Often referred to as gas station heroin, Buy Zaza Red is a brand of pill-shaped kratom capsule that contains a compound called tianeptine. This substance is a powerful antidepressant used legally in Europe and Asia for treating depression, but recreational users have found it to be euphoric and addictive. Often sold in the US without prescription or regulation, tianeptine hits opioid receptors in the brain and can be dangerous for people with a history of drug abuse. Some of these pills are a mix of kratom and phenibut, which has been linked to a variety of dangerous side effects, including opioid withdrawal symptoms.
The packaging on many of these pills, which are also sold as Tianaa and Pegasus, doesn’t clearly indicate that tianeptine is in them. They may say “kratom only” or “phenibut only,” and are sold in bulk powder that people will mix with water to drink or inject, as well as a capsule form they’ll swallow. They’re not regulated by the FDA, and some contain a disclaimer saying the vendor isn’t responsible for misuse or that only people 18 and older can buy them.
Tianeptine is a powerful antidepressant, but it also produces sedation and opioid-like effects. When combined with alcohol or other drugs that affect the same MU opioid receptors, Zaza Red can produce severe and life-threatening side effects. It’s also highly addictive and has been linked to a number of accidental overdoses, hospitalizations, and deaths.
While some people will purchase Zaza Red to self-medicate opioid withdrawal symptoms, most will experience serious and life-threatening side effects, including addiction. Fortunately, medical detox is available for those who have an addiction to this or other substances. A detox program away from daily triggers and habits will allow patients to focus on recovery and reduce the risk of relapse.
In 2021, Alabama banned the sale of kratom products containing tianeptine, after an influx of unexplained opioid withdrawal cases in emergency rooms. Since then, more states have followed suit to prevent the spread of this dangerous substance. Those who have already abused this drug should seek treatment in a residential rehabilitation facility. This type of treatment provides support and education away from the daily temptations that could make recovery more difficult. This will increase the likelihood that they’ll be able to successfully quit using substances altogether.