In a world where new substances are continually emerging, it’s challenging for parents to keep up. One such substance that has recently gained attention is Kratom. While it may not be as well-known as other substances, its increasing popularity, especially among young people, makes it a topic that parents can’t afford to ignore. In this blog, we’ll explore what Kratom is and what you, as a parent, need to know about it.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. Its leaves contain compounds that can produce stimulant or sedative effects, depending on the dosage. While it has been traditionally used for medicinal purposes in its native regions, it has not received FDA approval for any medical use in the United States.
Kratom exists in a legal gray area. While not federally controlled, it has been listed as a “Drug of Concern” by the DEA. Some states have banned it, while others have age restrictions. This murky legal status makes it even more essential for parents to be vigilant.
Kratom is often marketed as a natural, herbal remedy, making it appealing to younger audiences. It’s available in various forms, such as capsules, powder, and even tea. The ease of access and the “natural” label can make it seem less harmful, which is a dangerous misconception.
Lack of Regulation
The absence of FDA approval means there’s no oversight on the quality, purity, or safety of Kratom products. This lack of regulation is a significant concern, as low-quality products can pose severe health risks.
Potential for Abuse
While some argue that Kratom is less addictive than other substances like opioids, the risk of abuse and dependency still exists. This potential is especially concerning for young people who may not be fully aware of the risks involved.
Kratom has been linked to a range of health issues, including liver damage, seizures, and in extreme cases, death. The lack of long-term studies on its effects makes it a risky substance, particularly for developing adolescents.
What Parents Can Do
Educate Yourself and Your Children
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to substances like Kratom. Make sure you and your children are educated about the risks involved.
Maintain an open line of communication with your children. Discuss the dangers of using unregulated substances and the importance of making informed choices.
Monitor Behavior and Online Activity
Be vigilant about your child’s behavior and online activities. Many websites sell Kratom, making it easy for young people to purchase it without parental consent.
Kratom may be a lesser-known substance, but that doesn’t make it any less concerning. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to be informed about such substances and to educate your children about the potential risks. By staying proactive, you can help ensure the safety and well-being of your family.