A man is being investigated after he allegedly stole a large amount of kratom and tianeptine at a Madisonville, Alabama, gas station smoke shop. Police say a video shows the man using a hammer to break out the store’s glass door, then leaning over the counter to steal the kratom and tianeptine. The shop’s employees say he threatened them and made claims that he had a gun. He then allegedly wrestled a female clerk for the products before leaving.
Tianeptine, marketed as Zaza Red, Tianna, and TD Red in the US, is a stimulant that hits opioid receptors and can cause withdrawal symptoms like those of heroin. It has been dubbed “gas station heroin” because it can be purchased from convenience stores and gas stations without a prescription or other legal identification. It has been linked to addiction, overdoses, and deaths. Kentucky has banned it because of its dangers, and the FDA warns consumers against taking it.
ZAZA Red is sold as a nootropic and energy booster, and it can be found in capsule, pill, and bulk powder forms to be consumed, smoked, or injected. The company’s website explains the product contains “an exclusive blend of nootropics, including a proprietary kratom extract that increases energy, reduces depression, and provides a powerful mood boost.” The site also warns that prolonged use or excessive dosage can lead to dependency and withdrawal. It can be found at online retailers and in some local health food shops.
It’s important to note that since KAZA Red is unregulated and the products are imported from overseas, it is impossible to know exactly what is in each batch. Those who sell KAZA Red claim their product is safe and does not contain any chemicals, but there have been reports of people experiencing adverse side effects such as vomiting, agitation, and depression.
Users of KAZA Red often combine it with other drugs such as opiates and phenibut, and this can create a dangerous cocktail that can result in overdoses. The drug’s onset is faster than many other substances and can produce high blood pressure, a fast heart rate, dizziness, anxiety, and panic attacks. It can also cause liver damage, kidney failure, and respiratory depression.
There have been increasing calls to poison control centers regarding KAZA Red. NewsNation has spoken with one user who said he spent $2,000 a month and sacrificed food to buy more KAZA Red, but he eventually stopped because of the painful opioid-like withdrawal symptoms that lasted several days when he quit cold turkey.
The CDC has warned that abuse of tianeptine can lead to toxic leukoencephalopathy, which is marked by a build-up of white matter in the brain. It can also cause drowsiness, stomach pains, confusion, dependence, and mental health issues. Tianeptine is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18. If you or someone you know is abusing ZAZA Red, seek help immediately. Contact your local kratom and opioid treatment specialist for more information about treatment options.