Kratom is a psychoactive substance that is legal in the United States, although there may be some state regulations or prohibitions against its possession and use. It is abused by chewing the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree, brewing them in tea, or taking them in powder or tablet form. When taken in low doses, this substance can have stimulant effects. In high doses, Kratom produces sedative effects that can lead to psychotic symptoms and physiological and psychological dependence. As published by the Journal of Addictive Diseases, Kratom addiction on the rise in the United States. In recent years, the Drug Administration Agency (DEA) has listed Kratom as a Drug and Chemical of Concern. Ballen Medical and Wellness is a full-service mental health and wellness office, devoted to our client’s mental and emotional well-being as well as physical well-being. We are here to help you or your loved ones in your fight against opioid dependence issues.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a tropical tree (Mitragyna speciosa) native to Southeast Asia. The leaves of this tree contain compounds that can have mind-altering effects similar to those of opioids and stimulants. The compounds mitragynine and 7-a-hydroxymitragynine found in Kratom interact with the opioid receptors in the brain, similar to morphine. When consumed in large amounts, the interaction between these compounds and receptors produces sensations of sedation, pleasure, and decreased pain. Kratom exposes users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence. Also found in dietary supplements, the widespread accessibility to Kratom puts teens and adults at risk of addiction.
What are the effects?
At low doses, Kratom produces a stimulant effect including increased alertness, physical energy, and talkativeness. At high doses, sedative effects are experienced. Negative effects on the body can include:
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss
Kratom Addiction and Dependence
Opioids are highly addictive drugs. It is estimated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that 2.5 million Americans suffer from opioid addiction. Addiction is defined as behavioral changes that impact a person’s daily life, including but not limited to:
- Increased risk-taking behaviors
- Continued use of a substance even in full awareness of problems it creates
- Mood swings and personality shift
- Decreased productivity
- Inability to stop using the drug despite multiple attempts
Drugs such as Kratom change the natural chemistry of the brain. Kratom fills opioid receptors in the brain, creating a backlog of neurotransmitters that affect how an individual feels pleasure. This causes a rush of euphoria or “high”. Frequent use alters the brain’s chemistry to expect Kratom’s presence. Chemical messengers may not be produced or move through the central nervous system in their normal fashion, forming drug dependence and Kratom addiction.
Kratom Detox and Tapering
The brain can become dependent on psychoactive substances such as Kratom. Removing the drug can and have negative or even dangerous physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Under the supervision of medical professionals, weaning or tapering off of opioid-like substances such as Kratom is effective. Weaning refers to the gradual decreases of the ingested dosage of the drug, to rebalance brain chemistry over time rather than suddenly. Suboxone for Opioid Addiction, supplements, and IV Therapy Detox for Alcohol and Drug Addiction can also be beneficial for managing withdrawal symptoms and preventing drug cravings. At Ballen Medical and Wellness, we offer Suboxone as well as therapy and natural alternatives that can help you detox naturally or with the help of a prescription drug.
Personalized, Individual Kratom Addiction Treatment
At Ballen Medical and Wellness, we have treatment and services around opioid dependence, addiction recovery, and detox programs to help you get the care you need. If you or a loved one are struggling with Kratom addiction, reach out to us today by calling (720)738-8531 to schedule your first appointment or learn more or filling out the form below.