People who experiment with a drug called kratom may not realize how risky using it can be. As with many narcotics, the potential for dangerous side effects exists when using kratom. As well, there is the very real question of can you get addicted to kratom?
What Is Kratom?
Kratom comes from a tropical tree found in Southeast Asia called mitragyna speciosa. The leaves of the tree are used by locals because of the psychotropic and medicinal effects they have, but the use of kratom has spread to the United States. Kratom also goes by other names, including ketum, kakuam, ithan, biak, and thom.
Kratom leaves can be taken as a pill, capsule, or extract. They can also be smoked, chewed, mixed with food, or brewed into tea. Kratom has not yet been ruled an illegal substance in the U.S., leaving the door open for people to purchase it on the internet or in person. It can be sold in powder form, as an extract, or gum.
Natives of Southeast Asia often use kratom to relieve medical symptoms, including fatigue, diarrhea, coughs, and pain. They find that using the leaves in small doses provides some pain relief, as well as a mild stimulant effect. Unfortunately, kratom’s use in the U.S. has gained popularity among those seeking to use it for its similarity to opioids and stimulant drugs. Studies are ongoing to determine the dangers of this drug, as well as how commonly you can get addicted to kratom.
What Happens When You Use Kratom
People abuse kratom for one of two effects. The first involves taking it for its opioid effects. Opioid drugs include codeine, Demerol, fentanyl, Oxycontin, and heroin. Some are available by prescription, while ones like heroin are illegal. Kratom can produce a high similar to that experienced when using opioids. Users may feel relaxed, sedated, pleasure, and pain relief.
The second reason many people use kratom is for the stimulant effects it provides. Stimulant drugs include cocaine, crack, methamphetamines, and prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin. Similar to those drugs, kratom can cause a person to experience an increase in energy, hyperactivity, the ability to stay awake for long periods of time, and an increased ability to be sociable.
Can You Get Addicted to Kratom? Understanding the Dangers
Someone who already experiments with or has become addicted to opioids or stimulants may believe kratom is a safer, legal source to use. Kratom can cause dangerous side effects. Common side effects include:
- Itchy skin
- Urinating more often
- Loss of appetite
Studies done regarding whether or not a person can overdose on kratom show that when a person who has taken kratom dies from an overdose, they often have taken other substances with it. When kratom is mixed with things like benzodiazepines, cocaine, fentanyl, alcohol, and caffeine, the combined effects can cause a person to die from an overdose. Some dietary aids may have kratom in them, along with other unsafe additives, resulting in consumers not being aware of what they ingested in pursuit of weight loss.
Can You Get Addicted to Kratom? Yes, You Can
A person can develop a dependence on kratom or become addicted to it because of the opioid and stimulant effects it produces. Symptoms of kratom addiction include:
- Weight loss
- Excessive sleeping
- Difficulty thinking
- Cravings for the drug when not using it
Kratom stimulates the part of the brain that produces feelings of pleasure and reward. When the brain begins to rely on this false production, withdrawal symptoms can occur when the drug is not used. Addiction is partly defined by the presence of withdrawal symptoms when a person stops taking a substance.
Kratom withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Jerky body movements
- Watery eyes
How Is Kratom Addiction Treated?
If you are asking yourself if you can get addicted to kratom, you may already need help. Whether a person has a dependence on kratom or has developed an addiction, getting treatment as fast as possible is important. Drug and alcohol addiction programs treat dependence and addiction to many substances, including kratom. People typically go through detoxification, or detox, as the first step, and then transition into either residential or outpatient programming.
A combination of talk therapy, including individual, group, and family counseling, helps a person struggling with kratom addiction understand the underlying causes of their addiction. Many programs employ holistic treatment, including meditation, yoga, acupuncture, massage, and art therapy, to provide a well-balanced approach to recovery.
Many people benefit from spending time in sober living homes, which provide a safe place to put their newly sober lives into practice. Residents in a sober living home are all in recovery from addiction and learn to navigate the challenges of it before they return home. Options for continued talk and holistic therapy, as well as support groups, are often provided by sober living homes.
Kratom Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles
Are you a young man struggling with addiction to kratom or do you know someone who is? We understand how drug addiction can hurt a person and leave them wondering where to turn. Our compassionate treatment program provides you with the help you need to stop using kratom and learn to enjoy life in recovery. Our sober living home provides a safe haven for young men to practice living in recovery. Contact Miracle House Foundation today and let us help you discover the real you and leave addiction behind.