Working for You: Kratom Dangers

Vico Zen

A little bottle of liquid is creating a big problem in Talldega County. Deputies with the sheriff's department are demanding all retail stores pull products containing Kratom. They're making the bold move after getting complaints about the drinks putting people in danger.

The small bottles hold less than two ounces of liquid. Packaging on some suggests what's inside can provide pain relief or boost energy. ABC 33/40 wonders if Kratom a method of therapy or a threat?

"If it is killing people, if it is addicting people, I am glad to see it go," said Store Manager Melinda Hurt.

Hurt removed dozens of bottles from her Talladega County Gas Station.

"There were people coming in buying it by the boxes. By the boxes! We were selling some of them for $14.99 per bottle. There are 12 in a box. They would buy the whole box, so something in that was very addictive," added Hurt.

Members of the county's drug task force hand-delivered a stern warning to 100 stores telling them to get rid of it in 24 hours.

Law enforcement in Birmingham, Hoover and Jefferson County tell ABC 33/40 they've received no reports of problems involving Kratom. The head of narcotics for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office has received reports of young adults and juveniles consuming Kratom under the impression that it is simply a "mellowing" agent.

"I've not heard of it. I am sure it is just the latest. I am sure my kids probably have," said Parent Suzie Knecht.

Knecht has three children between the ages of 15 and 21. She's talked to each about almost every danger out there including energy drinks.

"Avoid it at all costs. There is nothing good in them. Lots of chemicals, lots of stuff that can be harmful just in general for your health and particularly if they start mixing them with other things like alcohol," added Knecht.

ABC 33/40 is working for you to find out which stores are selling Kratom. We could not find any in Talladega County, but found a bottle in Shelby County.

SO, is ABC 33/40 blowing this out or proportion by saying it's harmful," asked ABC 33/40's Venton Blandin.

Former Kratom User Alex Smoake replied, "Not at all! I can see where it would cause an opiate user to relapse because of the effects if gives."

Smoake put down the bottle after one use.

"I didn't ever want to try it again. It made me feel like I was taking some pain pills like a few loratabs. If someone tries that, I could see them going for something else," added Smoake.

Several law enforcement agencies tell ABC 33/40 Kratom is not illegal in Alabama, but does pose a danger. Many drug agents in Central Alabama expect law makers to address Kratom during the next legislative session.

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