What is Kratom and Why Is It Popular in Florida?

God and Sobriety: Investigating Spirituality and Recovery

Links to other resources: Residential, Detox

Kratom Addiction: A Closer Look at a Controversial Plant

Kratom, whose scientific name is Mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, especially in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The leaves of this plant have been used traditionally by local communities for their medicinal properties and as a stimulant. However, in recent years, kratom has garnered attention worldwide both for its potential therapeutic effects and concerns over misuse and addiction. In Florida, Kratom has gained popularity in the last 10 years, with the substance being sold at gas stations and smoke shops all over the state, and even some bars.

Historically, in its native regions, kratom has been chewed or brewed into teas by laborers to combat fatigue, increase productivity, and alleviate pain. Its dual capability to act as a stimulant in low doses and a sedative in high doses is attributed to the two primary alkaloids found in the leaves, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These compounds are believed to interact with opioid receptors in the brain, though kratom is not an opioid itself.

The Rise in Popularity

In the past decade, kratom’s popularity has surged in Western countries, particularly the United States. Many users advocate for kratom as an alternative treatment for chronic pain, anxiety, and even opioid withdrawal. The online community is rife with testimonials of those who claim to have found relief from a plethora of ailments through kratom. Given the opioid epidemic, the allure of a natural substance that might alleviate withdrawal symptoms and pain is compelling. Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery Center is the best drug and alcohol rehab in Florida, located in Panama City, and is able to treat Kratom withdrawal in a safe, clinical detox environment.

The Concerns of Addiction and Misuse

Like any substance that interacts with the brain’s reward pathways, there’s potential for misuse and addiction. As kratom has gained popularity, so have reports of dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and emergency room visits associated with its use. Symptoms of kratom withdrawal can include muscle aches, irritability, aggressive behavior, and emotional changes.

Moreover, since kratom is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in many countries, products sold can vary widely in their potency and purity. This poses additional risks to users, as contaminants or adulterants may be present, or they may unknowingly

consume higher doses than intended. This is one of the main facets of the problem, because people using Kratom as an alternative to Opioids are often using large amounts of the drug, sometimes whole bottles of the pills each day. These users who are using large amounts of Kratom often face scary withdrawal effects when they try to stop, just like traditional opioids (Heroin, Vicodin, Fentanyl) and benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin). If you or a loved one needs help stopping Kratom use, please visit FlaSprings.com today, or call 850-403-6566 to speak with intake and discuss treatment options.

The Controversy Surrounding Regulation

The debate around kratom is multifaceted. While some call for a complete ban due to concerns about addiction and a lack of rigorous scientific research on its safety and efficacy, others argue for more research and regulation rather than outright prohibition. A total ban would cut off a potential lifeline for those who swear by its therapeutic benefits, especially those seeking alternatives to opioids.

In some regions, like certain states in the U.S., kratom has already been banned. However, national-level regulation remains a topic of contention.

Kratom, like many natural substances with psychoactive properties, exists in a gray area between medicinal potential and the risk of misuse and addiction. While it’s evident that kratom is not harmless and can lead to dependence, it’s also clear that many people find genuine relief from its use. Striking a balance between ensuring public safety and allowing access for therapeutic reasons is challenging but necessary. Research, education, and sensible regulation could be the path forward, providing a framework for the safe use of kratom while minimizing the risks associated with addiction and misuse. If you are using Kratom or any other unregulated drugs, please be careful, dangerous drugs can be sold at gas stations in the US, even though that is surprising for people to learn. There have been many deaths from unrelated drugs in the US the last several years, and there is currently a wrongful death lawsuit in the courts related to Kratom.

NPR Story on Kratom Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Florida Springs is the top drug and alcohol rehab in Panama City Florida, please call us today if you or a family member is using Kratom and wished to stop.

By Tim Cannon