There are now six states in the U.S. that have banned a drug called Kratom, as Alabama recently joined Tennessee, Vermont, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Indiana in naming it as a Schedule I controlled substance. This is the highest classification of drugs and includes other substances such as heroin, LSD and MDMA.
The popularity of Kratom has grown in the U.S. in recent years, as it has gone largely unregulated. It comes from the kratom plant in Southeast Asia and often sold as an “herbal supplement” intended to abuse. It is a psychoactive stimulant that can have very severe side effects, as evidenced by rising numbers of hospital emergency room visits attributed to the drug.
The drug’s popularity is part of a booming trend of substance abuse that includes other herbal supplements and synthetic drugs. They start out being sold legally over the counter at head shops and even gas stations and then, after enough people have been harmed, they eventually become illegal.
In addition to use of drugs like Kratom, there is a higher percentage of poly-drug users these days, as these drugs can act as gateways to additional substances. It is particularly disturbing because packaging for these kinds of drugs usually targets young people.
It is vital for prevention efforts now to include all forms of substances, not just the more well-known illicit drugs. Messages should be focused on searching for other ways to satisfy their curiosity or fill the voids and upsets they’re seeking relief for.
As for those who become dependent on this drug and others, effective treatment can help them regain control of their lives. Desert Cove Recovery has helped hundreds of people do just that.