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Kratom use: Florida Trends and Concerns

Published On: 01 November 2019

Kratom Becomes Issue for Florida Residents

Kratom in its various forms.

It’s interesting how the leaves from a tropical Southeastern Asian tree can be cause for so much concern, but this is the case of the herbal supplement known as kratom.  Kratom is designed to act as a stimulant when taken in small doses, and when taken in larger doses, act as a sedative. It’s available as a pill, capsule, extract, tea leaves or powder. Although there is no national regulation of the herbal supplement, several states have banned its usage, and it is not regulated by the FDA.

Users of it report opioid-like effects similar to morphine or codeine, making the supplement desirable to those wanting to use it to curb opiate withdrawal. That is because matragynine, the active ingredient in kratom, binds to the opioid receptors in the brain; resulting in pain relief. While this sounds like an appealing option to those seeking relief from opioid dependence, depression, anxiety, inflammation, pain, lack of energy (just to name a few symptoms that kratom claims to alleviate) we recommend you speak with a doctor before trying the supplement.

Kratom use is on the rise to treat chronic pain.

Remember, it is a dietary supplement so there is no regulation with respect to safety and its effectiveness for the treatment of any medical conditions. In fact, those who have tried it have reported side effects including nausea, sweating, loss of appetite, constipation, and hallucinations; just to name a few. In severe cases, kratom has been linked to death (overdose), while it is important to note that in most cases other substances such as alcohol, caffeine, benzodiazepines, fentanyl and cocaine were involved. Just like opioids, kratom has been linked to dependence, with users experiencing withdrawal symptoms including muscle aches, insomnia, emotional changes, high blood pressure and psychosis.

While it may be tempting to try kratom given some of the positive effects on the brain and body that have been reported, it’s important to emphasize that scientific research is extremely limited. There is no specific medical treatment to treat kratom addiction. Behavioral therapy has been reported to be helpful, but more research needs to be conducted to identify an effective treatment protocol. Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence showing if it is either safe or effective for the purposes that people are using it for. While the jury is still out on the idea of using kratom to control withdrawal cravings and other medical conditions, the scientific community agrees that further research is warranted to determine its safety.

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Mia Templeman
Mia Templeman
3 years ago

I had a car accident in 2016. my back and neck are injured beyond repair. I seeked medical advice and was sent to pain management. There I was put on 15 pharmaceuticals. I tried returning to work and lasted only 4 months until I was fired for not being able to perform job duties and a personality change. This termination caused me PTSD. I continued seeing pain management and continued taking the medications because it was the advice of a doctor! I was forced to stop taking these medications because the Dr was shut down by the FDA for over prescribing her patients! The shut down happened 3 days before my refills were due! I’ve had already lost my job that provided me with health ins. Looking for another Dr would’ve cost me 400.00 out of pocket for the first visit. No job no money. Withdrawals started and it was horrible. I’m extremely blessed I didn’t go into cardiac arrest. This is when I started my herbal journey. I was introduced to kratom. I’ve been consuming the powder version for several years. The only side effect that i have experienced is slight constipation because I was not drinking enough water. I’ve taken tolerance breaks for a few weeks at a time without any withdrawals. I choose to stop taking kratom every few months so I don’t have to consume high doses. With kratom the less is best!. I have fibromyalgia bulging herniated discs and DDD with stenosis throughout my entire spine. I have ptsd depression and extreme anxiety. All of this is being treated with kratom and a few other natural herbs. This is my choice for my health. If kratom gets banned millions of Americans including myself will suffer from many health issues. It would cause a huge increase of illegal drug use and overdoses especially since we are in an opiod crises and Dr are no longer able to help their patients. If kratom is banned it will also cause a dramatic spike in suicide in the US. Americans need options. Kratom is my option. Thank you

Jean Kucharski
Jean Kucharski
3 years ago

Please do your research and read the scientific facts. My husband and I both have been using kratom for almost 3 years and not once have I ever felt like I did while taking pain pills!! My pain levels are minimal and my energy level is increased but not in a speedy way! Not once have my husband or I ever gotten high from kratom and anyone who says they do is lying!

Charles simpson
Charles simpson
3 years ago

Kratom is a very beneficial plant to millions, not an opioids like the ones killing thousands, kratom is safe, effective, and natural, many people would be back to not having a life if it got taken away, I implore you, follow the science

Mariha Alley
Mariha Alley
3 years ago

Kratom gave me my life back. The “side effects” listed are minimal to the long lists attached to any prescription drugs. It does not get you “high” or do anything except help manage pain. I would rather die than go back to the pain and debilitation of before I found Kratom. Please, #FollowTheScience

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