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Kratom Popularity on the Rise in South Florida


Kratom, used as a medicinal plant in some countries in Southeast Asia, is increasingly popular as a drug of abuse in South Florida, the Sun Sentinel reports. The drug is available online, and at tobacco and head shops, the newspaper notes. Some people use it recreationally, while others use it for pain relief, or as a treatment for depression and other ailments. It is also used by some people as a substitute for heroin, prescription painkillers or opium.

“It’s very easy to get,” said Nancy Steiner, founder of The Sanctuary, a transitional living facility for people in recovery from chemical dependency in Delray Beach, Florida. “It’s not just a problem for the recovery community, but it’s in high schools and colleges. It’s a mass problem.”

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), kratom is mainly being abused orally as a tea, but some people chew kratom leaves. 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.

The agency notes that while kratom is not controlled under the Controlled Substances Act, there is no legitimate medical use for kratom in the U.S.

3 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of John
    John / May 25, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Interesting debate…I just heard about it as an alterantive to back pain and my pain meds. Thanks for the debate!

  2. Avatar of Michelle
    Michelle / December 6, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I agree with Andrew. Kratom is no more harmful than caffeine and its natural medicinal uses for depression, anxiety and pain relief is a miracle for those suffering from such ailments. Please educate yourself DEA before stating such nonsense. Just lost a bit of respect for the DEA and the Drug Partnership for spreading such false information. Not a single death attributed to Kratom and many many people benefiting greatly from this natural plant.

  3. Avatar of Andrew
    Andrew / December 4, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I am very concerned with this article that is filled with lies and misrepresentations about Mitragyna speciosa, otherwise known as Kraotm. This plant has a history of use for several thousand years and has not been associated with a single death, arrest or serious public health issue that endangers society in all of that time. Why not focus your attention on the prescription pill addiction epidemic, since pills are easier and easier to obtain every year and cause THOUSANDS OF DEATHS per year, while Kratom is responsibly used by many adults in the U.S. and beyond with no problems.

    It is about as addictive as coffee and very easy to stop if one wants to. Its psychoactivity is comparable to that of Kava-Kava or Yohimbe and thus it is not a plant that people use to “get high.” It truly is a harmless plant that helps many people who have pain and social-anxiety issues while have few to no side effects.

    Does the government really need to spend even more money (that it doesn’t have) to declare a war on a natural plant with no serious risk to society while hard drugs are increasingly prevalent and still causing major issues? The answer is NO. Please wake up people and learn the truth about this plant.

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