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What is ZaZa or “Gas Station Heroin”

What is ZaZa?

Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world, with 280 million people suffering globally. Individuals with depression experience prolonged feelings of sadness and an increased risk of self-harm. Because of the risks, many people with major depressive disorder take medication to control their symptoms.

While most depression medications are safe, there is one that leads to addiction and adverse health effects. Tianeptine is a medication used in Europe, Asia, and Latin America to treat depression. Experts have not approved its use in the United States because of the dangers it poses.

That said, tianeptine is found in gas stations under the guise of a dietary supplement. Usually, people refer to it by the nickname “ZaZa” or “gas station heroin.” Abusing ZaZa puts you at risk of addiction and life-threatening overdoses.

If you or a loved one abuses tianeptine, contact Mandala Healing Center to learn about your treatment options.

What is ZaZa (Tianeptine)?

ZaZa is the slang term for a tricyclic antidepressant known as tianeptine. You might find this substance in gas stations under brand names like Tianna, Tianna Red, or Tianna White.

Tianeptine can treat depression similarly to other medications like fluoxetine and sertraline. However, it is also known to affect opioid receptors in the brain. As a result, it leads to sedative and euphoric effects.

Taking this drug in high doses can lead to respiratory depression and overdose. Additionally, you will develop an addiction to tianeptine if you abuse it long-term. As a result, ZaZa is considered a public health risk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a spike in poison control center calls related to tianeptine abuse. Keeping this in mind, it is clear that this substance is dangerous to abuse.

Side Effects of ZaZa

ZaZa earned the nickname “gas station heroin” because it is sold in gas stations and causes depressant effects. People abuse it to experience sedation, euphoria, and drowsiness. Unfortunately, the depressant effects of this drug can quickly become fatal.

The common side effects of tianeptine include:

  • Sedation or drowsiness
  • A rush of euphoria
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in dreaming
  • Body aches
  • Abnormal body movements

When someone uses tianeptine in small doses, they might experience a boost in their mood. However, large doses of it can lead to similar effects as opioids.

Additionally, the FDA reports that tianeptine effects include high blood pressure, confusion, agitation, and even coma or death.

Where is Tianeptine Illegal?

Despite the dangers ZaZa poses, it is sold in many states. Typically, you will find it marketed as a dietary supplement in gas stations or adult stores. However, some states have made the substance illegal due to the risks of abusing it.

Tianeptine is illegal in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Minnesota
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Georgia

Florida recently added tianeptine to the list of Schedule I drugs. This makes it a felony to have, sell, or buy the drug.

Is ZaZa Addictive?

ZaZa has been found to be incredibly addictive. One of the main signs of tianeptine addiction is experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop consuming it.

The symptoms are often similar to opioid withdrawal because of the way it affects your brain. For example, you might experience agitation, vomiting, or severe dehydration. Withdrawal should always be treated by a professional detox center.

Other signs of tianeptine addiction include:

  • Having a hard time controlling how much you use
  • Using it in dangerous situations, such as while driving
  • Wanting to quit using it but being unsuccessful
  • Continuing to use tianeptine despite facing social issues
  • Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Isolating yourself from friends and loved ones
  • Continuing to use ZaZa even though it’s causing physical or mental health effects
  • Increasing your dose of it to experience the desired effect
  • Having a hard time keeping up with responsibilities at home, school, or work
  • Believing you need it to function properly
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it

If you or a loved one suffers from tianeptine addiction, it’s time to seek help. Professional rehab programs like Mandala Healing Center are here to support you. We can offer a variety of therapies and relapse prevention skills to ensure you achieve long-term sobriety.

Signs of a Tianeptine Overdose

People often use ZaZa in high doses to experience potent effects. When doing so, you put yourself at risk of experiencing a life-threatening overdose. Because it works similarly in the brain as opioids, you will experience similar overdose symptoms.

The symptoms of a tianeptine overdose include:

  • Agitation
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Excessive sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Coma
  • Death

There were only 11 poison control cases involving tianeptine between 2000 to 2013. The FDA reports this spiked to 151 cases just in the year of 2020.

Since this drug poses such a significant risk of fatal overdoses, you should avoid abusing it. If you are addicted to gas station heroin, you can recover with the help of an addiction treatment program. Additionally, these programs will offer you medical treatment for any of the long-term health effects you have developed.

Finding Help for Tianeptine Abuse and Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from tianeptine addiction, it’s time to seek help. Mandala Healing Center is here to offer you the tools and support you need to recover. Our compassionate staff members will ensure you remain safe and comfortable throughout your treatment process.

Contact us today to learn more about Zaza addiction and recovery.