Is Kratom legal? It’s hard to say. While most medical professionals agree that it’s unsafe, the legality of Kratom is a bit more vague.
While kratom is sold in some “health” stores, it can technically be considered a psychoactive substance. In certain cases, it can even become addictive.
Read on to find out more about Kratom. We’ll walk you through what it is exactly, the legality and availability of it, and what to do if you or a family member become addicted.
What Is Kratom
Kratom’s scientific name is Mitragyna Speciosa and is typically found in Southeast Asia. More specifically: Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It has since started to become more famous in the Western World for its psychoactive properties. Kratom can be consumed in a variety of ways. People swallow capsules filled with ground powder, make teas, or chew on the leaves to get the drug into their system.
“Health” marketers have claimed that Kratom has healing properties, and has even been suggested as an alternative to opioids. Despite having potentially “healing” benefits, medical professionals have largely concluded that Kratom does more harm than good.
Another cause for concern is the active ingredient in Kratom can vary from plant to plant. This makes the effect of the drug highly unpredictable. This increases the chances of overdose which can have some pretty nasty effects. Side effects of Kratom include: hallucinations, chills, seizures, vomiting, liver damage, or even death.
Is Kratom Legal
Now that you know exactly what Kratom is, let’s discuss the legality of it. As with other drugs in the U.S., the legality of kratom is a state-specific issue which means each state takes a different stance on the substance.
States Where Kratom Is Legal
- California – except San Diego. They banned Kratom
- Colorado – Outside Denver. Denver made it illegal
- Florida – Outside Sarasota County
- Illinois – Outside the City of Jerseyville for people 18+
- Mississippi – Outside Union County
- New Hampshire – legal for anyone 18+
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee – Kratom is legal for anyone 21+
- West Virginia
States Where Kratom Is Illegal
- Rhode Island
As you can see from the list above, this drug is widely available throughout most of the United States. The current social climate of America has made it difficult for states to decide: is Kratom legal.
Alternative medicine and health and fitness have taken hold throughout the country. And, although, most alternative medicine practices are beneficial, it muddies the waters and opens the minds of America to something like Kratom. Especially when people are touting the health “benefits” of the substance. In addition to the emergence of alternative medicine, data supporting the use of psychedelic drugs as forms of medical treatment is starting to surface.
Groups of medical professionals are conducting studies and advocating the use of substances like psilocybin(found in mushrooms) for medical treatments.
Why Make Kratom Illegal
Kratom is often used as a treatment for opioid addiction. The challenge, however, is that Kratom can be just as addictive as opioids.
Users can become addicted to Kratom in as little as six months. Side effects and withdrawal symptoms can be just as intense as an opioid addiction as well. Kratom withdrawal symptoms include: muscle aches, vomiting, intense cravings, and nausea.
These withdrawal symptoms can be difficult for a person to get through alone. Which is why it’s important to work with a treatment facility or doctor who is familiar with addiction. Working with the right professional is important when battling Kratom addiction because you’re dealing with a strong physical addiction as well as the underlying emotional issues.
A doctor can help combat the physical effects of Kratom addiction, but users will also undergo a behavioral or family therapy component of their rehab as well. This helps to address the underlying issues of Kratom addiction, and work towards figuring out why a particular user turned to drugs in the first place.
After going through this two-pronged approach to their recovery, users will typically receive aftercare to make sure things are still going well after they leave the treatment facility. This aftercare will typically involve some sort of mentor, or voluntary rehab program, to help this person reintegrate into society and live a healthy life.
The Good News
Kratom is rapidly gaining more attention. Important people within medical circles, and government agencies, are beginning to see it for what it really is. Health professionals may have been able to justify some “benefits” when it first burst on the scene here in America. But now that we are becoming more familiar with this substance, the truth is beginning to come out.
The drug is now on the DEA’s radar, and they have proposed a federal ban of the substance in the past. The ban legislation has since been dropped by the DEA, citing the need for more in-depth studies of Kratom, but nevertheless banning the substance is something that is on the minds of people in Washington D.C.
If you’ve been wondering “is Kratom legal”, now you have all the information you need. Although the substance is very new to the U.S., it’s evidence that using Kratom can cause some unwanted side effects and strong physical addiction.
If you, or a loved one, find yourself struggling with an addiction or dependence on Kratom please reach out. We can provide more information, assist in treatment, and help start the journey to recovery.