At MD 2.0, we provide patients with superior primary care. We want to be the first to know about any health concerns that may arise. Primary care is performed and managed by your personal physician, Dr. Poncy or Dr. Lubarsky who are available to you 24/7.
Drs. Lubarsky and Poncy believe in more than just treating you when you are sick. Our preventative medicine doctors want to ensure you are healthy year round by promoting a healthy lifestyle, yearly executive level physical exams, and helping to prevent disease.
At MD 2.0, our concierge physician practice focuses on providing high quality care and individualized attention to each patient. Our model allows us to spend more time with each patient, allowing us to work closely with you on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and complex illnesses.
Board Certified Internist in Jupiter, FLDr. Amir Lubarsky's love of medicine allows him to listen compassionately and intently to his patients in order to provide the best outcomes.
Board Certified Internal Medicine Doctor in Jupiter, FLDr. Morgan Poncy is a board certified internist who was raised in the Jupiter area.
Our concierge primary care doctors in Jupiter know that many of our patients are interested in over-the-counter (OTC) alternative treatments for their ailments.
One of the more popular of these is kratom, an herb that has been used for centuries in Asian countries as a way to reduce fatigue and ease various aches and pains. In this country, it is sold in drinks or as supplements and is said to treat such common conditions as anxiety, depression, and opioid withdrawal.
One report estimated that as many as 16 million Americans also use kratom for pain relief in such chronic diseases as lupus, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and other similar conditions.
Testimonials from users include such claims as, “Kratom gave me my life back after being addicted to pain pills;” “It has helped me enormously with chronic back pain;” and, “It got me off a 20-plus-year addiction to narcotics and opioids.”
On the other side are statements like these from a former user who told The Washington Post that “kratom was fun—it was like having morphine and cocaine at the same time”—until he got addicted. Withdrawal, he reported, was like “getting ripped apart by fishhooks.”
Agencies fighting it
Various agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and even the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have spent the last several years trying to ban it. Six states have already done so, with several others considering it. It is still legal in Florida, but may be banned or controlled in some localities here.
In April, the FDA released a statement warning consumers not to use the herb, Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as kratom:
“FDA is concerned that kratom, which affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine, appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence.”FDA
Opponents have been buoyed in their arguments by several studies linking kratom to serious side effects.
One such study in 2019 reported that the number of phone calls to U.S. poison control centers regarding adverse effects from kratom have soared, from 13 calls in 2011 to 682 in 2017. Reported effects of kratom overdose included rapid heartbeat, agitation, high blood pressure, seizures, coma, kidney failure, and 11 deaths during the study period. Two of those deaths were attributed to kratom alone, while the other nine occurred in people who combined kratom with other drugs.
Another study on kratom use disorder (KUD) by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine in March, found that over half of 129 past and current kratom users showed no signs of addiction. But 29.5 percent met the diagnostic criteria for KUD, which includes increased use, tolerance, withdrawal, unsuccessful attempts to quit, and cravings.
Proponents attribute these adverse reports to a profit motive on the part of drug companies, overly restrictive U.S. drug policies, and poor research. They say it has been used successfully for thousands of years in Southeast Asia without a problem.
Advocates also maintain that, in these times of widespread and deadly opioid addiction, kratom is an acceptable alternative and that its dangers have been wildly overblown.
In a recent editorial published in the Scientific American, Maia Szalavitz, an author and journalist who focuses on science, public policy, and addiction treatment, writes that kratom “does appear to be far safer than all illegal and most prescription opioids.” She referred to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study in 2016 and 2017 of some 27,000 kratom-related overdoses. Of those, kratom was implicated in less than one percent of overdose deaths.
“Moreover, in nearly all overdose deaths associated with kratom, it was accompanied by stronger drugs that kill more often, so it is not clear that it actually played a major role or even any at all,” she wrote.
“For example, around two-thirds of the 152 deaths the CDC studied also involved illicit fentanyl and its analogues, which are thousands of times more potent. In only seven cases was kratom the only only substance identified—and even here, researchers cannot rule out the possibility of undetected drugs,” she added.
Nevertheless, most medical experts warn that kratom use can have adverse consequences. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “kratom’s potential for serious side effects outweigh its potential benefits.”
It lists the following most common side effects of kratom:
- altered mental status
- anxiety and irritability
- delusion and hallucination
- drowsiness and sedation
- dry mouth
- frequent urination
- nausea and vomiting
- tongue numbness
More serious side effects can include:
- cardiac issues, such as heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, and high blood pressure
- encephalopathy (brain disease)
- hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- liver damage and liver failure
- loss of appetite
- respiratory depression (difficulty breathing)
- weight loss
In addition, people going through kratom withdrawal may experience:
- muscle spasms
- rhabdomyolysis (a condition leading to kidney damage when muscles disintegrate and release a protein into the blood)
Think twice about kratom
While proponents hope more research will eventually vindicate kratom as a useful supplement, the medical community generally holds that its side effects more than outweigh any potential benefits. It can be especially dangerous when combined with other legal and illegal drugs.
While it’s up to you, we would suggest that our patients not take the risk of using this substance. If you’re thinking of using kratom for any reason, please discuss it with us first. We may be able to help you find other safer treatment options.
My husband and I have been patients of Dr. Poncy for over ten years and have been extremely pleased and happy for him. He is not only a brilliant internist, but also a wonderful person. Now that he and his partner, Dr. Lubarsky, have opened the concierge practice it is better than ever. The nursing staff is superlative as is the front office staff. The office is very well appointed and comfortable. We feel very fortunate to have such a competent and caring physician.
About 11 years ago, I first met with Dr. Poncy. I came away from my appointment with him confident he understood my problem and contributed some thoughtful suggestions. Over the years, he has never changed. The outstanding staff Dr. Poncy has put together, along with his partner, Dr. Lubarsky, are the best! I honestly feel, when I have an appointment, it is like visiting "family".
I recommend Dr Lubarsky emphatically. He is a true professional: thorough, compassionate and an excellent diagnostician!
We have been concierge members for only 6 months but so far we have been very pleased. The office atmosphere is very relaxed and the doctor is able to give us the time we need. Time in the waiting room is minimal and we have been able to obtain spur of the moment appointments with no difficulty. We are happy that we joined
The new practice has a very warm, friendly, feeling to it. We don't have long waiting times. Everyone is very prompt.
I have been a patient for over 30 years. I actually look forwarded to a visit. Pleasant, professional in every way, I consider myself very lucky.
A great Dr. & great staff, minimum wait time. Spends as much time with you as you need. Same day appointments.
Dr. Poncy has been my primary care doctor for over 8 years. I've known Dr. Poncy for over 8 years. My neighbor recommended him for my diabetes and heart problem. The staff at Dr. Poncy's office is always very pleasant and Dr. Poncy is very patient to my concerns.
I have been a patient of Dr. Lubarsky since 2004. He has been such a great physician to me and my wife for several years. Recently, I was hospitalized at Jupiter Medical Center. My wife contacted him and he immediately responded and came to the hospital. Without Dr. Lubarsky's support, I don't think I would be at the health level I am at today.
I'm a big fan of Dr. Lubarsky! After moving from New York, I researched area Internist throughout Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens. Dr. Lubarsky was a home run!