Kratom: potentially dangerous but legal herb


Kratom: potentially dangerous but legal herb

Posted: Dec 29, 2014 10:51 PM ESTUpdated: Dec 29, 2014 10:51 PM EST

New York News


You may not know what kratom is but chances are your kids do or will soon. Kratom comes from a plant native to Thailand, Malaysia, and elsewhere. It can mimic the effects of heroin. It is not new; people have used it since the 1900s. But the herb's popularity is growing rapidly on the Internet.

Kratom is a natural substance that mimics heroin in a mild way and also has some cocaine-like properties, according to Pamela Capaci, the CEO of Prevention Links, a nonprofit that works to prevent substance abuse. The group is closely watching the trend toward kratom.

Right now, it is being abused mainly in Asia. But with the help of the Internet, the drug abuse is rapidly moving this way.

It has been known psychotic episodes hallucinations especially at night during sleep. It can have both relaxing and speed-like effects, messing with your central nervous system.

Kratom is especially toxic when mixed with other drugs. It is can be used in a liquid form, dried leaf form, as a powder, or in capsules.

The DEA is monitoring kratom abuse in the United States, where it is legal. But it is listed as a controlled substance in Poland, Thailand, Denmark, Sweden, and Australia.