It may not be a household word to you now, but Kratom is part of many conversations these days. Its value in treating pain and staying off opioids is defended by a portion of the population who claim it delivers big benefits, but sources like the National Institute on Drug Abuse point to Kratom’s addictive and even deadly potential. Today, let’s talk about what you need to know about Kratom and why its use by someone you love should get your attention.
Kratom is a legal but potentially harmful substance originating from the leaves of a tropical tree. Users often use Kratom in pill or capsule form as an alternative to opioids as a pain reliever, yet it can also lead to dependence and there’s no current scientific evidence to back up claims it’s safe to use as a medicinal product. If you know someone with a Kratom dependence, you can help them find a suitable treatment program to support them in their work towards recovery.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom originates in a tropical tree with leaves possessing mind-altering properties. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, you may have heard it called Biak, Ketum, Kakuam, Ithang, Thom, or something else. Users take it as a pill, capsule, an extract, or even using the leaves for tea or smoking them.
Is Kratom An Alternative to Opioids?
The pain-relieving qualities of Kratom have been attractive to users who see taking it, whether as a pill, a capsule, or some other form, as a “safe” alternative to opioids. The topic even grabbed the attention of documentary filmmaker Chris Bell whose 2018 film “A Leaf of Faith” looks at the pros and cons of Kratom as a botanical supplement. While the public debate over it’s value continues, it’s important to educate yourself on the facts and know the risks associated with Kratom use.
5 Reasons to Care about Kratom
1. Kratom can be addictive for users.
Users may see Kratom as a safe alternative to opioid use for treating pain, but it’s also capable of causing dependence. Someone who’s experiencing dependence now and attempts to end their Kratom use will likely experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
- Emotional changes
- Jerky movements
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
2. Kratom use can be deadly when it’s mixed with other compounds.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports deaths associated with Kratom use are tied to the lacing of it with other drugs in altered forms of the product. The source of your loved one’s Kratom, including its use as a dietary supplement mixed with other substances, could be adding to their risk in using it.
3. Kratom is legal and accessible right now.
Unlike other commonly used substances leading to addiction, Kratom is openly available and can be purchased in certain stores or online almost anywhere. Access to it for your loved one is virtually unlimited.
4. Kratom is considered medicinal by some people.
Your loved one may tell you they’re using Kratom to deal with cravings for opioids or other substances, including alcohol. They may believe it’s helping, even though no scientific evidence exists to support that claim.
5. Kratom use can cause many side effects, including seizures and hallucinations.
Your loved one may be experiencing a variety of side effects associated with their Kratom use. One of the most severe of these side effects is psychosis.
Kratom Side Effects
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Loss of appetite
Your Response to Kratom Misuse
Your awareness of the properties, the side effects, and the potential damage caused by Kratom is important. If you have a loved one who is beginning to use Kratom, early intervention can help them avoid growing their use into the level of dependence. If your loved one is already experiencing dependence, you will want to steer them towards a suitable treatment program, which can help them move towards recovery from both Kratom and any other addictive substance they may have been using previously or simultaneously.
Origins Recovery Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1019.