It’s widespread for traditional medicinal remedies to become recreational drugs. Since most of these substances are unregulated, people of all walks, abuse them in a way that’s not their primary function. Kratom is another medicinal plant that people turn to for euphoric experiences. Learning kratom addiction facts can help us prevent abuse and misuse.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a plant that grows primarily in Southeast Asia. For decades, kratom has been a herbal medicine in countries like Malaysia and Thailand. However, it’s becoming more popular in the US with people using it as a recreational drug to experience a “legal high.”
Despite no recognized medical uses for kratom in the United States, it isn’t a controlled substance. Yet, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) labels it as a “drug of concern.” Because of this, people can find kratom leaves online and in smoke shops. Sometimes people use them to make tea or press them into tablets.
Other Names for Kratom
Like most medicinal herbs, kratom has different names around the world and on the street markets. Some popular names include Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketum, and Biak.
5 Interesting Kratom Addiction Facts You Should Know
While kratom is legal in many countries, it doesn’t mean it’s safer than illicit drugs. With teens and young adults looking for ways to experiment with euphoric-triggering substances, kratom is a perfect option. Let’s explore some kratom addiction facts that give us a better understanding of what this famous medicinal plant can do to our health.
1. Kratom Effects Resemble Amphetamines
Kratom possesses opioid-like properties but isn’t an opioid. One of the most shocking kratom addiction facts is its resemblance to addictive drugs. According to the DEA, kratom induces a euphoric high that can last between two to five hours. People dry the leaves and stems chew them or brew them into a tea to get their high. At low doses, it produces an opioid-like effect similar to morphine or oxycodone.
Two popular forms of kratom, red-vein leaf, and white-vein leaf produce different euphoric effects. Red-vein leaf kratom produces a stimulant-like high. Strangely enough, at high doses, it produces a depressant high. White-vein leaf kratom always produces a speedy, stimulant-like high.
2. Kratom Dependence Happens Fast
Many people turn to kratom because it not only is a widely available substance that is not detectable on drug tests. Research about kratom dependency on humans is unknown, but animal studies show that rodents develop a physical dependence after only five days. In humans, users that ingest kratom for a long period of time are likely to develop a tolerance and start using more significant doses to achieve the same effects, eventually developing an addiction.
3. People Create Kratom Combinations
Like many other substances, people that use kratom for recreational purposes combine it with other drugs to enhance its effects. “Krypton” is a popular kratom byproduct. Although the true contents of these by-products are unknown, some laboratories believe it’s a combination of kratom and O-desmethyl tramadol. This chemical, a chemical that activates opiate receptors, common in patients who take tramadol.
4. Kratom Is Marketed as a “Dietary Supplement”
Since kratom is a legal substance, many stores mark it as a dietary supplement. However, so far the FDA has banned a few products containing kratom, including a popular one named RelaKxpro. After a few cases of adverse side effects to kratom products, the FDA chose to place businesses that sell kratom-containing products, including capsules, resins, liquids, and leaves on their red list.
5. People Think Kratom Has Low Potential for Abuse
Because kratom is a legal substance used for medicinal purposes, people think it has a low potential for abuse. However, kratom might work as opioid drugs, which means it can become an addiction. Since people experience similar to opioid withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking kratom, kratom leaves and related-products do have some potential for abuse. Particularly among people with mental health disorders, addictive behaviors, and compulsive behaviors.
Kratom Abuse Statistics
Although kratom is not a controlled substance, some studies try to track and monitor kratom abuse statistics. While the drug is relatively new on the recreational drug scene in the United States, the consensus is that teenagers and young adults are the ones using it the most.
- Between 2011-2017 there were 11 deaths associated with kratom exposure.
- In 2017, the FDA identified at least 44 deaths related to kratom, with at least one case investigated as possible use of pure kratom.
- Over 70% of the male population in Southern Thailand uses kratom.
- More than 80% of kratom users attempted to stop their use but were unable.
Kratom Addiction Treatment Options
Kratom dependency can lead to many physical and psychological effects that can have long-term consequences. However, because of the severe consequences of withdrawal symptoms, having the right support system is critical to prevent deadly outcomes.
Most people starting their kratom addiction treatment are recommended a detox program paired with a partial hospitalization program (PHP) that eases kratom withdrawal symptoms and provides patients with a secure and supervised environment to begin their recovery. Many treatment facilities can help structure the right treatment plan. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our addiction recovery programs include:
- Medical Detox: In this clinically supervised detox process at treatment centers, we ensure the patient’s safety and make the withdrawal phase as comfortable as possible by minimizing withdrawal signs and symptoms and using medication-assisted treatment services to guarantee a complete detoxification process.
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Since many long-term Dilaudid addicts often struggle with mental illness, a dual diagnosis program can get them the help needed to treat both conditions simultaneously.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Most of the time, these sorts of addictions develop due to compulsive behaviors that must be treated at the source, with CBT being one of the most popular evidence-based treatments to treat addiction.
- Intensive Outpatient Programs: When patients are looking to seek addiction treatment while maintaining daily obligations like work, school, or caregiving, IOPs are a more flexible option that still gives people access to the help they need.
- Long-term Recovery Programs: With long-term recovery assistance, patients can have the ongoing support they need to maintain long-lasting sobriety. Recovery programs are crucial to relapse prevention.
Get Help Today
If you or someone you love is struggling with drug abuse, ask for help immediately. Please, call Lighthouse Recovery Institute today and speak with our addiction specialists to learn more about our comprehensive and personalized addiction treatment programs.
Our addiction center offers unique and personalized treatment plans because we believe no two addictions are alike. The journey towards recovery is a long one, but together and with your family and friends’ support, we’ll make it.