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N.C. House Passes Bill To Criminalize “Gas Station Heroin”

Bottles of tianeptine or "gas station heroin"

The North Carolina House of Representatives voted unanimously last Wednesday to pass HB 903—Add Tianeptine to Controlled Substance List. Sponsored by Representatives Stephen Ross (R-Alamance), Frank Sossamon (R-Vance), Erin Paré (R-Wake), and Donna White (R-Johnston), this bill would add the drug tianeptine, also known as “gas station heroin,” to the list of Schedule II Controlled Substances. If it becomes a law, manufacturing or selling or possessing tianeptine would come with the same penalties as with opium, fentanyl, or methamphetamine. Tianeptine is highly addictive and currently widely available, with no age restrictions regarding who can purchase it.

“It’s the same feel you get from heroin, the same addiction you get from heroin, being sold right over the counter,” Representative Ross said on the House floor.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about tianeptine, because it has been linked to seizures, loss of consciousness, and death. Often marketed and sold in liquid and pill form under the name Neptune’s Fix, the drug is available in many convenience stores, gas stations, and vape shops. It is currently unregulated and has no age restriction for purchase.

Also on Wednesday, the state Senate amended HB 563—Regulate Hemp-Derived Consumables & Kratom to include language adding tianeptine to the list of Schedule II Controlled Substances. This provides another way for this dangerous drug to be made illegal.

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