Overdosing on OTC (Over the Counter) or Herbal Remedies:
While overdosing, technically, is not a crime, I wanted to use today's letter "O", to address the rising use of trendy drugs that are technically legal to purchase in the U.S. In fact many of the these drugs can be purchased at gas stations, head shops and other stores that cater to buyers searching for "paraphernalia", commonly used in connection with other drugs.
First there was a drug called bath salts, yup, that's what I said. And ladies, I'm not talking about the those luxuries that we pamper ourselves with while soaking in a hot bath. "Bath Salts" is the the label that once described a legal, synthetic drug. It has since been outlawed in most states. There are other synthetic drugs and herbal drugs, available to anyone who wants them, but the one I want to raise awareness about is called, Kratom. Have any of you heard or read about Kratom?
Kratom, unlike bath salts, is all natural. Then again, didn't cocaine derive from a natural growing leaf or plant? Same for THC. Kratom is indigenous to Southeast Asia, and apparently has been around for centuries. I'm just becoming aware of it, because of an incident that occurred where I live. A teen recently overdosed on Kratom.
Proponents of the leaf, argue that it's a safe alternative to Oxycodone and that it is actually beneficial in weening addicts from heroine. In small doses, it's purported to give the user an energy boost and in larger doses, it creates a mellow effect. Kratom is also a sedative as it acts on the opioid receptors. Proponents of the drug also claim that it works as a relatively safe pain killer and makes users feel strong, confident, active and optimistic. It also claims to work as an anti depressant and to relieve anxiety.
Here is what one website, claims about the herbal extract Kratom , from Thailand.
"Kratom is one of the mightiest tools you can ask for when it comes down to keeping body and mind synchronized, to keep both of them fit under the abrasions of modern life, and especially to bring them back to form once fatigue, pain, depression and loneliness have set in."
"It has multiple functions," said the site, which sells kratom leaves, powder and extracts, as "a strong and reliable herbal painkiller, to relive depression and as a social and professional enhancer to intensify communication skills and induce higher motivation."
Wow! That's a mouthful. So what is kratom: wonder drug or danger knocking of the doors of death? If it's so amazing and can heal and has all the answers to major medical maladies, why haven't the U.S, money hungry, pharmaceutical companies jumped on the medical miracle bandwagon?
The biggest problem I have with the claims is this: While kratom is legal in the United States, if it is truly safe, why then is it illegal in Thailand, where the leaf is grown?
There is also the issue of proper dosing. All of the sites that I researched, recommend different amounts of kratom and it comes in powder, leaf and capsule . When the FDA and the DEA do not regulate or monitor a drug, there is no possible way for users to know how the herb or chemical will react with other prescription and non prescription medications, that the user takes.
U.S. emergency rooms are seeing a staggering trend of people of all ages seeking urgent care as a result of the ingestion of kratom. E.R. doctors are treating patients for withdraw symptoms, not unlike heroin withdraw, when they stop using kratom. Kratom is currently under scrutiny by the DEA, but unlike "bath salts" and "spice", it remains legal in the U.S.
Kratom is the third most commonly used illegal drug in Thailand and in a number of countries in Europe.
Have any of you heard of kratom? What about bath salts(the drug) or spice? What's your take on the legality of such a potent drug?
Congratulations to Dawn Hamsher, the winner of a $25 Amazon gift card, for the most creative fictional murder and motive.
I'm giving away two more $25 gift card this week, so tune in on Friday and Saturday for a chance to win.