Researchers in the United States are studying the potential of an herb from Southeast Asia that may help people addicted to opiates kick the habit without withdrawal side effects. It sounds too good to be true, but the herb kratom is part of the coffee family. Learn more about the surprising effects of kratom and whether or not it is the miracle cure people are hoping for it to be.
What is Kratom
Kratom is used to relieve pain and improve mood and is seen as an opiate substitute. In Thailand, the herb is mixed with cough syrup and sold as a popular beverage. Despite the potential benefits for people addicted to opiates, kratom is illegal in countries like Thailand, Australia, and Myanmar (Burma).
Concerns About Kratom
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) labeled kratom as a drug of interest because of the potential for abuse. In Indiana, the consumption of the herb has been banned altogether. The DEA states kratom has no legitimate medical purposes but numerous companies sell the herb with its properties well known in alternative medicine and drug communities. Kratom is touted as a way to combat fatigue, pain and is even an antidote to treating heroin addiction.
What Kratom Does
Kratom acts as a stimulant when taken in lower doses but when taken in higher doses, it has an inverse sedative effect. Chronic, high usage can result in side effects such as hallucinations, delusions, listlessness, tremors, nausea, and aggression. No fatalities have been noted from using the herb and it is legal for use in the United States.
Researchers studying the ability of the herb to help people with addiction get off drugs such as heroin and cocaine found that compounds may offer an alternative to methadone. Officials are looking into legalizing kratom in hopes of dealing with the country’s growing meth epidemic. Kratom has been banned in the country for nearly 70 years. Future legal status of the drug kratom in the United States is unknown at this point. With more research into properties and side effects of the herb, it may follow salts and spice as being made illegal in this country. It all depends on the trend of current research on the negative effects or any potential positive side effects of the drug.
Blueprints for Recovery helps young adults facing recovery from addiction. The face of addiction looks different for everyone. Our small community provides an effective setting in which to experience recovery. Young adult treatment program elements are custom tailored to support young adults in this transition. Call us to find out more information.