The Accessibility of Crack Cocaine & Kratom Pose Public Threat in Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio is known as a drug hub replete with the prevalence of crack cocaine and heroin. In 2013 Ohio was rated 12th among the nation in fatal overdose deaths. Relief does not appear to the forthcoming, as Ohio is experiencing a surge of a questionable substance called kratom. Kratom is currently legally sold as a herbal tea in local head shops. The sale of Kratom as a drug is prohibited, but unfortunately, that’s not preventing eager enthusiasts from doing so. In an undercover sting, police officers went to purchase kratom from a head shop, where the substance was pitched as a pain reliever and a sleep aid. The FDA has not sanctioned either of these claims.

Kratom originates from Thailand, and has allegedly caused addictive penchants in Thai natives. When taken in small doses kratom acts as a stimulant, and in high doses, a depressant. There have been reports of kratom inducing symptoms similar to heroin withdrawal, including convulsions, insomnia, irritability, and anxiety. The DEA classifies the substance as “potentially harmful.”

If things weren’t inauspicious enough, the prevalence of crack cocaine has not diminished over time. According to The Columbus Dispatch, a report has revealed that the availability of crack cocaine, black-tar heroin, opioid painkillers, and suboxone are the subjects of substance abuse and drug addiction. Black-tar heroin is selling consistently, as it is available inexpensively, as opposed to its prescription drug counterparts, Vicodin and Oxycontin. If not the most disheartening on the list is Suboxone, a drug synthetically synthesized to help heroin addicts recover in heroin rehab. Suboxone satisfies the biological urge for opiates, without inducing the euphoria or intoxication attributed to taking heroin. Speculation is mounding around the industry- perhaps the restriction on suboxone is harming the efforts of addicts attempting to quit the habit. Is it possible that the causes of suboxone use are addicts strained attempts to get clean on the streets?

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