What Is Kratom and Kratom Addiction?
Kratom derives its name from the Kratom tree, an evergreen in the coffee family that grows in Asian countries such as Myanmar and Thailand. This psychoactive drug’s used sometimes for traditional medicine, but more often recreationally. Kratom, a commonly used name for Mitragyna Speciosa, can be addictive. If you or a loved one is suffering from Kratom addiction help is available, click here to view our treatment options and begin your journey to recovery.
User’s ingest Kratom in a number of ways: in capsules filled with the leafy powder, steeped in water to create tea, or mixed with food. In addition to this, some users smoke Kratom. This tropical plant gives a feeling similar to opioids due to the psychoactive alkaloids present in its makeup.
We know little about the actual medicinal usefulness of Kratom, and its long term effects are largely unknown due to the scarcity of studies on the subject. However, the Food and Drug Administration stated in a 2018 release that they found no data that suggested Kratom was useful in treating medical conditions of any kind.
Effects and Side Effects
Kratom can be being both sedating and stimulating. Therefore it has been used to treat chronic pain, improve emotional well being, and even in the treatment of various addictions such as opioids and alcohol. In addition, in Southeast Asia some use it as a means to boost appetite and stimulate sexual arousal. Other common uses for Kratom include harsh coughs and indigestion. symptoms of Kratom may include:
- Trouble with bowel movements
- Decreased hunger
- Dryness of mouth
- Sudden drop in weight
- Mental Breakdowns
A Risk of Addiction
Sustained use over extended periods of time may lead to physical addiction and mental addiction to Kratom. This is mainly due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. Anecdotally, Kratom users describe withdrawal symptoms that are similar to, although milder than, opioid withdrawal. Much like opioids, there potentially runs the risk of suppressed respiration with Kratom. However, there have not been enough studies to say this conclusively.
Kratom in America
Kratom poisoning cases were common between 2010 and 2015, with 600 reported. Between 2016 and 2017 Kratom was involved in 152 overdose deaths, 91 of which had Kratom as the main contributor to overdose. Originally Kratom sold in the United States as a supplement to boost biochemistry. However, the drug’s presently designated a Schedule I substance. The criteria needed to qualify for this classification are:
- High rate of dependence
- A lack of evidence showing the drug to be medically relevant
A number of Americans were upset by this classification, especially those using the substance for pain relief or as a means to ween off opiates and alcohol. 140,000 individuals participated in an online petition aimed at changing this verdict. The DEA refused to acknowledge these signatures.
To date, six state, including Vermont and Wisconsin, prohibit Kratom by law. Furthermore, Kratom is illegal in 16 countries. Presently the FDA has issued a country-wide ban on the substance being sold as a health supplement. Many countries control the drug including Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Canada, and Australia.
Signs and Symptoms of Kratom Addiction
Here are a few signs that you or your loved one is suffering from Kratom addiction:
- Dilated pupils
- Increased urination
It is possible to test for Kratom in a screening, but it requires specialized tests.
Treating Kratom Addiction
While overall there is less abuse of Kratom in America than of opiates such as heroin, dependence can develop rapidly and effects can be severe, hence the number of trips to the E.R. reported across the country related to the substance.
Kratom dependence is treated much like an opioid, due to the many similarities. Similarly, the first step is medically supervised detoxification. Being under the care of a trained physician is essential to lessen withdrawal symptoms.
Upon completion, outpatient is recommended for up to three months, and should be tailored to the needs of each individual, based on their behavioral patterns. Working to uncover the reasons for dependence, such as depression, anxiety, or abuse, is essential for the recovering addict.
No two people are the same, so we have built a system tailored to each individual based on their needs, which increases the chance of long-term recovery. Some of these treatments include:
- Behavioral modification
- (RPP) Relapse Prevention Program
- Psychiatric counselling
If you or a loved one is suffering from Kratom addiction help is available, click here to view our treatment options and begin your journey to recovery.