Kratom has been hailed as a natural, miracle cure for heroin addiction, providing a means for those addicted to heroin a real path towards releasing themselves from the hold that the drug puts on its victims. However, kratom has also been called highly addictive as well and some believe that it is simply trading one deadly addiction for another.
Kratom is not only used to help break people from heroin addiction, but also as a party drug and to dampen or take the edge off pain. It’s cheap at $5 for two-grams which constitutes a single dose. Kratom is considered a hot drug for health nuts because it is herbal and hip by those who love to party. There are different types of kratom depending on the strain and potency, one of which promises to help keep you focused and alert.
Developed from a plant in Southeast Asia, kratom has become highly popular in smoke shops and cafes where it has been billed as a safe, herbal product. The herb itself is legal in 43 states, but the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is wrestling with whether to keep the status of kratom as safe or label it as dangerous. Currently, it is billed by the feds as a “drug of concern”. There is no timeline to when the FDA will make a final decision, so until that happens the hands of the federal government are tied.
The way kratom is being sold off the shelves in an indication that the herbal product has highly addicting properties as many are purchasing it in bulk. In addition, several deaths in the New York City area alone have been directly linked to kratom. From thoughts of suicide to heart palpitations, seizures, bleeding in the lungs, psychosis, and more, kratom has shown to have a deadly side.
The DEA has officially listed the number of deaths directly related to kratom from 2014 to 2016 as 15 nationwide which all things considered is quite low, but the drug itself has become quite popular over the past year which means that the number of people dying from kratom will almost certainly rise. This is especially true for those who have used the substance to kick their heroin habit. There are former heroin users who report that kratom has taken away the withdrawal symptoms of leaving heroin while helping them feel normal. However, it has also been described as taking away one drug for another which only keeps the addiction in place.
More disconcerting is that since there is no ban or regulations on kratom by the FDA and in 43 states, it is legal to serve to minors. Since kratom has only recently become a popular substance, it will be some time before the full effects of whether it is relatively benign or create far worse issues will be known. What can be said is that kratom is highly popular with those who use it and most see no reason to regulate the substance.