Georgia convenience store caught selling ‘Za Za,’ other drugs in pill form

HARALSON COUNTY, Ga. — An investigation is underway after authorities say, a convenience store was selling drugs.

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Haralson Paulding County drug agents said on Nov. 28, they received an anonymous tip about a store in Haralson County selling pills that contained tianeptine.

Since July 1, tianeptine has been described as a Schedule 1 drug in Georgia. According to the Food and Drug Administration, tianeptine is not approved for any medical use.

Although other countries have approved tianeptine to treat depression and anxiety, some have restricted how it’s prescribed or dispensed.


During the investigation, agents went to the store and saw multiple bottles of Za Za, Tianna, and Tiara displayed near the counter. According to deputies, all of the bottles contained tianeptine.

Agents seized a total of 1,213 bottles from the store in Tallapoosa.

Authorities did not say which store it was or if anyone was arrested.

Channel 2′s Tom Regan was in Haralson County Wednesday, where deputies burned the pills they seized from the store. They say the pills are being abused and causing people serious health problems.

“To us, this is peddling poison on the streets,” Sheriff Stacy Williams said.

Regan spoke to a woman who wished to remain anonymous who said she was spending $600 a week on Za Za, and when she stopped using the drug, she had agonizing withdrawal symptoms.

“When I stopped taking it on the third day, immediately it had attached to my receptors and I was addicted to it that fast,” she said. “Oh it was the devil. Breathlessness, I couldn’t sleep at all. Restless legs kicked in. I couldn’t stop moving. I was depressed, sweating.”

The Georgia Poison Control Center said its helped doctors treat patients who have overdose on tianeptine

“We get called about them, unfortunately, and sometimes these things can end up tragically,” Dr. Gaylord Lopez said.

The sheriff said they didn’t criminally charge the owner of the convenience store because they don’t believe he know the pills he was selling contained an illegal drug.

“People have no idea what they are putting in their bodies when it comes to buying pills like this,” Williams said.

The investigation is ongoing.

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