Chicago Suburb Bans Dangerous Substance: What It Means For The Community

June 27, 2024

3 mins

Jackie Rosu


Tinley Park, a Chicago suburb, recently approved a ban on the use of an herbal substance called Kratom.

Tinley Park, a Chicago suburb, recently approved a ban on the use of an herbal substance called Kratom. The goal of the ban is to prevent the sale of this potentially dangerous substance that is currently readily available to the public. 

While the ban was approved with public safety in mind, it has still been controversial. Here, we cover what Kratom is, why it’s controversial, and what the Chicago Kratom ban means for the local community.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom is an herbal extract that comes from a certain type of evergreen tree in Southeast Asia. It can be ingested by chewing the tree’s leaves, adding the extract to liquid, or taking an oral capsule or tablet.

The substance is currently sold as a supplement that’s marketed to:

  • Boost your energy levels
  • Provide pain relief
  • Lift your mood
  • Help reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal

While some people report positive effects on their mood and energy, there is no scientific evidence to support the use of Kratom for these purposes. Further, the substance currently has no uses that are approved by the FDA.

Kratom is typically available for sale at tobacco and vape shops. It can also be ordered online.

What Does Kratom Do to the Body?

Kratom leaves contain a chemical known as mitragynine, which can cause effects that are similar to opioids like morphine. It can also generate a stimulant-like response.

When it’s taken at low doses, Kratom has been reported by users to increase their alertness and physical energy. At high doses, it can produce sedative effects and lead to an addiction.

Additional effects caused by Kratom use can include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusion
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Heart and lung problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Liver problems

In very rare cases, Kratom use has also been linked to deaths.

Because Kratom can become addictive and cause serious side effects, the FDA has warned the public not to use it. Research is being conducted to test its safety and effectiveness for any potential use.

Why Is the Chicago Kratom Ban Controversial?

With the Chicago ban, lawmakers are working to keep a potentially dangerous drug out of local retail stores. However, there are a few arguments against the ban.

Negative Effects on Local Businesses

Local tobacco and vape shops may lose a large portion of their revenue and could end up having to shutter their doors. Other business owners worry that the Chicago Kratom ban ordinance is written with too broad of language that could also impact the sale of CBD, delta hemp products, energy drinks, and painkillers.

Concern for Those Recovering From Substance Misuse

Kratom has been used to aid people in quitting stronger drugs by taking a “step down” in sedative effects. While there is no research to support Kratom’s effectiveness in treating opioid use disorders, Kratom is currently easier to get than medication-assisted treatments. It has also led to far fewer deaths than opioids. 

However, stopping regular Kratom use can also lead to withdrawal symptoms of its own.

What Other Problems Have Been Reported With Kratom Use?

Aside from side effects that can range from mild to severe, a few other safety issues have been identified:

  • Kratom may contain harmful chemicals: Some Kratom products have been found to contain contaminants such as heavy metals and harmful bacteria.
  • The doses of Kratom vary: The amount of the active part of Kratom can vary greatly within each leaf, which makes it hard to know exactly how much of the drug you’re taking. Some producers of Kratom products also add more active parts of Kratom than the levels that are naturally found in the plant. Because Kratom products don’t come with clear labels, it’s impossible to know how much you’re actually using.
  • There are a lot of unknowns: There is little to no evidence to determine how prolonged Kratom use affects long-term health, pregnancy, and intoxication levels (such as whether you can become too impaired to drive). Additionally, Kratom could result in drug-drug interactions that could cause harmful effects.

Get Your Questions Answered by Addiction Recovery Consultants

If you have questions about addiction or addiction treatment, we’re here to help. Never Alone Recovery is a free resource for those struggling with an addiction and their loved ones. We provide support via intervention assistance, drug and alcohol rehab placement services, and insurance verification. We also host a weekly online support group every Wednesday.

Speak with an addiction recovery consultant now. Call us at 866-788-8335.

chicago, kratom, kratom ban

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