The supervisors of Lee County have a major decision ahead of them as they weigh the cost of banning the substance. However, they are not willing to take any further actions until further studies and public hearings take place. It was both the Lee County Sheriff and a Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agent that met with the Board of Supervisors Monday. Both sheriff and agent wanted to request a ban on the sale and possession of Kratom. They described the product as being dangerous and highly addictive. This is not the Bureaus first attempt at a Kratom ban. Agents with the Mississippi Bureau have systematically approached 30 cities and counties in their local jurisdictions requesting bans on the substance.
Supplementing Opioid Use With Kratom
The narcotics agent went as far as to say that Kratom is a substance that mimics other illegal drugs. It is known to interact negatively and dangerous with a number of other substances. What’s even more troubling is that more and more people are supplementing their opioid use with Kratom. Kratom is a substance available is powder, liquid, or capsule formula. It is derived from the leaves of a tropical tree located in Southeast Asia. The substance has really gotten a bad name over the years because it is considered an opioid by the government. Even though it is legally classified as a dietary supplement, the government tries to put it in a class with opioids. And, this makes sense because Kratom does attach to the opioid receptors when it is consumed.
The Encouragement Of Local Law Enforcement
It doesn’t look like Lee County is the only surrounding country that will be taking this approach. With the help of local law enforcement agents, the Bureau has managed to impose a number of similar bans in surrounding counties and municipalities. The narcotics agents are quick to hold to their beliefs that Kratom is dangerous and addictive. They are not even willing to listen to the many claims that Kratom supporters are making. Many supporters are saying that the substance is safe, effective, and can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms of opiates. The narcotics agent simply went on to state that no one should be treating their pain management our of a gas station.
Gas Station Kratom
Throughout Lee County and other parts of Mississippi, you will find that there are a number of gas stations that offer Kratom products. These products might be derived from the Kratom plant, but they also contain a number of other additives. Neither Kratom or these other additives are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. When Monroe County banned Kratom there was a local man that told supervisors Kratom products sold in gas station should be distinguished from Kratom leaves, which is something that he drinks every morning with his tea. So, maybe it is the extra additives that are making gas station products more lethal. This is where stricter regulations could come in handy rather than banning the substance altogether.
The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics believes that Kratom can be linked to eleven drug overdoses in the state. Of those eleven, nine were also using other drugs at the time. So, officially only two of the deaths can directly be linked to Kratom. One of the deaths was in Hinds County, while the other took place in Perry County. As of this moment, Kratom is legal in the United States on the federal level. However, the Food and Drug Administration has issued several warnings about the volatility of the substance. After all, it attaches to the same receptors in the brain that heroin attaches to.