Tag: kratom

More Kratom Controversy in South Florida

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Kratom May Soon be Illegal in Palm Beach County

will kratom soon be illegal?

The legal and often controversial drug Kratom is once again in the center of a south Florida policy debate.

Ian Mautner, a twenty year old from Boynton Beach, killed himself on July 16th. He jumped from an overpass onto I-95. Yikes. Rest peacefully, Ian.

His mother, Linda Mautner, believes Ian was addicted to Kratom and that the drug led directly to his death.

Upon searching Ian’s car, police discovered six empty packets of Kratom and two full packets. The toxicology reports haven’t yet been completed, but local officials are already calling for a ban of the substance.

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Public Backlash Against Kratom Grows

Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams is leading the charge to make Kratom illegal. He’s gone on record as stating, “It struck a cord in south country, where the young man died. It is an issue we would want to address.”

Abrams is waiting until the full police and coroner’s report is released to make any formal policy announcements, though.

Earlier this year, Sarasota County passed a law banning the sale of Kratom, bath salts, and synthetic marijuana (spice). This is the latest example of local government tightening regulations on Kratom. Counties in Arizona, Vermont, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Iowa all have some form of Kratom legislation. Also, the state of Indiana has banned the sale of all Kratom alkaloids, though the plant itself is still legal to possess.

This raises two important points. First, what exactly is Kratom and why is there a country wide debate about it’s legal status? Second, should Kratom be regulated and controlled in the same manner as drugs like heroin and cocaine?

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What is Kratom Anyway?

Kratom is the popular name for the leaves of the tree Mitragyna speciosa. This is a native plant of Southeast Asia and is actually in the same family as the coffee plant.

Kratom has a long history of use by indigenous peoples. In fact, people from southern Thailand have chewed Kratom leaves for thousands of years. It’s used to treat everything from tooth pain to bad moods.

The psychoactive effects of Kratom are varied. In small doses, it gives users a stimulant type high. At larger doses, it gives users a depressant type high. This is where it becomes compared to heroin and other opioids.

The type of Kratom ingested also alters the psychoactive effects. White-vein Kratom leaf is known to produce stimulating effects. Red-vein Kratom, on the other hand, produces sedating and depressant effects.

Over the past few years, Kratom has become increasingly popular in the U.S. This is due to one major factor – the introduction of additives to Kratom powder. The most popular additive is O-Desmethyltramadol, which is actually a metabolite of Kratom itself.

When O-Desmethyltramadol is added to Kratom powder, it goes from being a restively harmless substance to being incredibly addicting. Various alkaloids are also added to Kratom powder. The most popular of these are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

When it’s mixed with these metabolites and alkaloids, Kratom becomes much stronger and more addicting. However, should it be made illegal?

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The Legal Debate over Kratom

All across the country, Kratom’s legal status is being hotly debated. After the tragic death of Ian Mautner, south Florida is joining this debate.

The Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition is calling for more comprehensive studies to be done. They believe that Kratom poses a risk for abuse and addiction. However, the extent of that risk isn’t yet known.

Jeff Kadel, director of the PBCSAC, is quoted as saying “It basically alters your state of mind. There needs to be more science done.

On the other side of the debate, there are Kratom supporters. Peter Isaacs works at a West Palm Beach Kratom & Kava bar. He’s a vocal advocate of keeping Kratom legal. “It’s not a mind-altering thing,” Isaacs is quoted as telling the Sun-Sentinel.

So, what’s the truth? Is Kratom a dangerous new drug or a natural plant that can produce mild psychoactive effects? I’m not sure. I’m not a scientist. I also got sober before Kratom was popular, so I have no first-hand knowledge of the drug.

However, I think it’s safe to say that something needs to be done. If young adults like Ian Mautner are dying as a result of Kratom, however small a role it may have played, there should be in-depth studies conducted. Let’s let scientists explore how dangerous Kratom is or isn’t. Only then will we be able to make an informed and smart decision about its legality.

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Kratom Addiction: Real Facts and Statistics Behind an Emerging Drug Trend

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Kratom Addiction Facts and Statistics

kratom addiction facts

Kratom’s public profile has recently blown up. It seems everywhere you look there are reports of “a deadly new drug,” or “a legal drug that’s stronger than heroin.” With all this information, it’s hard to figure out which kratom addiction facts are true and which are hype.

It doesn’t help that kratom addiction is a relatively new phenomenon or that hard facts about kratom addiction are almost non-existent. So, which kratom addiction facts are real? Which kratom addiction statistics are true?

Find out true facts about kratom addiction below!

Kratom Addiction Facts

Find seven kratom addiction facts below:

• Kratom possess opioid like properties, but isn’t an opioid.

• Kratom has been shown to have a low potential for abuse. However, when chemicals such as o-desmethyltramadol are mixed with kratom, it becomes very addicting.

• Kratom is unregulated by the federal government, though several states are beginning to pass legislation controlling its use. Because of kratom’s unregulated status, users are never sure exactly what chemicals they’re getting.

• Kratom contains over twenty-five different alkaloids, including: mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine, and paynanthine. These alkaloids are what give kratom its euphoric properties.

• Kratom’s alkaloids bind to the mu and kappa opioid receptors. The mu opioid receptor is what makes kratom physically addictive. In 2004, a study on mice found that 7-hydroxymitragynine produced withdrawal symptoms similar to morphine.

• Two popular forms of kratom, red-vein leaf and white-vein leaf, produce different euphoric effects. Red-vein leaf, also know as Maeng-Da kratom, produces a stimulant like high. Strangely enough, at larger doses it produces a depressant high. White-vein leaf kratom always produces a speedy, stimulant like high.

• The typical dose of kratom extract is three to five grams. However, as tolerance develops, users may need to take upwards of ten grams. Raw kratom requires upwards of twenty grams to produce psychoactive effects.

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Kratom Addiction Statistics

Find five kratom addiction statistics below:

• It’s estimated that over 70% of the male population in Southern Thailand uses kratom. This may be due to kratom long history of use by indigenous peoples of Thailand.

• Upon analyzing kratom leaf, researchers found it possessed between 1% and 6% mitragynine. They also found it possessed between .01% and .04% 7-hydroxymitragynine.

• One study found 50% of long-term (six months or longer) kratom users experienced severe withdrawal symptoms. 45% experienced mild withdrawal symptoms and 5% were unaffected.

• In the same study, over 80% of kratom users attempted to stop their use, but were unable.

• There have been three verified reports of death related to kratom addiction. In all three of these cases, kratom was mixed with other drugs and the exact cause of death is unknown.

What Do These Kratom Addiction Facts and Statistics Mean For You?

These statistics and facts about kratom addiction show that kratom isn’t the devil drug it’s made out to be. Yes, kratom addiction is a real public-health concern. Yes, kratom addiction has potentially harmful effects. But it simply isn’t killing people left and right, as the media portrays.

Remember, kratom has a low potential for abuse! However, when unknown chemicals are added, it becomes a whole different beast. Kratom use is also harmful to those suffering from addiction. Just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s not a relapse!

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