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Kratom Becoming A Legal Addiction?

  1. PillMan
    Parents, listen up--there's a drug out there that you probably haven't heard of before but it could leave your kids addicted.

    It's called Kratom, and investigators say it's the talk of social networking sites. In fact, drug agents say Kratom may be the next big thing, now that K2, Spice, and bath salts are all banned.

    Local 6's undercover search for Kratom in Central Florida landed packets of the stuff, ranging in price from $15 to $50.

    One employee at a head shop in Orlando told us it's selling like hot cakes. YouTube testimonials suggest it's hot because it gets you high.

    "It's very euphoric and relaxing, I like it a lot actually," said one user on YouTube.

    "I like to take it a lot, but it's more of like a mental addiction," said another user.

    It takes less than five minutes to brew as a tea, smoke like a cigarette, or pop a capsule, like the ones we found in local head shops.
    We spoke to Special Agent David Gross with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who's investigating Kratom.

    "It's a drug of concern, it's one that we are actively looking at," says Gross.

    He adds that crime labs across the state are looking at Kratom, trying to figure out if this legal drug is really a legal high with consequences.

    "The way they are packaging these it's very appealing to young people," says Special Agent Mia Ro with the Drug Enforcement Administration, another agency that is investigating the drug.

    The DEA concedes that Kratom has been around for thousands of years. It's grown in Southeast Asia, but it's only recently caught on in the U.S., mainly as an all-natural painkiller that claims to have no chemical additives.

    "It could wind up killing a child, or blowing a child's mind forever," says State Senator A.G. Crowe, a Republican from Louisiana.

    He didn't want it sold to kids in his state.

    "I don't think the parents knew what it was, except that they knew something wasn't right," says Crowe.

    Crowe sponsored the first law in the country last year that bans the sale of Kratom to minors.In an exclusive interview, Crowe said he's afraid that kids could make a fatal mistake.

    "There were instances where kids went to the emergency room, and nobody knew what was going on with them," says Crowe.

    The latest research backs that up. Doctors at the University of Mississippi tested random samples of Kratom, finding some of it was laced with powerful painkillers, like Hydrocodone and morphine.

    But, that same research also found that Kratom can ease pain, especially for heroin addicts in withdrawal.

    Still, the critics and law enforcement say the risk outweighs the benefits.

    "I can't stress enough that these are not regulated or monitored by any U.S. agency, so they have no idea what they're putting in to their body," says Special Agent Mia Ro with the DEA, which calls Kratom a drug of concern.

    The drug effects you differently, based on how much you use. A small dose will speed you up, almost like caffeine. While a larger dose is numbing, like a painkiller, and will almost put you in a stupor, and give you a euphoric effect.

    Local doctors say, there's a lot of uncertainty with the drug.

    "You don't know what you're getting, you don't know the concentration, you don't necessarily know the dose, nor do you know what it's necessarily mixed with," says Dr. Josef Thundiyil, a medical toxicologist at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

    He says the big danger is that Kratom can be addicting, and some people are actually afraid to stop using the drug.

    "Some people who use it regularly say the reason they haven't stopped using it is because the withdrawal symptoms have been so intense," says Dr. Thundiyil.

    Author: Matt Papaycik
    Published On: Feb 07 2013 11:04:30 PM


  1. Kluck
    In my opinion, most of the quotations in your post are exaggerating. Kratom killing someone? That is very unlikely. Even with the addiciton from Kratom... you can develop a habit, but you have to use considerably high doses over a longer period of time. No way Kratom addiction could be anyhow as dangerous as opiate addictions.

    Of course you are right that it might be dangerous for children, possibly being a gateway drug to stronger stuff, but health hazards of using kratom only are minimal.

    Making kratom unavailable for kids under 18 would be reasonable, but making it illegal for everyone is just continuing of the same bullshit war on drugs, where governments are stripping us of our freedom of consciousness and you know the rest...
  2. mersann
    Kluck, this is the news section. This article was not written by PillMan and does most likely not reflect PillMan's opinion. You can see the source for the article at the bottom of PillMan's post.
  3. PillMan
    Thank you. All you would have to do is look at a few of my posts and tell that I am all for Kratom being legal.

    This news article, in no way, reflects my opinions on anything at all drug related.

    Thanks for clearing that up.
  4. profesor
    This is a hazard of posting news stories here on the drugs-forum. I would suggest, to prevent misunderstanding, news posts should be made with a disclaimer "I do not agree with this article, or support the viewpoints contained within" or begin with: "What do you think of this article?"
    Soon after joining df, I nearly cursed someone out for posting such a news article, which they didn't really agree with. After all, it seems reasonable to assume when someone reprints an entire article verbatim, that they agree or at least sympathize with it.
    Personally, I took about 5 grams Bali this afternoon and went out to shovel (71 cm from yesterday!) I accomplished this cheerfully and without pain, and no hangover.
    Not the addictive drug behavior one would expect from a "dangerous" substance.
  5. Kid Cudi
    If one were to simply read the whole post, it would be known to him/her that the member who posted the article isn't the author.

    This can be found at the bottom of PillMan's post:
  6. Herbi
    That is quite extreme. I've read the stories about people in Southeast Asia eating the leaves for upward of 40 years, and yes, they have side effects such as cheek discoloration and dependency, but they aren't dead. Plus, if you overdose on Kratom you get nauseous and vomit far before any sort of permanent damage is done. To say it could kill a child is ludicrous, and he should really research a drug before automatically proclaiming it with such a strong word as "deadly"
  7. ianzombie
    I think it is great that we have members here who go out of their way to find and post news articles here. I do not think that they should have to make any statement regarding their stance on the opinions expressed in the story.

    A quick look at what forum it is posted in should be more than enough to see that it is not personal opinion.
    If that is not enough then simply reading the article, complete with "quotes" and the link to the source of the story at the bottom of the post make it even more obvious. :)

    As to the story, there are some very valid concerns raised, espicially to the test results that confirm the presence of other drugs.
    I have been reading about this on another forum and it is something that is of great concern to supporters of kratom.

    This could end up killing someone, just like Krypton Kratom ended up killing 9 people who overdosed on the
    O-Desmethyltramadol which had been added.

    The people responsible for adding potent pain killers and research chemicals to kratom should be locked up.
    All it will take is someone with a large tolerance to kratom to buy some, take a large dose and end up dead.
  8. quickiB
    I think its really funny how all these people (doctors, police officers, politicians, counsellors, ad infinitum useless people having nothing to do with drugs *except the doctor) recycle the same ideas ("the children", you don't know the dosage and adulterants) an yet none of them makes the next logical step in suggesting that it be regulated as any other mind-altering substance. But no, let's just continue to speculate and ban this drug. We know pretty much nobody's died from it, but gosh darn it, there are troops out there who are abusing the drug and burning their flags while they're "high" and come on, 911. So many ridiculous people out there...
  9. SpatialReason
    This is a crying shame. It is a scenario of "let's take something good enough and then just make it worse." People could fail drug tests when they are using kratom with full intention of quitting their current addiction. I am having a hard time seeing what would even be gained out of lacing your product, a (for now) legal plant, with an expensive prescription medication that is legal trouble waiting to happen.

    I hope they don't take Kratom away...
  10. SIR KIT
  11. ianzombie
    Why do you think its BS?
    Its not the first time that vendors have added other drugs to kratom.
  12. derpahderp
    I've only read a few articles regarding kratom to help a few member with their withdrawl from opiates, and found this was drug was a very interesting "ill check-it-out" one of these day. -Oh, and the quote I just posted... Imho, the author shouldve placed that at the end of the article, after all the could be potentially and actual risk factors If it's abused.

    Maybe like a pro-cons lists, followed up with conclusions and factual summary. (Shrugs)
  13. yehoshua
    More information on the study can be found here, and to clear up the issue with contaminants, it appears the samples were not acquired from any vendors, but from people's personal stashes, so maybe they added it afterwards, or bought the kratom on the street and it had been adulterated by a street dealer.

    " After one who had been using kratom four times a day for more than three years arrived in the ER with seizures, Boyer sent a sample of the material to McCurdy and his colleagues for analysis. They found no contaminants, which helped determine the seizures resulted from co-administration of modafinil 20 minutes earlier (Addiction, 2008, 103, 1048-1050). Their analysis of material taken by a patient arriving at the University of Colorado ER revealed it was laced with hydrocodone and morphine, and analysis of material taken by a mother giving birth to an opiate-addicted baby at a University of Louisville hospital revealed the material was also laced with hydrocodone."
  14. Kalbu
    As someone who has used Kratom extensively from a trusted and high quality vendor, this article is complete bunk. I cannot speak to the effects of adulterants in some people's supply, however I cannot see this drug having high addiction potential and everything I've read about overdoses have suggested that while unpleasant, Kratom overdose is far from lethal and for the vast majority of people will not be medically serious. I've overdosed on it once, and the worst that happened was an afternoon of vomiting followed by a hangover (yes, you can get a mild hangover from this stuff).

    While I would never let a child near Kratom, it is not going to "blow a child's mind forever". It could make them seriously ill. However, it is not that powerful a drug and while I found it very pleasant, I would not consider it anything like a hard drug. It also has incredibly promising applications for treating opiate addiction, which is only benefited by it's being completely legal. Banning it would be a huge mistake.
  15. hookedonhelping
    I agree with the statements by other members here regarding it "blowing a child's mind". This is absurd talk from another ignorant politician who really has no business speaking on matters he is not versed in.

    As far as addiction potential, like any mood altering substance; at the very least it can be considered psychologically addictive. Years ago I took it for a for a few weeks straight and had no mentionable problems withdrawing from it. Perhaps minor psychological symptoms, but nothing would I would consider alarming.
  16. quickiB
    The entire premise of this article--that this is the next best thing your kid is hiding in their dresser--is completely ludicrous.

    The is the worst tasting/looking/smelling drug ever (or comparable to poppy tea). Its absolutely disgusting, and this is coming from someone who subjectively likes its effects. Honestly, kratom will never get to the point where its mainstream beyond the point at which it is now. The only reason people are using it is that its the only drug pretty much comparable to opiates that's easy to get.

    I know that if I could easily/legally get poppies or opium or pharmaceutical opiates I would totally go for them over kratom any day. Kratom is an acceptable consolation prize for now, but its by no means a big drug in the making. Its too disgusting, inconvenient, variable in action/potency, and messy.

    Kids can score heroin, or coke or weed much easier than even kratom (which you pretty much have to order online and wait for it to ship). Its certainly does not lend itself to impulsive usage in the same way highly refined and easily administered drugs do, and therein lies its appeals to more moderate people (of which I am not a part of). Kids are not moderate, they want intensity, frequently, and they want it now. Kratom does not satisfy any of these criteria.

    I'll tell you one thing: for all involved in drug policy/law enforcement, kratom should be their wet dream. But because they can't moderate their own obsessive drive for a drug free society, they'll never recognize kratom for what it is: the lager of opiates. To make an alcohol analogy, kratom is like a beer, where other opiates like oxy/morphine/hydromorphone etc. I realize that kratom is not technically and opiate (actually an opioid...?). Regardless, imagine how many problems there would be if everybody only drank 80+ proof spirits.
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