Nearly 25 million people over the age of 12 report having taken drugs in the past month. This can range from kratom to heroin, and can range from individuals who use the drugs recreationally, or because they have become addicted.
Kratom has become a well-known drug in recent times, thanks to the highly public controversy over its legality. But what is kratom addiction? Is it addictive? Does it do more harm than good?
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the biggest and most common questions people have about kratom and its use.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom, like many other drugs, is naturally occurring. It is mostly found in tropical areas in Southeast Asia. The drug comes from a plant known as Mitragyna speciosa.
Many people in Southeast Asia used to chew kratom every day. Historically, it has been particularly popular amongst manual laborers, who use the kratom to help relieve the pain of the continuous movement. It is also used to help them feel less fatigued during the long days in the sun.
Locals also used the dried leaves of the plant to help relieve common ailments such as indigestion and diarrhea.
The drug is now illegal in Thailand and heavily regulated in Malaysia, both countries where it was once very popular with the locals.
Historically, people have brewed it in teas, chewed it, or mixed the leaves with sweet foods or items to mask the bitter taste while they chew it. It is also sold in a powder form, as well as put in capsules for the consumer to swallow.
Currently, many people state that they use it as an alternative to opioids to help them cope with chronic pain. The data surrounding this is not very plentiful, which has led to a lot of confusion, as well as misinformation, about the drug itself.
Risk Factors of Kratom Addiction
Risk factors of kratom addiction are surprisingly similar to those of other drugs. Many individuals who become addicted to kratom have a history of being addicted to other drugs or behaviors in the past. Some people say that they use kratom to help them stave off opiate addiction, and treat it like unofficial methadone or suboxone, both regulated medication to help people overcome opioid addiction.
Some people who become addicted to kratom also suffer from chronic pain. They may initially set out to use kratom as a way to avoid stronger medication for their pain. Then, as time goes on, they become dependent on kratom and need it every day.
Others may start out using kratom in order to stay awake or help them focus. In this way, it’s a little bit like Adderall or other pills that help with ADHD, though in a bit of a milder form. However, habitually doing this can lead to someone otherwise becoming addicted to kratom, which can cause a host of other problems and issues.
Symptoms and Side Effects of Kratom
There are a great many symptoms and side effects associated with taking kratom. And, as with any drug, the more you take, the more you’ll find your symptoms or side effects are present.
Some side effects of kratom include: feeling calmer than usual, being talkative or “chatty,” feeling generally good about yourself and your life, euphoria, more motivated, more alert, psychosis, sensitivity to the sun, sweating, vomiting and nausea, increased libido, increased urination, itching, a loss of appetite, more energy or sleepiness, relief from pain.
These are the most common side effects and symptoms of kratom use. Different people may experience different symptoms and side effects that may not be listed in this article.
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Kratom Treatment and Recovery
Treatment and recovery of kratom addiction will largely depend on how severe the person is addicted. There is a difference between dependence and addiction. Those who are dependent on the drug feel like they need the drug in order to get through the day. Those who are addicted to it physically need the drug and will experience withdrawals if they do not have it.
In either case, this needs to be addressed seriously. Kratom addiction or dependence can create problems in relationships, with work, and have a very big impact on your life, or on the life of the person you love.
Depending on how severe the addiction or dependence is, an individual may attend outpatient programs, or may attend inpatient rehab. Outpatient programs allow the individual to live their life as normal, in some instances, but also gives them the treatment they need.
Depending on the level of treatment, they may temporarily quit work in order to focus on recovery and be in treatment during the day. Or, they may continue working and only attend meetings or therapy a few times a week in the evenings.
Individuals may also check into a rehab facility in order to help them overcome their addiction to kratom. In this facility, they will be supervised 24/7, as well as receive therapy and support any time they need it. This is done in more severe circumstances but can help people beat their kratom addiction for good.
Is Treatment Right for Me?
If you believe you, or a loved one, is suffering from kratom addiction and you live in the Los Angeles area, you should get in touch with us today. We can work with you to help you decide what the next step is, and help you, or your loved one, live a life free of the chains of addiction.