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What is Kratom?

Kratom is a plant that is a resident of Southeast Asia, a substance that not everyone is familiar with, but should get to know… Kratom. This substance is also known as Mitragyna speciosa. Within this tropical tree there are compounds that can have mind-altering effects. Kratom has been growing in popularity over the last few years. It mostly appears on the U.S. market in a green powder form with noticeable odor, capsules containing the powder and extracts.

Why do people use kratom?

Kratom is extremely popular because it produces different effects depending on the strain and how much is used. If the person uses less, they are more likely to feel stimulating effects. This appeals to individuals that have a history of using substances like: crack/cocaine, crystal meth and Adderall. When a person uses more of the substance they will feel effects similar to pain-killers and heroin. It is most commonly used as a self-prescribed withdrawal medication, as well as, an opiate replacement. This means that individuals that get clean turn to Kratom to still feel euphoria. Kratom is not FDA approved and is not prescribed by doctors as a form of treatment.

Because kratom is a mind altering substance it changes the brain’s natural chemistry. Just like any other drug, the longer a person uses kratom the more likely it is that their brain will be expecting the substance. This is called drug dependence. If a person is a polydrug user, has been previously addicted to other substances or continues to take kratom in large amounts, the risk for addiction is doubled.

Risks and side effects of Kratom

Health effects reported from kratom use include: nausea, itching, sweating, dry mouth, constipation, loss of appetite and muscle jerks. Severe effects include: liver failure, seizure and hallucinations.[1] Kratom is often used in conjunction with other drugs which is why it is associated with risk of overdose.

Should Kratom be legal?

There is much debate on whether or not kratom should be made illegal. Proponents believe that kratom can successfully be used as a harm reduction strategy. While others believe that it is a harm reduction substance that will lead users back to opiates because the effects are too similar.

Kratom has been under review by the World Health Organization and the report should be published sometime in October of 2021. If you worry that your loved one may be addicted to kratom or using it in combination with other substances, please reach out to our admission team today! 866-757-0474