Kratom can reduce opiate addiction, get you high, and is legal in the US.

Mitragyna speciosa leaves by Uomo vitruviano via Wikimedia Commons.

Mitragyna speciosa leaves by Uomo vitruviano via Wikimedia Commons.

Have you tried Kratom?

via AlterNet:

Why are people across the U.S. chewing on the small, glossy leaves of the Southeast Asian Kratom tree? It’s an ancient plant medicine related to coffee, and it produces a high that’s both euphoric and legal. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) has long been used in Thailand and Malaysia to relieve pain, settle the stomach and reduce opiate dependence. Now it’s taking off in the West.

According to SageWisdom.org, Kratom leaves can be chewed fresh or dry, powdered, or brewed into a tea. It is not usually smoked, because the “amount of leaf that constitutes a typical dose is too much to be smoked easily.” It’s most commonly sold in powder form in packets, both online and in kava bars—alcohol-free bars where people can consume tea made from the legal, Polynesian kava root— and head shops. An ounce costs between $20 and $30, which is enough Kratom for one very strong dose, or several more mild doses.

The fact that Kratom can mitigate the painful effects of opiate withdrawl is significant, given that heroin use has reached staggering  rates in the U.S. A report by the U.S.  Office of National Drug Control Policy estimated a1.5 million chronic heroin users in the US, which doesn’t account for users that use heroin less than 4 days per month.

While it is regularly used to curb opiate addiction by reducing the withdrawal symptoms, Kratom itself can be addictive. One mother in South Florida told the local CBS news the story of her 17-year-old son’s spiral into Kratom addiction after he tried plant at a kava bar with friends. She blames the addiction for her son’s eventual suicide, saying that he was “not the same person,” after trying Kratom.

While it remains popular in underground circles, Kratom has been illegal in Thailand since 1943 (it’s also banned in Malaysia, Burma and Australia). However, as Fox News reported, “Thai officials are considering reversing the 70 year old ban on kratom, due to the plant’s value in weaning addicts off of opiates.”

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  • trompe l’oiel

    First time I took Kratom was in Maryland while watching the 21 Jump Street reboot. I took way more than was necessary because I had no frame of reference. It was an itchy, giggle fest until I fell asleep terribly dehydrated. Now I only take it occasionally in more reasonable amounts when I need to get a lot of tedious work done. It’s pretty much coffee’s doped up cousin.

  • MacEwan

    Let’s hope it is not DEA’d too quickly. http://www.justice.gov/dea/druginfo/drug_data_sheets/Kratom.pdf

  • Brendonius

    I’ve tried it and I feel like there is a reason it’s legal. Though it is not nearly as bad as salvia, it was not particularly euphoric. Definitely a bit itchy and just kind of a weird body buzz.

  • misinformation

    “…and is legal in the U.S.”

    Kratom is a legal gray area in Indiana and Tennessee. The constituent ‘ingredients’ are illegal there so the plant itself could be an issue. Your mileage may vary.

  • bloodanddesire

    This plant is an amazing herb that should be available OTC to help with pain relief. I know many people who use it daily to treat chronic pain as well as other conditions. They would be devastated without this plant and forced to resort to opiates such as Vicodin, Percocet and Morphine, all extremely addictive and easy to overdose on. How many recorded deaths exist from opiate overdose, intentional or accidental? Then how many recorded overdoses exist from kratom use? ZERO!!

    Don’t force all these people to resort to opiates, they are much better off with kratom!!