Addiction Treatment

What is Kratom and is it safe?

Written By:

Becky Babb

What is Kratom and is it safe?

Kratom is a herb found in Southeast Asia. It is a member of the coffee family and has caught the attention of researchers in America who are hopeful of using this herb to help drug addicts kick the habit without the accompanying side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Kratom is an analgesic mood uplifter, and can be used as an alternative to opiates. A mixture of this herb and cough syrup is available in Thailand, called “4 x 100”. However, kratom is not legally available in Thailand, as well as other countries such as Australia.

Kratom in the United States

A recent article in Scientific America has stated that the United States DEA considers kratom a drug of interest because it believes there are chances of it being abused. You cannot legally purchase this drug in the state of Indiana. The DEA does not consider the drug as having any real medicinal use. Yet, an online search for kratom throws up many sellers and the drug has been used in alternative medicine to counter extreme tiredness, pain, and even in the process of treating heroin addiction. U.S News has published an article that mentions the phenomenon of patients turning up in hospitals after taking ill from kratom consumption. Kratom is available in smoke shops in America, and it is possible that it could end up becoming a popular recreational drug like bath salts. You can also buy incense made from kratom. The sellers are express in their requirement of the buyer being at least 18 years of age. This appears odd because the product is not meant for human consumption.

Effects of Kratom

A news report that came out of King5 News, Seattle, Washington, stated that kratom works to stimulate the system when consumed in low amounts. At higher doses, it has an inverse sedative effect. Chronic high doses can cause side effects such as delusions, tiredness, shivering, aggression, and hallucinations. Till date, there has been no report of anyone dying from kratom abuse in America.

Research on Kratom

Current research on kratom is focused on the herb’s capabilities to assist cocaine and heroin users in giving up these drugs. Research indicates that compounds present in kratom may make it a suitable alternative for the synthetic analgesic, methadone. Thai officials are considering lifting a 70-year old ban on kratom in order to use it for tackling the growing methamphetamine problem in the country. While kratom is legally available in America, it’s ultimate fate will rest upon further research that will throw more light on its features and potential side effects. It is possible that like bath salts and spice, this herb may join the list of illegal banned substances in America.

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