New drug 'Kratom' causing concerns - WFLA News Channel 8

New drug 'Kratom' causing concerns

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New drug Kratom causing concerns New drug Kratom causing concerns
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Medical experts, and prevention and addiction specialists are raising concerns about "kratom," a new substance that's banned in several countries as well as one state in the U.S.

Derived from an herb, poison control experts say it can be harmful to your health and even more disturbing, that it can be addictive.

Currently there is no ban on the purchase of the substance in Florida.

The Poison Information Center in Tampa says that some of the symptoms of this drug include high blood pressure, head ache, fast heart rate, some vomiting, and some pain.

"This is just a short list of some of the side-effects associated with the substance 'kratom," says Dr. Cynthia Lewis-Younger, at the Poison Information Center in Tampa.

"The scariest that I have seen is the hallucinations.," she adds.

"There is a report of someone having a blocked gallbladder from having used the substance for about two weeks."

Younger says can be addictive.

The active ingredient in "kratom" is something called an "alkaloid" which by law in Indiana has already been banned.

Countries like Malaysia, Burma and Australia have also banned "kratom."

Here in the U.S the DEA U.S.classifies it as a "drug and chemical of concern."

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Closer to home a group of addiction specialists in Sarasota is looking at options to better regulate "kratom."

"I think we really need to take a very close look at how we accept the use of substances in this country," Younger says.

At the Poison Information Center in Tampa, they say they've received more calls about "kratom," this year than last, but not as many as other substances.

"People do not have to report to the poison center," she says, "and so therefore we know that the number of cases is probably higher."

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