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Mississippi Banning: Opioid Substitute Kratom Deemed Dangerous

Kratom. It’s in the news. For some people addicted to opioids, it is the go-to choice to help them in their recovery. As they seek to forgo consuming opioids, they are turning to this legal herbal supplement as a substitute. Given that opioid dependence is at record levels, Kratom is flying off the shelves.

Mississippi Bans Kratom, a Substance on the RiseMississippi bans kratom in some parts of the state

After all, Kratom is a natural substance. It comes from the leaves of trees. Kratom is reputed to relieve pain. It also allegedly calms the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). What’s more, it’s not a newbie. It’s been around for many years, used also to elevate both mood and energy. Only now, sales are surging. More and more of those struggling with opioid abuse are going the Kratom route. That being the case, it appears to work.

“Opioid Users Call Kratom a Godsend,” reads the first part of a headline in a recently published article in The New York Times. However, pay attention to the phrase that follows it: “The F.D.A. Says It’s a Menace.” The Food and Drug Administration, the federal agency charged with protecting and promoting public health, is alerting people. Stop using Kratom.

Based on its own firsthand evidence, a region in Mississippi agrees. Some jurisdictions are taking the warning one step further. According to a WLBT Channel 3 report, 10 counties and 23 cities in the northern section of the state are banning Kratom. The headline of this news piece parallels the second phrase of the one posted above. It reads: “Authorities: Legal Opioid Substitute Is Dangerous, Even Deadly.”

What’s the Problem?

Kratom produces opioid-like effects. That accounts for why it’s popular as an opioid replacement. It turns out, that’s not where the similarity ends. Opioids are highly addictive. Kratom is too.

There’s more. Kratom can cause serious side effects. These include psychosis and hallucinations and other hazardous conditions. Also, since it’s an unregulated substance, the concentration of active ingredients in Kratom varies from package to package. Buyers beware.

But there’s an even more serious reason to exercise caution. Kratom can kill. And it has. A dozen people in northern Mississippi have died from Kratom. Users can overdose. When they do, their respiratory system shuts down. Note: There’s no antidote for Kratom overdosing.

Users who overdose on opioids, if caught in time, may be saved with naloxone, known by its brand name Narcan. However, Narcan does not work with Kratom. Overdosing is serious enough with any substance. But, in the case of Kratom, there is no safety net. Overdosing is truly fatal.

Chemical Dependency: What to Do

Kratom has become a serious drug issue in the state and elsewhere in the nation. The 33-jurisdiction ban here is the first step. Pending further investigation, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics may expand it.

Although Kratom may help people curb their use of opioids, it does not take the place of treatment at a medically-oriented facility. In Mississippi, Oxford Recovery Center is such a rehab. We offer a full continuum of care, including medical detox, residential treatment, a partial hospital program, as well as intensive and standard outpatient programs. Our focus is on customized treatment based on a person’s needs.

Oxford Recovery Center bears the seal of approval from The Joint Commission. It also is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Our residential clients receive a guarantee. Those who successfully complete our 90-day treatment program will stay clean and sober. We stand by this pledge. Otherwise, return for a complimentary 30 days of treatment. Visit our online admissions page to start the recovery process today.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Oxford Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More