Kratom is sold over the counter as a dietary ingredient. It affects the same opioid receptors as heroin or fentanyl & appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, & dependence. According to the DEA: ” Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. Consumption of its leaves produces both stimulant effects (in low doses) and sedative effects (in high doses) and can lead to psychotic symptoms, and psychological and physiological dependence.” It can lead to withdrawals (Dopesickness) similar to what withdrawals feel like with opioids.
Unbeknownst to many, drugs like these are sold over the counter at gas stations all over Florida and they are not inexpensive. Kratom Extract can be
sold in small bottles that look similar in size and shape to an energy-boosting drink, however, these can cost as much as $20. When someone develops a physical dependence on Kratom Extract, for example, they may buy as many as five (5) per day because they must use more to get the euphoria that they receive when they take larger quantities. As a facility, we have treated individuals who cannot afford to buy these anymore and have switched to other substances like alcohol or illicit opioids like heroin or fentanyl. We have reports of gas station owners providing credit lines for their patrons whose addiction has pushed them beyond their financial resources.
Because these substances are not controlled and actually sold over the counter the FDA recently issued an alert: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as kratom, a plant which grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. FDA is concerned that kratom, which affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine, appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence.” Accordingly, they wrote: “There are no FDA-approved uses for kratom, and the agency has received concerning reports about the safety of kratom. FDA is actively evaluating all available scientific information on this issue and continues to warn consumers not to use any products labeled as containing the botanical substance kratom or its psychoactive compounds, mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine. FDA encourages more research to better understand kratom’s safety profile, including the use of kratom combined with other drugs.”
Currently, the FDA classifies Kratom as a botanical that qualifies as a dietary ingredient, however, more and more pressure is being put on them to potentially “schedule” this and other supplements. Some other potentially dangerous supplements available at your neighborhood gas station include:
- Delta 8
- Delta 10
These substances can also have profound effects on growth and development. Before you take any of these, consult a physician to see if there is an alternative. The pro-Kratom lobby is very much for painting Kratom as a safe alternative to heroin or other opioids. It does not impact the respiratory system as aggressively, however, the cost associated with its use can drain a user’s funds to the point they turn to much cheaper street drugs. This is the pattern we have seen in the last ten years with Oxy users being forced (financially) to start taking heroin and now fentanyl.
Next time you are in your locally owned gas station, see if they sell these substances. If they do, take a picture and share this with your local politicians and law enforcement and MAKE THEM STOP!
Treatment options which may include a medical detox are available for Kratom. These are similar to the treatment options for other legal or illicit substances. Contact us at (772) 584-3083 or text (772) 213-1245 for more information.