Every few years some plant gets named the latest and greatest “miracle drug.” It’s just usually never called that by anyone who actually works in the medical field. Go figure. These days, it’s a plant called kratom, and folks are using kratom for opiate withdrawal.

But just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe. And kratom is risky business. Here’s why using kratom for opiate withdrawal isn’t part of a solid plan to recover from drug addiction.

A Dangerous Plan to Treat Opioid Withdrawal

Opioid Withdrawals Eased With Use of Kratom

Anyone who’s ever been addicted to opioids knows you’ll do anything to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Your whole life revolves around not getting sick. So who wouldn’t want a quick fix to escape the pain of withdrawal? But using kratom for opiate withdrawal can just create a whole new set of problems (while also not solving the original one).

What It Is

Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. Also called biak, ketum, kakuam, ithang and thom, kratom is known for its leaves which contain psychotropic, or mind-altering, compounds. It’s mostly legal in the United States and can be found online or in local headshops.

How It Works

Kratom is most often taken in a pill, capsule or extract form. But some people may prefer to smoke the leaves, chew them, or brew them into a kratom tea. However kratom makes its way into your system, the effect produced by the compounds found in its leaves is similar to the effects produced by opioids or stimulants.

As the plant compounds interact with opioid receptors in the body, feelings of relaxation and sedation, pleasure and decreased pain may occur. In smaller amounts, you might feel a sense of increased energy. Or, in simpler terms, you’re high.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Kratom for Opioid Withdrawal

First things first: Despite what some corners of the internet may say, there’s no scientific evidence proving that kratom is a safe or effective treatment for opioid withdrawal. What we can pretty safely guess though is that if something leaves you feeling high, it’s probably not also getting you clean.

Health Effects of Kratom

All-natural doesn’t mean side effect-free. Here are some of the side effects kratom users report:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite

Kratom Addiction

Because kratom works on your opioid receptors in the same way actual opioids do, the plant has found a place in the drug community as a way to shortcut withdrawal. Only this shortcut just keeps you stuck in place. It is possible to become addicted to kratom. So rather than move through withdrawal and toward recovery, kratom users can find themselves addicted to the drug they were using to help them beat their addiction.

Like opioid addiction, those addicted to kratom can experience withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Hostility, aggression and other emotional swings
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Jerky movements

A Better Way to Treat Drug Abuse

Instead of looking for quick fixes that turn into never-ending nightmares, how about a real shot at recovery instead. Life is possible without drugs and alcohol. Nearly every employee at Discovery Place is also a graduate of our programs. And many of these men know firsthand just how hard it is to quit opioids for good. They’ll tell you that they didn’t do it alone, and they didn’t do it with kratom.

If you’re ready for a new way to live, then give us a call at 1-800-725-0922 or contact Discovery Place in Nashville, TN. We can help you get started with a plan—not a plant—that actually works.

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    Tyler Buckingham
    Alumni

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