you could walk into any pharmacy and buy cough syrup in which the main ingredient was opium, but now cough syrup with codeine, one of the least powerful opioid drugs, is available only by prescription.  Meanwhile, some drugs that treat acid reflux disease and allergic rhinitis are available over-the-counter, when 30 years ago, they were available only by prescription.  What about those pills in the locked case at the gas station, the ones with druggie innuendos all over the packaging?  They look and feel like drugs, but you can buy them simply by swiping your debit card and asking the cashier to open the case?  Barely legal drugs exist in a gray area; the law prohibits the sale and possession of substances that are sufficiently chemically similar to known controlled substances.  Does it mean trouble if a police officer searches your car and finds “herbal supplements” that may have impaired your ability to drive?  The possibility is certainly strong enough that, if this happens, you should hire a Florida drug offense attorney.

How Does Tianeptine Affect the Body?

Tianeptine was first synthesized in France in the 1960s, and it has been used in Europe for various medical applications for decades.  Its original purpose was as an antidepressant, and it is still used that way in some countries, because it has fewer side effects than some other commonly prescribed antidepressants, but its potential to treat other conditions, such as fibromyalgia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

At high doses, tianeptine can produce euphoric effects similar to opioids.  It also causes withdrawal symptoms similar to those associated with opioid withdrawal, such as anxiety, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.

Legal Issues Surrounding Tianeptine

The abuse potential of tianeptine, as well as its liver toxicity, led to bans and severe restrictions in several countries, including Bahrain, Italy, and Singapore.  Research in preparation for an application for FDA approval of tianeptine in the United States stopped in 2012; the drug has never received FDA approval.  Dietary supplements, as well as prescription drugs, require FDA approval before it is legal to sell them, so it is against the law to sell or buy unapproved supplements like tianeptine.  Despite this, it can sometimes be found for sale at gas stations and convenience stores, under names like Tianaa, Zazas, and Pegasus; it has earned the nickname “gas station heroin.”  Several states have enacted laws specifically banning tianeptine, but Florida is not one of them.  If you get caught with tianeptine, prosecutors have a good chance of convicting you because tianeptine is an unapproved supplement with documented potential to cause illness.

Contact FL Drug Defense Group About Possession of Tianeptine

A Central Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing charges for possession of an unapproved dietary supplement such as tianeptine.  Contact FL Drug Defense Group in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.




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