Nature's Speedball

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As if we didn't have enough to keep us busy, the latest craze has hit South Florida. Kratom, also known as "Nature's Speedball," can relax and stimulate you, as well as relieve pain. So far, sounds good, right? It's not illegal, it's available online and with a wide range of retailers in South Florida honing in on it, it's already quite easy to acquire. It's even in the same family as the coffee tree. So, if it's natural, easy to get, like coffee, and used by many to help fight addiction to heroin and other "hard" drugs, then what's the problem?

In low doses, it provides a coffee-like effect; stimulating, sometimes even providing euphoria. But then come the high doses. When used in large doses, the experience is much similar to heroin, Vicodin, and Oxycontin. With opioid-like results, it's easier to understand why it is of serious concern to authorities.

If it was contained within the "drug community," it would be bad enough. But high school and college students are finding it acceptable because it's legal, without realizing it can be harder to get off than heroin. So far, there hasn't been a single death tied to Kratom, but when speaking with individuals within the "drug community" about Kratom, it is clear that an addiction is probable for those who are predisposed to addiction, and that it can consume your life like any other drug can. The DEA has placed it on the list of "Drugs and Chemicals of Concern."

The other side of the coin says that it isn't as bad as some say. You don't get a hangover, you have relief from discomfort, and you can relax. Long-term use can lead to anorexia, insomnia, skin darkening and prolonged dry mouth, constipation and increased urination. I suppose I would have to view this as I view most other things: don't hurry to your nearest store to buy some today. Rather, be smart. You know you'll be fine if you just don't do it. That's the only way to be sure.

For more information on our addiction treatment programs and therapeutic approaches, call toll free at: 800-960-5041. Florida Center for Recovery offers residential drug and alcohol rehab treatment through 12-Step and Non 12-Step Programs.

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