Law Enforcement Concerned About Potentially Addictive Drug Kratom

Law enforcement officials are concerned about a potentially addictive drug called kratom, which is sold as a tea in head shops, according to USA Today.

Young men are posting testimonials about the drug on YouTube, the article notes. Kratom is a tropical tree found in Southeast Asia. Its leaves are sold in the United States as a pill or powder to stir into drinks, the article notes.

“Kratom has been described as producing both stimulant and sedative effects,” the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states on its website. “At low doses, it produces stimulant effects, with users reporting increased alertness, physical energy, talkativeness and sociable behavior. At high doses, opiate effects are produced, in addition to sedative and euphoric effects. Effects occur within 5 to 10 minutes after ingestion and last for 2 to 5 hours. Acute side effects include nausea, itching, sweating, dry mouth, constipation, increased urination, and loss of appetite.”

Some people who abuse prescription painkillers use kratom to alleviate the effects of opioid withdrawal.

Kratom can be addictive, according to the newspaper. The drug is not monitored by any national drug abuse surveys, so it is not known how many people use it. The drug is widely available on the Internet, according to the DEA. It is not approved for any medical purpose in the United States.

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    March 22, 2015 at 3:04 PM

    My 23-year old son came to my husband and me 2 weeks ago and told us that he has been addicted to kratom for almost a year, using between 30-40 grams/day. We have been trying to help him get off of it for the last 9 days, and while he is down to less than 7 grams/day, he is now suffering with terrible depression, sleeplessness, and lack of appetite. We didn’t even know about this stuff until he told us about it. Hard to believe 2 weeks ago I was blissfully ignorant, and am now stuck in this horrible nightmare. Just wondering if anybody else has any experience with this?

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