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Addictive Substance Called Kratom Becoming Popular in South Florida

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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.

19 Responses to this article

  1. palawoda / August 17, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    used krantom to get off opaites,…and get thru a gruleing work day after two years off from cancer surgery,…..works very well

  2. Avatar of Roaddog
    Roaddog / August 11, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Kratom is very effective in use of opioid withdrawels, I know, I have used it several times. I have used it to kick some pretty big habbits. Also yes, to some degree it is addictive. Not even 1/10 as addictive as opioids. So if your a herion addict, Kratom can save your life. If not, it can cause some slite addictive properties.

  3. Avatar of Paul Kemp
    Paul Kemp / July 7, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I agree with most of these comments — kratom is not a big deal. If someone abuses it with the intention of “getting high”, with high doses, then they may eventually have an unpleasant experience or create a dependence, but this is not why most people use it.

    Kratom has proven benefits for blood-sugar transport into the muscle cells, which is very helpful for diabetics. It can also help with chronic pain, generally without the mind-messing effects of marijuana.

    I suspect the media campaign about the few people doctors and ERs are seeing who have “overdosed” or are addicted to kratom are just the latest drug scare to beef up DEA and local police budgets.

    I also think the big pharmaceutical companies might like to see an herb that could help patients get off addictive opioid pain meds, anti-depressants, and diabetes meds as a MAJOR threat to their cash flow.

    Kratom, in general, is not that predictably rewarding compared to other options. Unfortunately, the negative publicity only attracts the attention of more abusers and warns away those who might find true relief from pain, opiate addiction, and diabetes symptoms, et al.

  4. Dacey / November 12, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Thai Kratom is believed to be the most optimum quality of Kratom leaves found in the entire globe. They are pure and simply authentic in their taste and effect. This bushy plant or more precisely a tree, grows to a height of 15 to about 20 feet in the sky and also include dark green colored leaves which grow upto 7 inches in length and 4 inches in width.

  5. Avatar of maria jose
    maria jose / October 14, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Nice. Kratom addiction is a very real possibility for those who abuse it.Increased tolerance tolerance, Daily use, Long term constipation are the signs of kratom addiction.

  6. Dacey / September 28, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Users report a relatively mild high from kratom abuse. however, the drug is addictive and prolonged use can lead to kratom addiction.Kratom is harmful if it is taken in high dose otherwise it has various medicinal values

  7. Avatar of Jeremy Gilbert
    Jeremy Gilbert / July 25, 2011 at 12:11 am

    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.

  8. Avatar of byron sweet
    byron sweet / July 14, 2011 at 9:16 am

    People are going to something weak and pretty benign?? Just think about how big of a deal that is…. then think about some crime…. like rape… Then scream out loud “What the hell are our priorities!?!?!?!?” Imagine the face of a nation that had the same gusto that goes in to protecting the pharmacuticle companies, going towards actually making our people safer and happier. Marijuana is illegal (federally at least), for no apparent reason… No toxicity… makes you lay around, not fight…. Prohibition breads violence, just as it did with alcohol…. But who cares right? So when people go for something that is frankly not worth the time or money to treat themselves for pain or anxiety, don’t be surprised…

  9. Avatar of KA Associate
    KA Associate / July 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Why would drug-seeking addictive people use Kratom when they can just go to you Detox folks for real-life dangerous opiates? You think Kratom is a problem? Come to Florida, where you’ll see that your pharmaceutical heroin (Oxycontin, Bupenorphine) is FAR more dangerous. This is an absolute joke. Find another marketing strategy.

  10. Avatar of Dacey
    Dacey / July 11, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Kratom is not popular due to its drug property.It is famous because it is used as an medicine for various purpose like for relief from stress and for other purpose.

  11. Avatar of aalina
    aalina / July 9, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Kratom is a rather unique drug in that a low to moderate dose will usually bestimulating, while a high dose is almost always quite sedating. This is apparently because the active alkaloids have both stimulant and sedative effects. For kratom, like many drugs if used on a daily basis for a prolonged period of time, could become a habit hard to break.Before starting to experiment with it set yourself usage guidelines. If you ever find it is hard to stay within your usage guidelines immediately quit using kratom.

  12. Avatar of Chotzi
    Chotzi / July 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Kratom seems more addictive to some than to others. It is, however, very useful for opiate detox. I was able easily to kick a 5 year opium habit using kratom. Kratom, too, causes withdrawal, down-regulation, etc, but not nearly as bad as opium. It’s a good way to step down for many people who can’t hack it any other way.

  13. Preston Gazaway, MD / July 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    In the past three years, I have treated two individuals who were addicted to Kratom. One chewed the substance and the other made a tea. When they presented after not using for a little more than 24 hours, both had a COWS score greater than 15 and urine drug screens negative for opiates, oxycodone and benzos. Symptoms were relieved by Subutex. Both were stabilized on Suboxone and easily tapered over three months.

  14. Steve Westen / July 7, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Just more propoganda so the DEA can keep us worried enough to continue funding them. The DEA is loosing ground on being effective and worth the tax payers dollars. With 1/2 of their funding being put towards cannabis and their ability to arrest these “offenders” coming to an end, they have to scrounge up something to continue instilling fear in us, so we will continue to give them a budget. Kratom has been around and used for thousands of years and I have personally known about it since the 90′s and all the sudden its now becoming popular… no… kratom is not popular and will not become popular. Its effects aren’t rewarding enough to use on a continual basis; compared to other mind-altering substances.

  15. Avatar of Jay
    Jay / July 7, 2011 at 2:05 am

    While I don’t know of any studies that specifically delve into the addictive properties of Kratom, it’s known that some of the alkaloids in Kratom are opioid agonists. When such things bind to the right opioid receptors, they create a ‘feel good’ environment (endorphins) where the body wants more. By regularly using substances the bind to these receptors, eventually your brain won’t release endorphins like they should, resulting in the dependence on these substances just to feel normal. Over time, you may even have to increase your dosage to feel normal in such cases.

    Kratom has been used for a long, long time and aside from the large amount of user reports (anecdotal) regarding Kratom addiction and the Bulletin on Narcotics, 1975; Vol 27(3): 21-27 that specifically studied Kratom addicts, the potential for physical dependence and addiction should be inferred due to what Kratom’s primary alkaloids do: bind to specific opioid receptors.

    That WPTV report, though, doesn’t appear to be a reliable or accurate news piece as per the comments. Things like the story purportedly misrepresents the business where Kratom was purchased and the lead character’s credibility was called into question. Plus, the story itself appears to promote a local detox center. All that and they call Kratom a ‘new natural substance’ when it’s an ages-old folk medicine.

    While anything that makes you feel good or better can be and is abused (alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, fats, sugars, etc) and can lead to some form of addiction or dependence in some people in some cases, that doesn’t inherently mean it’s a danger to society or to people in general.

    I mean, how many people ‘need’ their morning coffee to function? I’m not saying that addiction is good or should be an acceptable norm, but attempting to demonize something simply because it can be addictive or abused shouldn’t be acceptable, either.

  16. Clean and Sober / July 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    “Some observations on the pharmacology of mitragynine.” Macko, Weisbach and Douglas (1972) reported that mitragynine (active ingredient in Kratom) possesses pain threshold elevating and antitussive properties but no addictive properties. What research has determined it is now addictive?

  17. Avatar of Luc
    Luc / July 13, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Kratom can be addictive when abused for a long period of time and high amounts, but the abuse potential itself is minor. But please lets keep in mind that kratom is being used for thousands of years in Asia with any lethal case or potential to damage the users.

  18. Tea Squires / August 3, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Kratom can be highly addictive!!! My husband is destroying his life with this so called harmless stuff . Yes, very unlikely someone could OD from it yet it can destroy your mental health, physical, soul health and break families. Don’t be fooled it is far from harmless. Any substance has the potential to wreck havoc on someone’s life. I know I’m living through it now and it’s a nightmare. Especially since it’s legal and sold everywhere. I hope they change the laws God speed!

  19. Keldred Sven / August 18, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    McDonalds / hamburgers can be addictive.

    Blaming Kratom for a person’s addiction is like blaming Nike for not being in the Olympics after you bought track shoes.

    Most people blaming Kratom as an addiction are generally covering up their real addiction, opiates, and attempting to pass blame onto Kratom so they can feel better about themselves.

    To the best of our knowledge, there has never been a documented case of Kratom addiction.

    Kratom can be habit forming like almost everything else in the food chain.

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