MADISONVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — On July 1, Tennessee Senator Mike Bell’s bill took effect to ban the sales of Tianeptine in all stores, according to the Madisonville Police Department.
The Tianeptine, also known as “ZaZa Red,” is an antidepressant, and one of the earliest depression treatments, according to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Madisonville Police said the drug creates withdrawal similar to heroin and has not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use in any way.
University of Alabama at Birmingham’s report also states that Tianeptine has been abused in the U.S. due to its strong affinity at the mu-opioid receptors and through increases in extracellular dopamine concentrations throughout cerebral tissue.
Bell’s bill prohibits the selling of Tianeptine, and anyone who possesses or exchanges the controlled substance will receive a Class A misdemeanor. This is also for any substances that replicate tianeptine.
The bill was passed on June 6, and as a law, it was placed as a Scheduled 2 illegal narcotic.
On Monday, the Madisonville Police Department seized any ZaZa being marketed for sale at convenience stores within the city limits while also educating employees about the new law and its consequences.
“5 out of the 13 stores checked were found to in possession of ZaZa and more than 50 bottles were taken for evidence,” according to Madisonville Police Department.