Kratom is a drug that has been used in Southeast Asia for many years as a treatment for diarrhea, pain and as a recreational drug. Its name is derived from the tree whose leaves are used to make the drug. It is a newcomer to the U.S. and has caused concern since its appearance in 2012. It is legal in the U.S. and is rigorously being marketed as a safe, legal and undetectable alternative to other strong drugs. Kratom is easily accessible to anyone who wants to purchase it, being sold in smoke shops, convenience stores, gas stations, juice bars and on-line.
The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has placed Kratom on its list of New Psychoactive Substances. The World Drug Report also lists Kratom along with other psychoactive drugs. Some of these other new drugs are Khat from East Africa, Salvia Divinorum, synthetic Ketamine, Mephedrone and more. These drugs remain legal in both the U.S. and Europe despite being deemed dangerous and addictive.
It’s Legal to Purchase
Kratom can be purchased in leaf form or as a powdered version inside capsules or plastic bags and it can be taken orally, smoked or made into a tea or juice. The drug is being sold as a “botanical dietary supplement” juice in bottles and the Food and Drug Administration cannot restrict the sale of Kratom as long as it is under this banner. Juice Bars have recently been sprouting up in Colorado, North Carolina and New York selling a variety of blends of Kratom juice.
Effects of Use
The effects of Kratom begin quickly and last approximately five to seven hours. Kratom is undetectable in some drug tests making it popular among individuals who want to hide their drug use. It is also popular among the young who are not of legal age to purchase alcohol or who don’t want the risk of taking illegal drugs.
It has been responsible for numerous visits to hospital emergency rooms and calls to poison control centers in the U.S. While there has not been enough scientific data collected yet for the drug too be ruled illegal in the U.S., it is evident that Kratom can be used at a low dosage to achieve a stimulant effect. Individuals become more talkative, energetic and sociable when they take Kratom at low doses. At high doses, Kratom acts as a sedative, creating lethargy and euphoria. Some of the adverse effects of Kratom use include severe nausea, sweating, itching, edginess, vomiting, constipation, respiratory depression, delusions, tremors, psychosis, lethargy, paranoia, hallucinations and aggressive behavior.
This drug will cause addiction in an individual who has taken large doses or has used it for a long time. The individual will build up a tolerance to the drug and will have to take more of it to achieve the same effects as before. Addiction to Kratom may cause adverse effects that include weight loss, darkening of facial skin and the loss of libido. The withdrawal symptoms of Kratom are similar to those of heroin and other opioid drugs. Withdrawal symptoms can include muscle pain, irritability, crying jags, panic attacks, diarrhea, muscle tremors and jerking, mood swings, severe depression, restlessness and insomnia.
Heroin and other opioid drug addicts are taking Kratom as a way to ease their craving for opioid drugs and wean them self off of opiates. These addicts are becoming addicted to Kratom, which acts on opioid receptors in the brain the same way opioid drugs do. Once addicted, these addicts have to go through the detox process to wean themselves off of Kratom. Substituting one drug for another has not proven to be an effective or smart idea. South Florida has seen a surge in Kratom use and along with New Jersey is debating whether to ban the drug’s use. The U.S. Army has forbidden soldiers from using the drug and the States of Tennessee, Wyoming, Indiana and Vermont have banned its sale. Until all the scientific medical data is in, people should be warned of the dangers of using Kratom.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.