Kratom is a Southeast Asian plant in the coffee family. At low doses, ingesting kratom provides an energy boost. At higher doses, people report a calming, sedative effect. This mystery plant is frequently sold in herbal, coffee, and smoke shops. Like any psychoactive substance, kratom has the potential to be both helpful and harmful. Reach out to Greater Boston Addiction Centers to learn about treatment options available in Needham, MD.
How Is Kratom Used?
Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) is a tropical tree from Southeast Asia and it’s native to countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. The leaves of this tree are known for containing psychoactive properties that when consumed can provide increased energy levels, enhanced mood and pain relief.
Mitragyna speciosa, better known as kratom, can be used to help people suffering from chronic pain and opioid addiction. Since kratom is relatively new in the United States, its long-term effects are undetermined. It is not considered a controlled substance. Because kratom falls under the category of a natural supplement, its purity and strength do not require regulation. Without regulation, no one can be certain how much of the drug they take or its purity. Kratom’s ability to keep someone from using hard drugs is unknown.
What are the Side Effects of Kratom?
Since kratom interacts with the brain the same way that opioids do, by attaching to opioid receptors, it causes feelings of relaxation and happiness during a high. Some people even get pain relief. However, taking this drug for a long time can lead to a psychological reliance on it.
Some of the most common side effects of kratom consumption are nausea, vomiting, and constipation. These side effects occur because the body is not used to consuming kratom and it takes some time for the digestive system to adjust. Other common side effects include dizziness, dry mouth, and lightheadedness. All of these side effects can be managed by drinking plenty of fluids, chewing your kratom leaves or powder slowly, and taking your supplements with a healthy meal.
Another common side effect of kratom consumption is feeling anxious, restless, or even paranoid. This side effect is caused when the dosage of kratom consumed is too high. This is especially true if you have never used it before. If you are using kratom regularly, it’s also possible to experience withdrawals when suddenly stopping consumption. This is one of the major side effects that can happen if you discontinue your use without weaning yourself off gradually.
Can You Become Addicted to Kratom?
Addiction can include physical dependence and psychological need for a drug. Kratom causes a psychological need for taking this drug because it creates strong cravings when suddenly stopped. Though not as severe as the physiological addiction produced by opioids, the mental cravings for kratom are strong. Without help to get through the quitting process, it may be too easy to return to using the drug.
Treatment for Kratom Addiction
Despite its legality, kratom can be addictive. A quality kratom addiction treatment program should focus on meeting your physical needs and the mental cravings that you feel after stopping. Treatment includes multiple levels of care, which include:
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP): Daily, full-day treatment, but you return home at night
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP): Continued work for several hours at the facility each week but less than a PHP
- Outpatient drug rehab program: A step down that allows you to spend more time at home with in-facility support and therapy
The difference in the programs above is how much time that you spend at the rehab facility. Early in the stages after quitting kratom, your cravings will be strongest. Therefore, you will need to have the greatest level of support and time around those who can help you cope with the cravings.
Over time, your cravings will lessen as you learn healthy coping methods and how to redirect your mental desire for addictive substances.
During treatment, you spend time in group therapy and individual therapy sessions. Plus, you will have time to engage the body. Greater Boston Addiction Centers, just outside of Boston, has the unique ability to offer outdoor sports such as whitewater rafting, snowboarding, and skiing. You may discover an alternative method in one of these activities to feeling excitement, relaxation, and happiness instead of using kratom.
Greater Boston Addiction Centers Can Help Treat Any Substance Addiction
Don’t let the availability of kratom fool you. Most people who use kratom to avoid opioid withdrawal usually end up relapsing if they don’t have solid community support. At Greater Boston Addiction Centers, we offer sober living and community support for people looking to put addiction in their past. Find out more about how we treat the entire person by phoning us at 877.920.6583 or sending us an online message.