Lowndes Co. Sheriff warns about potentially addictive, easily available drug

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – The Lowndes County Sheriff sounded the alarm about a readily available and potentially addictive drug.

In the last two weeks, deputies have made a major arrest and dealt with at least one overdose tied to the unregulated drug Tianeptine.

The drug is used as an anti-depressant in some countries but is not approved by the FDA in the U.S.

Here it is largely marketed as a dietary supplement and is being sold over the counter in places like convenience stores under the name “Za-Za”.

The drug affects opioid receptors in the brain and can be highly addictive.

The addiction potential and its availability have Lowndes County Sheriff Eddie Hawkins concerned.

And since the drug is not FDA or DEA regulated, there are no restrictions on who can buy it.

“You know, we control alcohol. We regulate cigarettes. We have age restrictions on these products where children can get their hands on it, but yet this product is being sold over the counter, and we’re having a lot of overdoses in our area. We’ve had people that are addicted breaking into convenience stores just to get the drug, so it’s very concerning to us here in Lowndes County, and we want to do something about it,” said Hawkins.

There is a bill made in the state legislature to ban the drug statewide. If that fails, Hawkins will approach Supervisors to pass an ordinance banning the sale of Tianeptine products in Lowndes County.

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Categories: Local News