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IPFS News Link • Drugs and Medications

Doctor Warns Against 'Gas Station Heroin' That Mimics Opioid Effects

•, by Matt McGregor

The drug, tianeptine, is sometimes called "gas station heroin" because of its opiate effects, difficulty to quit without withdrawal, and availability in gas stations.

Legislation is being considered in Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida to criminalize tianeptine, and it's been banned for over-the-counter sale in other states such as Indiana, Alabama, and Tennessee, though it can still be ordered online.

Dr. Melissa Thompson with the Ivy Creek Detox Program at Elmore Community Hospital in Wetumpka, Alabama, said it can take up to a month for someone to become mentally stable again after detoxing from tianeptine.

"It's very powerful, and it gets a hold of your mind," Thompson told The Epoch Times.

Antidepressant Drugs

Tianeptine is classified as a tricyclic antidepressant. It was used in the 1950s before selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) became available in the 1980s with the introduction of Prozac, the brand name for fluoxetine.

Tricyclic antidepressants have immediate effects, unlike SSRIs, which can take several weeks to take effect.

Tianeptine is still used as an antidepressant in France and other European countries but is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States.

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