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Fellow co-worker John French, while keeping an eye out for the latest drugs affecting our community, told me about Kratom. After doing some research we found that the drug is from a tropical tree in Southeast Asia and was used for hundreds of years to treat physical pain. When given in low doses it supposedly provides a stimulant effect. However, it is also used as an alternative to opiates and to treat the withdrawal of opiates. I found it for sale on a website for 16 oz. and costing $150. The DEA placed the drug on the List of Drugs of Concern and was moving to ban its sale. However, 142,000 people signed a petition to continue the sale of the drug. The DEA states knowledge of 15 related deaths between 2014 and 2016. It appears there is much more research to be done regarding the drug’s effectiveness to treat pain and addiction as well as its lethality.

Business Insider: March, 2015

WebMD: October 12, 2016

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