An opioid-like botanic | “As Kratom Use Surges, Some States Enact Bans” – STATELINE

kratumRobert Roskind is the owner of the Oasis cafe in Carrboro, North Carolina, where a typical serving of kratom is a heaping teaspoon of powder in a mug of hot water, orange juice or chocolate almond milk. As consumption of the opioid-like botanic grows, some cities and states are banning its use. – Christine Vestal, The Pew Charitable Trusts

“CARRBORO, N.C. — On a sunny November afternoon in this quiet college community, a steady stream of customers walks through the doors of a local cafe called Oasis for a cup of an increasingly popular herbal beverage. The menu offers coffee, black tea, beer, wine and pastries, but nearly everyone opts for a $5 mug of kratom (pronounced KRAY-dum).

“A powder ground from the leaves of an indigenous Southeast Asian tree related to the coffee plant, kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) offers pain relief and mood enhancement, similar to prescription painkillers.

“Advocates say the substance, which does not depress the respiratory system and therefore presents little to no overdose risk, could help reduce the nation’s reliance on highly addictive and often deadly prescription painkillers. Some addiction experts also argue the plant could be used as an alternative to methadone, buprenorphine and Vivitrol in medication-assisted therapy for opioid addiction.

“Used for centuries to fight fatigue, pain and anxiety in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea and Thailand, kratom was rarely taken in the United States until recently.”

Continue reading this STATELINE article, click here.

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