What is Kratom?

What is Kratom?Kratom is an evergreen tree related to coffee. It is grown in Southeast Asia, and use is traditional in this area. According to the Transnational Institute’s article “Kratom in Thailand,” up to 70% of the male population over age 25 uses Kratom daily. Planting the tree is illegal in Thailand, but use is not seen as drug abuse or stigmatized as such by the public. Kratom’s leaves are mildly narcotic and have psychoactive properties. The substance acts as a stimulant at low doses but has the opposite effect at high doses. According to LA Magazine this drug can be as addictive as Vicodin, a powerful opiate painkiller.

Kratom’s Physical and Psychological Effects

While this drug is seen as having some health benefits and has been used in Asia to treat pain, diarrhea and opioid withdrawal symptoms, it comes with side effects of its own. Kratom’s side effects include the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Darkening skin color

Dependent users who abruptly stop use may experience the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhea

While Kratom use comes with side effects and risks, the real danger comes when this drug is mixed with others in “party cocktails.” A popular combination is called 4×100 and involves mixing Kratom extract with cough syrup, soda and ice.

The Availability of Kratom

Kratom is often associated with bath salts and Spice, designer drugs that managed to bypass the law and be sold at convenience stores until a recent ban was put in place. Kratom is legal in the United States and has taken the place of these other now-illegal substances on store shelves, but it is suspected that this drug will be similarly banned once studies about its effects have been completed. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Kratom is already placed on a list of “Drugs and Chemical of Concern,” and this agency recognizes that Kratom’s effects are addictive. Any addiction requires real and professional help for a lasting recovery, and Kratom and other reportedly safe drugs are no exception.

Help for Kratom Abuse

If you or a loved one is misusing Kratom, Spice or other designer drugs, please call our toll-free helpline. We are here 24 hours a day to connect you to resources for recovery. We can help you find the individualized treatment plan that will work for you and with your insurance company. Our admissions counselors are available 24 hours a day, so please don’t hesitate to call now and learn more.