What is Kratom?

Kratom is a psychotropic substance from Southeast Asia. It is currently categorized by the DEA as a “drug of concern” and remains legal in the United States. Kratom is widely sold in powders, teas, tablets, extracts, and gun on the internet and in places such as gas stations. 

The effects Kratom has on the brain depends on the amount consumed. In smaller amounts, the drug has a stimulant effect on the body, producing increased energy, alertness, and a similar high to that of cocaine or methamphetamines. In larger doses, it has the opposite effect,  producing sedation and decreasing pain. When used in larger quantities, Kratom interacts with the opioid receptors in the brain, similar to that of prescription opioids.

People sometimes begin using kratom as an alternative to prescription opioids, believing it to be healthier. Still, kratom can be highly addictive in much of the same way. Kratatom also carries with it many negative side effects, such as nausea, sweating, dry mouth, itching, appetite loss, hallucinations, constipation, seizures, and psychosis. Kratom can have serious adverse reactions when mixed with other substances such as cough syrup and illicit drugs. 

 

Signs of Kratom Addiction

  • Continuing kratom use despite negative consequences
  • Cravings
  • Withdrawal symptoms when decreasing or stopping use, including insomnia, jerky movements, mood swings, irritability, and muscle aches
  • Building a tolerance to kratom (ie needing more and more to achieve the same “high”)
  • Shame, secrecy or lying surrounding use
  • Inability to cut back on use
  • Trouble functioning in social situations or otherwise without using kratom 
  • Irregular sleep patterns, such as sleeping at odd times
  • Use affects relationships negatively, though user continues to use anyway
  • Using more than the user intended to
  • Engaging in risky behaviors, such as driving while intoxicated
  • Changes in physical appearance (decreased hygiene, weight loss)
  • Feeling angry or defensive when confronted about use 

 

Treatment for Kratom Addiction

If you or a loved one thinks you may be suffering from kratom addiction, contact us to discuss treatment options. Attempting to detox from kratom without medical supervision can be dangerous, and it is always important to seek medical detox to safely remove the substance from your system. From there, holistic treatment that emphasizes healing on a deeper level can help create lasting recovery.