Kratom Use Increasingly Popular, Addiction Expert Says
Use of kratom, a psychoactive plant, is becoming increasingly popular despite its potential for addiction, according to an expert at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
A legal, natural and addictive substance called kratom is becoming increasingly popular in South Florida, according to a news report. Kratom comes from the leaf of a tree grown in Southeast Asia, WPTV reports.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), kratom is widely available on the Internet. The DEA notes that kratom is mainly being abused orally as a tea, but some people chew kratom leaves. An investigation by WPTV found that kratom is available in tobacco shops and in Kava Bars in South Florida, where it is mixed into a tea-like drink. Several doctors told the news program they are seeing more patients who are abusing kratom.
The DEA says that kratom has been described as producing both stimulant and sedative effects. Acute side effects include nausea, itching, sweating, dry mouth, constipation, increased urination and loss of appetite. Kratom consumption can lead to addiction, according to the DEA.