Smoke Shop Heroin In NJ Is Nearly Killing People

by Bridget Mulroy
Smoke Shop Heroin

New Jersey has allowed Smoke Shop Heroin to slip through the cracks, and it’s nearly killed 20 people. After close to two dozen hospitalizations were reported in NJ, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and CDC (Center for Disease Control) have issued warnings about the borderline-opioid approved for sale at NJ gas stations and smoke shops.

Neptune’s Elixir, or ZaZa Red, offered as both a liquid and a pill, is a commercially available form of Tianeptine. 

What is Tianeptine?

Tianeptine is a drug approved outside of the United States for the treatment of depressive disorders and some anxiety disorders. More information about the chemical will be added below. Since the formulation has yet to be regulated in the United States, manufacturers are having a field day. Through the experimental production of the heroin-like chemical, Tianeptine, people consuming the product are suffering from cardiac arrest, seizures, and a plethora of other cardiac issues in people.

Sold under the brand names Coaxil, Tatinol, and Stablon, in addition to Neptune’s Elixir and Zaza Red mentioned previously, Tianeptine is an atypical tricyclic antidepressant. It is not approved for use in the United States but has been used in other countries in Europe, Asia, and South America to address the symptoms associated with anxiety and depressive disorders, and irritable bowel syndrome. 

Reported health risks and fatalities

The CDC reports nearly two dozen cases of near-fatal Tianeptine ingestion in the last year. More recently, The New Jersey Poison Control has identified the spontaneous clustered poisonings as reflecting a “sharp increase” when assessing the stark uptick in usage of Tianeptine reported since January. Fortunately, no deaths from Neptune’s Elixir product have been reported in New Jersey, but there were deaths reported in other states.


According to the FDA, “The company has not issued a public notification to inform consumers of their recall” or decided to pull any other products made by Neptune Resources LLC containing Tianeptine. People afflicted by this undercover epidemic are between the ages of 25 and 70, which exposes a wide gap of susceptible people in New Jersey. 


NJ Department of Health:



About the Author/s

All posts

Bridget Mulroy is a journalist based in Red Bank, New Jersey, Calabasas, California and Manhattan, New York who covers geology, seismology, botany, biology, & community news.

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