There are hundreds of thousands of drugs out in the world.
Some are very prevalent in culture, and others not so much. Some are made with chemicals in labs, and some are sourced naturally from different types of plants.
Kratom is a lesser-known, “natural” drug, which has recently been on the rise thanks to some health benefits many believe it possesses. However, like with any drug, it’s important to learn about the whole picture.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a plant from Southeast Asia that is known to have psychotropic effects. It is not currently illegal in the United States and is easy to order online. It’s usually taken in recreational settings, and commonly at music festivals.
The leaves can be chewed, smoked, or brewed into a tea, but more often, people take kratom as a pill or extract.
What Does Kratom Do?
Kratom is controversially talked about in alternative health circles as a supplement that can enhance mood and boost energy. Some think it can also help those who are going through withdrawals from an opioid addiction. Since it is sourced from a plant, it’s easy to assume that kratom is always safe to use.
It is, however, labeled by the FDA as being “not for human consumption”. Further research is required to be able to say for certain whether kratom has any value as a supplement.
The effect kratom has on the brain and body is similar to that of opioids. When consumed in large amounts, it decreases pain in users, helps them feel relaxed, and raises mood. However, when consumed in smaller quantities, many users feel social and energetic rather than sedated.
Like any drug, kratom can produce negative side effects as well. Negative effects of kratom include itchiness, constipation, nausea, sweating, seizures, and even hallucinations and/or psychosis in more severe cases. Physically, prolonged high doses of the drug can cause damage to the liver and kidneys as they filter toxins out of the body.
While uncommon, it is possible to overdose on kratom, although most reported overdoses have involved other drugs.
Is Kratom Addictive?
Thanks to its similarity to opioids, kratom can cause addiction. Many users also experience a dependency on the drug, causing them to go through withdrawals when trying to stop using it.
Common withdrawal symptoms of kratom include hostility, physical aggression, jerky movements, insomnia, and muscle aches.
If you think you may be experiencing an addiction to kratom, or any other substance, help is out there.