Officials at Kentucky’s Poison Control Center say Kratom is unregulated, dangerous and can even be deadly. But some users say the drug has saved their lives. Sign up for our Newsletters Kratom is …
Officials at Kentucky’s Poison Control Center say Kratom is unregulated, dangerous and can even be deadly.
But some users say the drug has saved their lives.
Kratom is considered a drug of concern in Kentucky, but it’s legal, therefore it’s sold at several shops throughout Louisville and online.
Users claim it helps with opioid withdrawal or chronic pain.
But doctors say this leaf from Southeast Asia isn’t always what you think it is.
“The problem is the Kratom that we’re seeing might have the active ingredient that we see there, but it also has 25 other different natural chemicals in it, and that poses a problem in that there’s potential for drug interactions, and other effects people are not anticipating,” said Dr. Ashley Webb, director of Kentucky’s Poison Control Center.
Webb said because Kratom is classified right now as a dietary supplement, its efficacy and safety can’t be tested like other drugs regulated by the FDA.
“Anything that is a dietary supplement does not undergo the same rigorous evaluation that the other drugs the FDA regulates do,” she said.
One sign we saw advertised Kratom as a “happy tea,” saying it’s a mood lift, a coffee alternative and a natural pain killer. Still, doctors say you don’t know what you’re getting with an unregulated substance.
“Some symptoms of Kratom in minor doses might just be things like agitation or irritability or drowsiness – it’s what we’re seeing in serious cases that can run along the lines of respiratory depression and coma like an opioid.”
If you need help with drug addiction, you are encouraged to call one of the rehab centers throughout Kentucky or go to findhelpnowky.com.