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Why is Kratom in the news?

Why is Kratom in the news?

kratom, in the news, opioid addiction
Photo credit: Dominic Milton Trott

Local news stories about Kratom in North Mississippi have erupted in the last two months. Itawamba County as a whole and specifically Mantachie and Fulton banned the substance.

Public discussion about emerging drug problems sheds light on difficult subjects. We spend a lot of time educating our community on the issue of drug addiction and removing the stigma that often comes with seeking help for drug addictions. This discussion has also revealed how many people desire to find treatment for their opioid addiction or want to treat pain without opioids.

What is Kratom?

Kratom comes from the Mitragyna Speciose tree grown in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua, New Guinea. The drug may be sold as leaves, powder, pill or liquid. Some users claim the drug has no addictive qualities and alleviates the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. FDA studies, however, show the drug attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain causing a similar high and addiction as opioid.

What’s the problem with Kratom?

The FDA does not regulate herbal supplements like Kratom. That means the amount of actual Kratom in a supplement can vary without manufacturer of the supplement having to list how much of the substance is in the supplement. Manufacturers also mix other chemicals with Kratom in their supplements. These chemicals can change how the body process the Kratom as well as other medications.

This lack of regulation can mean the dose you took yesterday that helped you stay alert and focused at work could land you in the hospital with an overdose today.

Users report low doses of Kratom improve focus, increase energy levels, increase sociability and decrease pain. Higher doses, however, can cause drowsiness, sweating, nausea, itching, dreaminess, and vomiting.

Kratom currently has no medically approved usage, including as an aid to kicking opioid addiction. People who attempt to treat opioid addiction with Kratom often end up simply switching drugs. There are approved medications to treat opioid addiction. Our counselors can help you find the right in-patient or out-patient program to treat your addiction. Don’t try to manage it alone.

If you’d like to learn more about Kratom and the dangers, check out this article. Our counselors are available to help tackle any addiction including opioids and Kratom.

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