What is tianeptine and why should you avoid it? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Addictive, unregulated drugs with potential for harm with their use are as close as your local gas station or convenience store, with one called tianeptine showing up more widely. Michael Fingerhood, a substance use disorders expert at Johns Hopkins, says they are usually marketed as stimulants or mood enhancers.

Fingerhood: Tianeptine is marketed as an antidepressant in Eastern Europe so I don't know how it gets here. Most of these are marketed towards like 15 to 25, and I think part of the allure is that it's something different and I think there probably is some knowledge out there that it's difficult to detect. If you wind up treating the symptoms so sedating someone if they're agitated and you hope for whatever it is to wear off. Impulsive use of a substance to medicate the way we feel it's always going to put us at risk.  :27

Fingerhood says these drugs appeal to people who want to steer away from drug dealers and because they’re sold openly, appear to be safer. He notes than habitual use of tianeptine or kratom can cost hundreds of dollars a month. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.