Kratom Drug Fact | Center For Addiction Recovery

Talk to a Counselor Now

1 (800) 570-4562

KratomWith the plethora of old and new synthetic drugs, the name "kratom" might make you imagine a pill, or some dust created in some obscure lab. Possibly, the last thing one would imagine is that this drug is grown, and its leaves, similarly to marijuana, are the potent part of the plant.

A tropical tree, Kratom is generally native in Thailand, Malaysia, Burma and other areas of Southeast Asia. It can grow up to 50ft and has a canopy that spreads more than 15ft at full maturity. Known street names that this drug goes by are Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketum and Biak.

In low doses the leaves produce stimulant effects and at higher doses it has been known to work as a sedative. The leaves from the Kratom tree are widely available on the Internet. They can be bought as whole leaves, crushed, in powder form or as gel caps. The most popular form of use is steeped in tea, or smoked like a cigarette, although it has been found to be chewed as well.

More on how Kratom affects the body and mind shows that this drug can be somewhat versatile. At low doses, which cause stimulant effects, users report increased alertness, physical energy, talkativeness and sociable behavior. Adversely, high doses cause sedative effects of placidness, and "good feeling" relaxation. Addicted individuals have exhibited psychotic symptoms including hallucinations, delusions, and confusion. Typical bodily side effects from use of Kratom include sweating, nausea, itching, dry mouth, constipation, increased urination and loss of appetite. Long-term use can lead to anorexia, insomnia, skin darkening and prolonged dry mouth, constipation and increased urination. Some of these negative side effects are not common with more popular illegal drugs and come announced to those who abuse Kratom.

For those who become addicted to Kratom, withdrawal is as uncomfortable as with other addictive drugs. Withdrawal symptoms can include hostility, aggression, mood swings, runny nose, achy muscles and bones, and jerky movements in limbs. Recovering from an addiction to Kratom definitely warrants a rehabilitation program, rather than solitary or unguided attempts at quitting. Although the addictive potential of this drug is not as high as heroin, it still has a fast growing inclination to those who use it frequently. Medical researches compare the drug to other psychostimulant drugs such as ecstasy, meth and cocaine.

As of now, Kratom is not an illegal substance in the United States, and is not listed under the Controlled Substances Act. There is no legitimate medical use for Kratom in the U.S., though it is marketed online as an "alternative medicine" for use as a pain killer, diarrhea and other ailments. While not illegal, Kratom is on the DEA's list of Drugs and Chemicals of concern. The final message here is that while Kratom is available, users should be wary of its addictive potential and possibly harmful side effects. Just because it is not illegal (though more likely it's soon to be), this does not mean that it is safe for habitual or recreational use. More research is being done on the long-term effects of the drug to determine the level of danger it poses to those who may abuse it.

Looking for an addiction treatment program?
Our Addiction Treatment Program Includes: