Palm Beach County May Ban Kratom

Categories: Broward News

kratom-drank.jpg
Jess Swanson
Kratom, an herb found in Southeast Asia and banned in Thailand, Australia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and recently Indiana and Tennessee, is often used in a drink called kava here in Florida -- where it is not banned.

Not yet, anyway.

But now, Palm Beach County is considering banning kratom. This is because kratom is considered highly addictive by many and has supposedly been tied to several deaths and multiple emerency-room visits across the country since it was introduced to the U.S. as a sort of pick-me-up coffee substitute.

Some are concerned kratom is slowing becoming the next bath salts or synthetic marijuana, while others swear it's harmless.

See also: Kratom Comes to Florida: Is the Next Big Drug Craze Dangerous?

Kratom is from the coffee family and is used in places like Southeast Asia for medicinal purposes and as a mood enhancer. It's considered to be an opiate substitute and, if some studies are to be believed, is very addictive.

Although the DEA is keeping a close eye on kratom and its effects, the stuff is not illegal in the U.S. And though there has been a growing number of people seeking treatment for addiction to it, it's not considered a controlled substance.

Yet, according to the Sun Sentinel, kratom is being blamed for the recent death of a 20-year-old Boynton Beach man named Ian Mautner, who leapt to his death from the SW 23rd Avenue I-95 overpass.

Mautner's mother says he was addicted to kratom.

While Mautner's toxicology and medical examination reports have yet to be concluded, the incident seemed to be the last straw for the Palm Beach County Commission, which, on Tuesday, called for an investigation of the ingredient offered at local kava bars.

In 2013, New Times reported on a Jupiter couple who sued a West Palm Beach kava bar because they claimed they became addicted to the kratom-laced drinks served there.

Since then, two of New Times' reporters actually tried kratom and reported their respective findings.

According to Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams, the findings to Mautner's death will determine whether the county will pursue an all-out ban of kratom.

Meanwhile, the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition says more studies need to be done on kratom over concerns it poses a risk.

The Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition, created to help stamp out drug and alcohol abuse, has concerns that Kratom may pose a risk.

"It basically alters your state of mind," the coalition's executive director, Jeff Kadel, said via the Sentinel. "There needs to be more science done."


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17 comments
drkratom
drkratom

Kratom saved my life. It is saving thousands of lives all over the US. What do people not understand about that? I am the CEO of Mayan Kratom. I was there at the meeting with the mayor. It would have been really nice if the mayor would have actually let all those that showed up speak. People drove from all over to be there. I drove down from Daytona Beach. Overall I believe they got the message and understand now. I wish that West Palm Beach would crack down on the pill mill doctors. Several people a minute are dying from pills. Nobody has ever died from kratom. Any doctor that opposes kratom should immediately be investigated. There is a reason why a doctor would oppose kratom. It would be effecting his bottom line revenues and hurt his ability to sell pain pills.  ps Kratom is not a drink called Kava. I really laughed when I read that. Kava is a root from places like Hawaii. It helps people quit drinking alcohol, etc.   Has nothing to do with kratom at all. Just because a kava bar is selling kratom does not mean that kratom is kava.   Do some more research before you draft out a story.

monkeegirl1968
monkeegirl1968

I would ask the person who wrote this article who "some people" are that they reference throughout this piece. What scientific data was used to come to the conclusion that kratom is in anyway harmful or more addict than coffee, a plant that it is related to. This is just filled with bad journalism. It is like Fox News. 

earlfvalentine
earlfvalentine

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Deegles98
Deegles98

This article is full of lies and it makes me angry that it was even written at all. I've used kratom for the last six months and it's the only thing that alleviates my pain completely. It's not addictive, it's not dangerous. The plant was banned in Thailand because it was cutting into the opium trade over there, not because it was dangerous. There are no deaths associated with this plant, unlike the hundreds of thousands of deaths each year due to the crap the pharmaceutical companies push and I mean PUSH on the American people. My only child died as a result of just such a drug.......a medication given to him because the school system said he had adhd. How about you people start banning and removing these dangerous pharmaceuticals from the shelves? That will never happen because of the big money involved in it. So a prescribed medication is much more dangerous than this plant, yet there is an "acceptable" amount of deaths when the pharmaceutical companies decide to market a drug. I'm sorry this woman lost her child, but it was NOT due to kratom "addiction".

DavidicusDisraeli
DavidicusDisraeli

"While Mautner's toxicology and medical examination reports have yet to be concluded, the incident seemed to be the last straw for the Palm Beach County Commission"

Don't let the quest for the truth get in the way of your knee-jerk crusade. React now, accuracy be damned. Sensationalism sells, simple facts don't. Simple fact... not a single death can be directly attributed to kratom, or it's active alkaloids. Another simple fact... not a single peer-reviewed study has ever shown kratom to be harmful. Ian Mautner had underlying psychological issues which aren't being mentioned as the real cause of his suicide. Over 100,000 people die every year from FDA-approved prescription drugs, yet one case of a depressed mans suicide is enough to get people scrambling to ban a harmless plant.


Absolutely insane.

http://silver.neep.wisc.edu/~lakes/iatrogenic.pdf

zzzdeprived
zzzdeprived

Kratom is being bashed by people who don't understand it. I was skeptical at first too but then I tried it for my sciatica. I couldn't sleep at night I was in so much pain. The Dr. either gave me injections of steroid or pain pills that I could not function on and still had pain. I finally desperately tried Kratom and BAM... pain was gone and I did NOT feel high. I felt energized and normal. No pain !!! This NATURAL LEAF from the coffee family is a MIRACLE!! NOT A DRUG! If you ban this you may as well ban coffee because coffee gives you a buzz AND IS WAY MORE ADDICTING than Kratom. If you have the addictive gene you can become addicted to ANYTHING. When the legal availability of kratom is being discussed, we often see some reference to the situation in Thailand. True, kratom was first scheduled for control in 1943, but for complete different reasons than often assumed. In these years, the Thai government was levying duties and taxes from users and shops involved in the opium trade. As a result the opium prices were rising and users started to take kratom to manage their withdrawal symptoms. Kratom helps people get off Heroin!!!! <<< Shouldn't that be enough said!!!!???

barefootedprincess
barefootedprincess

This makes me so angry.  All this going on with Kratom and it is lies!  I have used Kratom for over 2 years now and it has given me my life back.  I was diagnosed in 2011 with Addison's Disease and a month later was rear ended by a texting driver at a hi rate of speed and I was stopped.  I would not be moving around at all or all drugged out on pain med's if it were not for this plant.  I have taken a lot and taken a little, all depends on what I need for that day and I do not go crazy, or hallucinate or get stoned!!  I feel what I remember as being normal.  My pain is tolerable and I can do what I need to do to be apart of society and a part of my family again.  I suffered for over a year before finding this plant and nothing but good has come of it.  Probably saved the insurance company some money as well as I have not had to go to the doctors as much the last few years.  I wish people would quit spreading lies about it.  Come on people, there are other things that could use your attention that ARE killing people!!  This is a plant, just like coffee and used responsibly it as safe as coffee as well.  Heck, they have even come out with a pill of so much caffeine that it killed a young person.  Why don't you do something about that type of thing.  This is NOT bath salts or K2 or anything even remotely like it.  So many people are going to have to suffer needlessly and so many others that have not had the chance or CHOICE to try it will never know how lucky we are to have this. 

kfpebbles
kfpebbles

This plant has saved my life and the relationship with my family I have fibromyliga , RLS, sever arthritis in my upper body . I have been struggling with pain meds for 25 years I was extremely depressed because noting helped me. I have been using kratom since 2011 .This is sad to me that they are reporting this to be like spice or bath salt ..that is completely wrong. I don't know how people can have a write up in  the paper and have it not be true. If I was a writer I would want to make sure I was telling the public the truth. :( 

Ben Pogue
Ben Pogue

WTF!? Im tempted to ask if they're stoned or just stupid .... but I'm sure they're not stoned o.O

Joel Kodner
Joel Kodner

So basically I need to go try this shit ASAP.

Danny Morin
Danny Morin

So because one jack ass jumped off a bridge, they might ban this plant? WTF is wrong with this country.

Danny Morin
Danny Morin

Next bath salts or synthetic marijuana? Are you kidding me?

JohnMD
JohnMD

@drkratom I would just like to respond to your comment about doctors being against kratom. I graduated from medical school last year and I am currently doing my residency in Internal Medicine and one of the biggest populations of patients I see is patients with chronic pain. I would also like to add that I have been using kratom myself for around 5 years. I (and my wife) use it to help get over colds or the flu quicker (it is a powerful immune booster). I also used it when I got my wisdom teeth out because I did not want to take pain pills. Additionally, my wife and I usually have a cup on Friday or Saturday night to help us unwind after a long work week. When I was going through medical school, I would drink diluted kratom tea to help ease my mental fatigue during long hours of studying for my exams.


However, when it comes to my patients I've been put in a really tricky bind. Since kratom is not recognized as a therapy (or even a nutritional supplement) here in the U.S. I am not allowed to recommend it to my patients...I have discussed this at length with many of my attending physicians (who actually agreed to try it, and every one of them thought it could be extremely useful to many patient populations). It really pains me when I see a patient come in with chronic pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, or opiod addiction and I'm forced to withhold information about a supplement that could quite literally change their lives. 


I wouldn't worry about all this ridiculous journalism about this plant. My only hope is that this attention will lead to more research about it so that I can finally recommend it to my patients. 


So to everyone out there who thinks that doctors are just out to push pills and make a quick buck, just remember that the newer generation of physicians is a lot more open minded about alternative therapies and we are more than willing to speak up if the government tries to take away a useful natural remedy from patients who need it. 

boodieshorts
boodieshorts

@silvob Undergroundsupps.com told me they give %5 of their profit to help hire lawyers to fight against this witch hunt.

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