Eric Bricker, Clinical Director of Life of Purpose Treatment in Boca Raton, wrote about Kratom, a new substance making significant waves among substance abuse professionals in southern Florida. Like bath salts and other seemingly odd “impulse buys” at the local gas station, Kratom is, at first viewing, something that most of us would pay no more attention to; most of us would suspect it’s another modern snake oil that provides $5 worth of placebo. But Kratom is popular online, and sold at kava bars as an herbal supplement “commonly used to treat depression, anxiety, opiate withdrawal, and pain”. So I looked into it because their blog was eye opening to say the least.
One purveyor (Kratom Online) provides pretty photos and the very next information is advice to internet users on how to avoid legal issues when shipping to your house. The footer on the website, in tiny font, discloses “… The products mentioned on this website are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any diseases or health conditions. Any information on this site is presented solely as the opinions of their respective authors who do not claim or profess to be medical professionals providing medical advice. Articles are strictly for educational purposes and information is not guaranteed to be factually correct…”
Mr. Bricker focuses on how Kratom has skirted local, state or federal control, despite the fact this stuff is far more insidious, and similar to the dangers of bath salts before it, “the substance’s accessibility, low prices and likeness to opiates make it near irresistible to individuals in early recovery who are struggling to maintain a foothold on sobriety.”
And when I searched around online there are countless local news stories about addiction and non-substance-abusing people’s general lack of understanding of the substance and what it can do. In short, Kratom is a problem in South Florida and is spreading. For folks who are “experimenting” with Kratom, they are taking tremendous risks. For folks who are profiting on drug-seeking, the internet and the legal system is a world of exploitation.
Kratom is a drug that, like Spice, has become available because presently, it skirts the local, state and federal definition for controlled substance – so as parents and members of a society, make yourself knowledgeable about it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Patrick Logan, MS is a former wilderness therapy program manager and is presently IT consulting with programs and websites.