There is a false narrative about kratom suggesting that it is a legitimate alternative to opioid pain relievers which are addictive. In practice, however, most people who consume kratom use it with other opioid medications. Kratom is addicting, although it’s still perfectly legal at the federal level and in most states.
“Kratom” refers to a tropical tree that is native to Southeast Asia. The leaves of the tree contain compounds that have mind-altering effects. While kratom is not illegal, it is by no means safe and should not be consumed.
However, since it is legal, kratom is relatively easy to find and buy. Some people buy it online, others buy it in convenience stores and head shops. Most people take kratom as a pill, capsule, or extract. Some people chew the kratom leaves or brew dried or powdered leaves for tea. Sometimes the leaves are smoked or eaten in food.
Kratom is popular because it can produce effects similar to opioids and stimulants. Kratom is said to have pain relieving effects, which is why some claim it is a safe alternative to opioid pain relievers. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Two compounds in kratom leaves, Mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine, interact with opioid receptors in the brain resulting in sedation, pleasure, and less pain, especially when users consume large amounts of the plant. Mitragynine also interacts with other receptor systems in the brain to produce stimulating effects. ”This explains the physiological and psychological effects of the drug.
Most users report that they experience increased energy, sociability, and alertness when taking kratom in small amounts. However, they also report that kratom can cause nasty and sometimes dangerous side effects.
Some of the side effects of kratom are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Uncontrollable itching
- Dry mouth
- Increased urination
- Loss of appetite
- Intense hallucinations
The use of kratom is not yet widespread in the United States. It is likely that as more people start taking the drug, more side effects will occur.
Recent research has shed light on kratom uses
Kratom is often advertised as a safe alternative to opioid pain relievers. There are at least two untrue aspects to this narrative.
1). Kratom is not safe.
2). Kratom is not an alternative to opioid pain relievers, at least not in practice. A new study shows that most people who consume kratom take it along with other drugs (meaning they never substitute for any other drug) With Kratom, they use other drugs and Kratom).
People struggling with physical pain often take opioid pain relievers to relieve their pain. Then, when they find that the risks of the harmful side effects of such drugs outweigh the relative benefits of pain relief, they look for alternatives.
Kratom was advertised as such an alternative. But according to the authors of a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, “Kratom use is particularly widespread among people with prescription opioid use disorders, but also among people who take other medications. This study complements the earlier literature linking kratom use to opioid abuse, as the results suggest that while those diagnosed with an opioid use disorder are at high risk for its use, those who abuse prescription opioids are not Having a consumption disorder, having no increased chances of using it. ”In layman’s terms, the study shows that people who abuse opioids are much more likely to use kratom than those who use prescription opioids for pain relief but are looking for an alternative suggests the latter are looking for kratom, but the study suggests that the former are the ones who use kratom the most.
The researchers concluded that kratom use is widespread among people taking other drugs, but not as common among those with legitimate pain problems who are simply looking for a safe way to relieve pain without taking opioid pain relievers . The researchers found that kratom is only consumed by 0.7% of the general population, compared to 10.3% of people who use opioids.
More research needs to be done, but there seems to be compelling evidence that kratom is not the “safe alternative” some claim. Study author Joseph Palamar, Ph.D., MPH, an associate professor of population health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, quoted: “Few national studies have looked at kratom use in the general population, and such studies can give us a better idea of it give who has used the substance. … This study contributes to our understanding of the prevalence of kratom and its connection to opioid abuse. ”
Kratom addiction and overdose
Kratom is addicting and can even cause fatal overdoses. There have been several reports of deaths in people taking kratom. While many of the toxicological reports of such deaths indicated that the victims also had other drugs in their system, there have been several kratom deaths in the US in which kratom used the just Drugs found in the user’s body.
Kratom is not an FDA-cleared substance, but there have been several reports of people taking kratom as a dietary supplement and dying from it, and their toxicological reports indicated that other toxic compounds were added to the kratom. When users experiment with kratom, they are unsure whether the drug they are taking is actually kratom or a mixture of kratom with other, unknown substances.
Like other drugs with opioid-like effects, kratom can cause both chemical and psychological addiction in the user. This means that users experience both physical withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings for kratom when they stop taking the drug. Withdrawal symptoms are meant to include, but are not limited to:
1) muscle pain
6) Sudden emotional changes
7) runny nose
8) Jerky movements
Kratom: Can be legal, definitely not safe
Kratom shouldn’t be legal as it is addicting, dangerous, and potentially fatal. When people seek kratom for its purported pain relieving benefits, instead, they should find safer and less risky treatments for their pain.
If someone you know becomes addicted to kratom, make sure they get help ASAP. Kratom can be fatal, especially when taken with other medications. Help them get rid of kratom once and for all, then help them find healthier alternatives for pain relief. There are safe and effective ways to overcome physical pain without taking addictive, mind altering drugs that do more harm than good.