In the illegal drug market, there are always new drugs making their way onto the scene. Many of these are completely unheard of by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and manage to sneak by under the radar. Other drugs gain popularity among people who are on probation and want to catch a buzz without failing a drug test. Surprisingly, you can find these kinds of drugs at gas stations, and while most of them come and go, others remain notorious for their extreme side effects. Keep reading to learn what gas station dope is and why it’s dangerous.
What Is Gas Station Tianeptine?
Gas station dope refers to the drug Tianeptine. Otherwise referred to as “Zaza” and “Zaza Red,” Tianeptine is a non-FDA-approved atypical depressant that’s sold in pill or tablet form and labeled as a dietary supplement in gas stations and online.
Tianeptine is also referred to as “gas station dope” because it mimics the effects of opioids when taken in high doses and is touted by some users as a healthier alternative to opioids. In low doses, Tianeptine works by stimulating serotonin in the brain, acting as an antidepressant to improve mood.
In higher doses, however, the drug can act like opioids, which are groups of narcotics or pain killers. Opioids are infamous for their addictive nature, so much so that the nation has been suffering from an opioid epidemic since the late 1990s.
In addition to the euphoric high that Tianeptine creates, users might also take it to ease off of other prescription medications without medically supervised detox. As a result, Tianeptine has grown in popularity for its opioid-like effects, especially among people who are addicted to illicit or prescription narcotics.
But, like opioids, the Zaza drug has been shown to have the potential for abuse, as well. Many people who take Tianeptine for long periods eventually struggle to quit using the drug on their own.
The clinical effects of Tianeptine abuse and withdrawal can mimic those of opioid toxicity. This means that Tianeptine can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms, which can set in within hours of the person’s last use, requiring those who are using the product to ingest it every several hours.
Tianeptine withdrawal is similar to opiate withdrawal and includes symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, and severe anxiety. However, withdrawing from Tianeptine can also lead to symptoms that are also common in alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal, such as high heart rate, severe sweating, high blood pressure, and confusion.
Furthermore, in addition to using the drug on its own, the FDA has also identified cases in which people experience other dangerous effects of Zaza pills from abusing the drug with other substances, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines.
Zaza Red Side Effects
As we mentioned, Tianeptine has been coined “gas station dope” due to its opioid-like side effects. However, while this drug has the potential to produce a temporary state of pleasure, the long-term risks aren’t worth it.
Common (Tianeptine) Zaza pills’ side effects include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Physical dependence
Because Tianeptine impacts serotonin levels, abusing the drug for long periods also increases the likelihood of serotonin syndrome. This syndrome occurs when a person’s serotonin levels are too high.
Serotonin syndrome can easily become complicated and lead to dangerous symptoms like insomnia, loss of muscle coordination, high blood pressure, muscle rigidity, and others if it goes untreated. As we previously mentioned, Tianeptine withdrawal symptoms can also occur in people who become physically dependent on the drug.
Tianeptine withdrawals may include agitation, anxiety, muscle aches, insomnia, abdominal cramping, and more. These symptoms are not only highly painful and uncomfortable, but they can become life-threatening without medical supervision.
Get Help for Drug Abuse
Just because drugs are available for purchase over-the-counter doesn’t mean they’re safe to take. This is especially the case for gas station dope.
Unfortunately, many people turn to this drug as an alternative to other opioids or to help them recover from opioid addiction. What they don’t expect is to become addicted to Tianeptine, too. If you or a loved one needs help quitting drugs or alcohol, our Pompano drug rehab is here for you. We offer various levels of addiction treatment to help people in all stages of addiction, including PHP and IOP.
We also offer substance-specific programs like opioid and prescription drug addiction treatment to create individualized plans for each client. No matter how long you’ve dealt with addiction, recovery is possible with the right kind of help.