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FDA issues warning about kratom, addiction frequently seen in Las Vegas

Kratom sold in local smoke shops, health stores
Posted at 11:30 PM, Nov 29, 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration put out a warning about deadly risks associated with a tea leaf plant called kratom.

Kratom is from a tropical plant in Southeast Asia and it's been crossing borders into the states for years.

People drink it in tea and take it in pill form.

Some call kratom the herb that can give you super-human strength because they say it can treat depression, eliminate pain, and curb drug addiction.

David Marlon, CEO of Solutions Recovery, treats people struggling with addiction to alcohol and drugs, including kratom.

"We frequently see clients who are dependent on kratom," said Marlon. "It's like many substances where when you take it, you become physiologically dependent on it. You develop tolerance. Tolerance means you need more of the substance to get the same effect."

In some cities, you can order kratom in your tea at cafes and coffee shops. In Las Vegas, it's available at smoke shops and health stores like Herbally Grounded and Pure Health Foods.

13 Action News reached out to every health store, we were aware of, that sells kratom and asked them if they would talk to us about the benefits of kratom and why they support selling it in their store. Ultimately, no one would talk to us.

Furthermore, the main distributor for kratom in our area stopped returning our phone calls.

The FDA says 36 people died in recent years as a result of kratom. They want people to be aware of this before you hurt or kill yourself.

"If you are addicted, please stop being mad or promising yourself you are going to quit tomorrow," said Marlon. "Please call someone and get some help."