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Kratom: The Drug You’ve Never Heard Of Before

Addicts and alcoholics are smart, resourceful, and manipulative.  If our drug of choice is taken from us, we will find another way to get what we need unless presented with a real solution.  If we are subjected to random drug tests, we will find a way to pass the tests. Addiction becomes our master and will stop at nothing to get its fix. Now, young addicts have found a new way to get high, and it can be found at many convenience stores.  It is a drug called Kratom.

Kratom is not considered a controlled substance by the FDA, and is not considered to be “dangerous.”  However, in 2017, there were a reported 91 fatal overdoses linked to the drug.

It is typically sold as a powder that is kept in small capsules.  It is commonly used to help with opioid withdrawal, pain, and fatigue.  But young people are extensively using it as a substitute for other drugs.

According to the American Kratom Association, between 3-5 million people in the US are using Kratom. In a study conducted by the organization, young adult males are the most common user of the drug- 89% of kratom-related poisonings were among 20+ year olds.

Common effects are lethargy, agitation, irritability, and drowsiness.  On the other hand, more serious effects can produce seizures and cardiac arrests.

According to former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, “there is no evidence to indicate that Kratom is safe or effective for any medical use. And claiming that Kratom is benign is shortsighted and dangerous.”  The FDA and DEA are fighting to put the drug in the same category as heroin, but are receiving heavy pushback from the American Kratom Association.

If you want to know more about Kratom, or are concerned a loved one is experimenting with the drug, please do not hesitate to reach out.