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Kratom and kratom-based products are unregulated and potentially addictive. According to Cureus, “Commonly reported withdrawal symptoms [of kratom] mirror those of opioids and include anxiety, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and muscle cramps.” Painted Desert Recovery uses evidence-based methods to treat kratom addiction and educate clients on the dangers of unregulated herbal substances.
Kratom is an herbal substance extracted from tea leaves native to Malaysia. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “‘Kratom’ commonly refers to an herbal substance that can produce opioid- and stimulant-like effects.” The substance is popular in Southeast Asia, where people use it to self-medicate for a wide range of mental and physical health issues. The drug is potentially addictive and can cause severe health side effects for some people.
Kratom is often used as a way to self-medicate unmanaged pain or mental health disorders. Many people also try kratom as an alternative to treatment for substance use disorder (SUD). According to the previously mentioned article by Cureus, “In a cross-sectional survey of over 8,000 members of the American Kratom Association (AKA) . . . Approximately half of them used kratom to stop or reduce opioid use.” Most people who use kratom are unaware of the potential for addiction.
The risk factors for kratom abuse overlap with those for opioid addiction, including:
Some risk factors unique to kratom include:
Kratom is often marketed as a treatment for one or all of the conditions listed above, even though it does not provide relief for most health issues. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), “Long-term use can cause anorexia, weight loss, and insomnia.” Some conditions it is meant to treat may develop worse symptoms or side effects after prolonged use of kratom.
The substance is not regulated, meaning the potential effects vary significantly between sellers. According to the previously mentioned article by the DEA, at high doses, Kratom “causes hallucinations, delusion, and confusion, [nausea, itching,] sweating, dry mouth, constipation, increased urination, and loss of appetite.” Some kratom and kratom-related products have added substances that cause more harmful side effects.
Kratom cannot legally be used in medications or supplements. Instead, it is sold as an herbal substance. Herbal substances have the potential to interfere with prescription medications and cause unexpected health issues. Many people believe natural medicine is healthy and unable to cause significant health problems. However, purposefully or unintentionally misusing herbal remedies and supplements can cause severe illness, injury, or death. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “[D]eaths have been associated with kratom use.”
Kratom may be dangerous to some individuals due to the following:
The substance is marketed as a kind of “wonder” drug. However, research is limited on the use and side effects of kratom.
The substance has an opioid-like effect. Chronic abusers of kratom may notice withdrawal effects. Many people build a tolerance to kratom over time, requiring more of the substance to achieve the same effects. According to NIH News in Health, although most symptoms of withdrawal are relatively mild and resolve within several days, “It’s also been associated with rare serious effects, such as seizures, high blood pressure, and liver problems.” Detox from kratom should take place in a controlled environment where addiction recovery specialists can monitor and treat any withdrawal symptoms.
Painted Desert Recovery provides people with a safe space to recover from kratom abuse and other forms of addiction. The clinical team ensures clients have access to the tools and resources they need to heal and learn healthy ways to manage their condition. People with kratom addiction often have co-occurring chronic pain or other dual diagnoses requiring simultaneous treatment. Painted Desert Recovery addresses all co-occurring and underlying issues impacting a person’s ability to recover from substance abuse. The care team uses psychotherapy, peer support, prescription medications, and alternative holistic therapies to help clients heal.
Many people are surprised by the effect of the drug and do not realize their use of kratom has the potential to cause addiction. Often, individuals abusing high amounts of kratom have chronic physical or mental health issues affecting their quality of life. Family and friends can help loved ones heal from kratom addiction by providing support, encouragement, and information about legitimate treatment options for their chronic health issues.
Painted Desert Recovery educates clients and their loved ones about the dangers of misusing unregulated substances. The care team ensures family members have the support to assist their loved one during treatment and ongoing recovery.
Kratom abuse is a growing issue in the United States. People misusing the drug are often unaware of the potential dangers. The herbal substance has the potential to cause withdrawal symptoms and interfere with a person’s physical health. Painted Desert Recovery uses evidence-based methods to treat kratom addiction. To learn more about our programs and services, call us today at (844) 540-0353.