Kratom, Heroin-Like Drug, Creating Buzz


The herbal stimulant kratom is creating a buzz among addictions specialists in the US due to its heroin-like effects in larger doses.  Currently, the drug is sold as a tea in many pharmacies, but has gained ground as the latest in organic and legal drugs in the US right now.

Kratom, or mitragyna speciosa, are wide and oval shaped, loosely resembling mint leaves.  The drug has been used as a herbal stimulant for years, but it has been discovered that in higher doses, it has the effect of sedation on those who take it.  There are YouTube testimonials from young men who have just taken the drug, saying that it is “an opiate with a roof where you can only get so high,” according to one of the videos.

Doses range anywhere from two to 10 grams, and kratom is generally sold as raw leaves or in pill form.  Prices can range from around $15 to as much as $50, depending on the quantity of capsules or how big of a bag of leaves you are purchasing.   It was, however, tagged on the US Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) list of Drugs and Chemicals of Concern in January 2013.

However, the heroin-like drug kratom appears to be creating a buzz among addictions specialists and law enforcement for all the wrong reasons.  The DEA’s investigation into the drug is ongoing, but the drug and those who sell it have gained steady numbers online.  Over 2,300 people like the topic of kratom on Facebook, and a Google search nets 652,000 hits.

The drug is currently being sold in smoke shops across the US, and while some states have banned the sale of the drug – Ohio and Indiana are among them – the drug is widely available online.  Some claim that it is an ideal medicine against pain and is good for helping induce sleep, but the drug is not approved for medical use anywhere in the US.

Massachussetts toxicologist Edward Boyer says the drug can cause liver damage and that children need to keep their distance from it.  Wesley Todd, who runs Mayan Kratom, says the drug helped him cope with the pain following a motorcycle accident, but the drug has become so big that his competition, Michael Pilney, who runs Lucky Kratom, allegedly offered undercover drug enforcement agents seven pounds of cocaine to kill Todd.  Pilney is currently facing solicitation of murder charges; Todd used to work for him.

Todd says kratom has become so popular that he has tens of thousands of customers across 47 states and two countries.  In spite of the popularity, though, Boyer says parents need to remain cautious about anything their children might be getting involved in.  Side effects of kratom use include anorexia, insomnia, weight loss, frequent urination and constipation.  While kratom has created quite the buzz in a variety of circles, the US Drug Enforcement Agency is continuing its investigation into the drug, and they are monitoring kratom closely.  According to the research from the DEA, those experiencing withdrawals from kratom could endure jerky limbs, achy muscles, and there is also the potential for kratom psychosis, where the user experiences delusions and confusion.

By Christina St-Jean



Drug Enforcement Agency

CBS Chicago


19 Responses to "Kratom, Heroin-Like Drug, Creating Buzz"

  1. stacy k   September 1, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    OK first of all I was on Rx meds and under a drs care until about three years ago. I was on narcotics, stimulants, antidepressants, anti anxiety, anti seizure, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers all for fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and depression at first. Then after I started on the pain pills, stimulants and muscle relaxers I started having severe muscle spasms in my mouth and arms and legs. I couldn’t hold anything because at any moment I could spas out and throw said object. So I had to then go on anti seizure medicine. Now for the 3 years I was under a drs care and on all these medicines I suffered side effects. While on the rxs I ate, walked and nearly drove in my sleep. I was mentally psychotic a nd extremely violent and suicidal and still suffered pain everyday. And forget being able to work because I couldn’t even do that part time between the side effects of the rxs and how my diseases made me fee it was a no go. And I tried for those 3 years to get disability and was always denied. I did research on homeopathic ways to deal with my illnesses because my family and I couldn’t take me on rxs anymore. My husband and I were separated and he had custody of our children. I needed to change. Thankfully, I found kratom. The kratom plant by itself has proven to me to be 100% safer to use than the synthetic drugs doctors and the fda are pushing. And that’s proven every day by the TV commercials I see from the Rx meds themselves and those sponsored by lawyers. Why would I take a drug that could or has caused dangerous side effects by their own commercials? Why would I go on drugs that I know are dangerous for me when I have a plant to use that has caused zero side effects. I am pain free, mentally and emotionally stable, no longer suicidal or overly anxious and I work full time and take care of my home, family and ets. I even help with rebuilding my house after our house fire. These are just my views on this plant. I use kratom in an unadulterated form with other herbals please don’t blame a plant that by itself is as safe as coffee because some person may have added synthetic drugs to it. In its pure form kratom is safe and effective in my own personal experience. Thank you.

  2. Tyler   February 17, 2015 at 5:50 am

    Crappy biased journalism, from another bad journalist… Why don’t you go write about our legal drugs alcohol and tobacco they rip dads away from their kids and kill grandmas… Kratom has killed one person in the us. Furthermore you can’t compare Kratom to heroin cause you can’t shoot Kratom up or snort it..ten thumbs down

  3. brad   March 21, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    right, while the same people who know what is best for you are soon to be pushing zohyrdo on the public. funny how the fda is ok with zohydro and not kratom. nothing new from that corrupt org

  4. kimmain   March 21, 2014 at 4:21 am

    wow …these comments make me laugh out loud…why would you put your marketing skill tactics here????????

  5. jim   March 19, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    My best bud has been taking this stuff for a few years now.. it’s like crack to him, if he doesn’t have it, he’s pissed at the world and goes through great lengths to get it when he’s out. I can always tell when he gets his shipment in.. he will lie in bed all day and do nothing but watch tv.. I mess with him all the time, “tea time huh bud”. he’s better off smoking a joint, at least it wont kill ALL his motivation. unless you have some sort of will power and don’t have a history of abuse…this stuff is for the birds.

  6. Jason C.   March 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    When I see articles like this I get depressed. I’ve been taking kratom three times a week for two years. Since taking it I haven’t had to take one anti-depressant or anti-anxiety synthetic. And most of all it has taken away any cravings for alcohol (I used to binge drink). Since taken this I haven’t had one episode. I wouldn’t call something a “heroin like substance” that very well saved my career, relationship, and life. But like I said I get depressed because articles like this will get this banned and then it’s back to hell the way I see it. Thanks.

  7. Pete Weber   March 10, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Wow… Kratom a “heroin-like” substance? Did you spend even 5 minutes researching this substance before spitting out this garbage?

  8. KamaKazi Kratom   March 10, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Introducing KamaKazi KratOm!
    A Botanical Incense “Mitragyna Speciosa”
    This Product Is Highly Exclusive And Packs
    An Extremely HIGH POWERED Aroma!

  9. Kyle   March 9, 2014 at 11:01 am

    everyone is bashing it but you can try it yourself with a free sample and make your own informative opinion @

You must be logged in to post a comment Login