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Use of Kratom still prevalent in Tulsa despite CDC and DEA concerns

KTUL

Gaining traction in the United States, Kratom has been said to relieve pain, depression and anxiety and is available at medicine-alternative stores and smoke shops all over Tulsa, but the Centers for Disease Control warns that the substance has been linked to a Salmonella outbreak in a couple of states.

Duan Smith from Glassworx said Kratom comes from a tree in northeast Asia.

"The leaves have been used for organic pain relief for years," said Smith.

Smith tried it out on himself for his lower back pain.

"The pain, it helped with that a lot," said Smith. "Anxiety levels went down; stress levels went down."

However, Kratom has been at the root of a lot of controversies.

Until recently, the Drug Enforcement Agency wanted to ban the sale of it by classifying Kratom as a drug on par with that of heroin and LSD, but they have since changed their position in order to allow for public comment, according to their website.

The Centers for Disease Control has linked some Kratom to an outbreak of Salmonella in two states, but the people over at Earthly Mist, Nature's Alternative store, said they stand by it.

"It's a business that runs four stores, and we're growing," said Paula Woodward with Earthly Mist.

Woodward said she's seen people suffering from pain come in and try Kratom, only to find the hope they were looking for.

"Nine times out of ten, they walk back in here within a week, happy, standing up straighter, knowing exactly what they want and feeling like suddenly, somebody has listened to them, and somebody has helped them," said Woodward.

According to the CDC, though, Kratom has negative side effects that shouldn't be overlooked and have issued a recall on certain products.

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