What is Kratom?

Written by Chloe Nicosia

What is Kratom and is it Dangerous?

What is kratom? Many people don’t know because it is fairly new on the drug scene. Kratom is a tropical member of the evergreen tree and falls into the coffee family. The tree can be found in several South Asian countries including Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia. For hundreds of years the natives of these countries have made tea from the leaves of the kratom tree, or chewed them, for digestive problems and pain relief. More recently, the leaves are being crushed and put into capsules or tablets for easier use.

What Does Kratom Do?

Kratom works like a stimulant when used in low doses, and reports from users indicate they have more energy, are alert, and feel sociable. Low doses also cause giddiness and reduce motor coordination. Kratom is fast acting, and the user feels the results in as few as ten minutes and last for approximately an hour and a half. What does kratom do at higher doses? There are concerns about the use of high doses of kratom as it causes a sedative effect, dulls sensations, reduces emotions, and creates euphoria.

The two main ingredients of kratom are the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which can relieve pain, offer muscle relaxant effects, and be anti-inflammatory. People suffering with fibromyalgia claim kratom eases their symptoms. What does kratom do for opioid addicts? A second use for kratom is as a self-management tool for opioid withdrawal, which users say dramatically lessens withdrawal symptoms. Most users in the United States brew the kratom powder to make a tea, and for the present time it is legal to use. As more studies are done, that may change as the dangers of kratom become are better understood. It has been on the DEA’s list of drugs and chemicals of concern for some time.

What Are The Dangers Of Kratom?

What is kratom? What are the dangers of kratom? These are important questions that need answers. Doctors want studies conducted to know if kratom is safe to prescribe and at what doses. Presently, the dangers of kratom addiction discourage physicians from even considering it. Addicts are hoping it is the answer to easing opioid withdrawal symptoms. One of the questions researchers want answered is, how strong is the addiction power of kratom? Swapping one addiction for another is not the path to recovery. A number of Southeast Asian countries have outlawed kratom because it is very addictive.

Is Kratom Legal

Federal laws banning kratom are not currently in effect, but state legislatures are beginning to take their own actions against the herbal supplement. Florida and New York have both introduced bills to make kratom sales illegal in the two states. Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin have already banned the active ingredients in kratom. What is kratom? That is a question everyone considering purchasing the herbal supplement needs to ask. Millions of Americans are currently using kratom for chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and addiction relief.

One thing is certain. There is a limited amount of scientific data available about kratom and its effect on humans. There have been no controlled clinical trials, and the data that is available comes from anecdotal reports by users and individual doctors. More than 20 biologically active chemicals have been found in kratom. Several of the chemicals bind to the opioid receptors in the brain. These facts mean kratom has the potential for physical dependence and addiction. Some of the chemicals in kratom can interfere with drug-metabolizing enzymes in the liver. If interference occurs and causes a dangerous interaction with a medication, a fatal overdose can occur.

If you or a family member has been using kratom and find you have become dependent, help is available. A phone call will get you on your way to recovery from kratom addiction.

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/is-kratom-safe

https://www.drugs.com/illicit/kratom.html

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/news/20160919/what-is-kratom-dea-ban#2