PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — An over-the-counter product, known as gas station heroin is now illegal. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has issued a temporary ruling banning the sale of the substance Tianeptine.
“An extremely dangerous chemical being sold in gas stations, convenience stores, and smoke shops in our state, Tianeptine is linked to five deaths nationwide and so far this year, Florida’s Poison Control Center has fielded 15 calls about exposure to this drug,” Moody said.
Tianeptine was discovered in France in 1960 as an experimental antidepressant drug but it is now considered by many to be too dangerous for the public.
“Tianeptine is designed to mimic the effect of opioids and is highly addictive, it is currently not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for any medical use,” Moody said.
Which is why this rule was implemented.
“Sold in gas stations and different health food stores as little pills as dietary supplements but it is being used and mixed with other illegal narcotics,” Panama City Beach Police Detective Andrew Pelletier said.
Moody’s emergency order adds Tianeptine to Schedule I list of controlled substances in Florida making it a felony to buy, sell, use, or possess it. Panama City Beach police are now making the public aware of this change.
“Educate the gas stations and other local business partners, as well as parents, we want parents to know that this stuff is not hard to get and we want them to be vigilant with their kids so they can protect them from the dangers of Tianeptine,” Pelletier said
Moody’s emergency order is only a temporary ban against tianepine. She said she’ll pursue a permanent ban on the drug during the upcoming legislative session.