Using Kratom for Opioid Withdrawal
Every state in the country is feeling the effects of the opioid crisis and racing to find solutions. One “DIY” opiate withdrawal aid that’s being discussed in heated circles is Kratom. Some individuals seeking long term recovery say it’s their answer. Others say it just causes more problems.
What is Kratom?
Kratom comes from the leaves of a tree related to the coffee plant in Southeast Asia. For hundreds of years, the leaves of this tree have been eaten raw for pain. Sometimes the leaves are ground or crushed, then placed into capsules or brewed into teas. According to locals, Kratom helps ease pain and also helps with the symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal.
Kratom exists in a gray area of legality at the moment in most states throughout the U.S. There are specific states that have added it as a controlled substance and others that have completely outlawed its use. Some, like Arkansas and Alabama, classify Kratom as a controlled Schedule 1 substance. Others, like Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin ban it completely. In some states, the drug is legal, except in certain counties or cities. For instance:
- Legal in Florida- Except Sarasota County
- For legal use in Illinois- Except in Jerseyville
- Legal in California- Except in San Diego
What are People Using it For?
Kratom is a do-it-yourself method for overcoming addiction and getting through opioid withdrawal. A 2017 statement by the FDA determines that most individuals struggling with addiction use Kratom for pain treatment, to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms and for mood disorders. Most users find that taking it helps ease their cravings for a little while and it makes them feel good.
Of course, it’s only a temporary solution. In order to continue with this feeling and ease opioid withdrawal symptoms, users must take increasingly higher doses… Sound familiar?
What Could Go Wrong?
Using Kratom for opioid withdrawal can lead to severe side effects. Some are simply annoying, while others are dangerous. These side effects include:
- Facial flushing
- Loss of motor coordination
- Pupillary constriction
- Weight loss
Another significant danger of using Kratom is addiction. Kratom contains chemicals that have been found to activate opiate brain signals. This helps ease opioid withdrawal symptoms but can also lead to addiction.
A Better Solution for Opioid Withdrawal
Many of us want to find “something” to take away the obsession and ease withdrawal symptoms. We can end up searching for a solution in a substance, when we all know that’s not the solution, whether it’s legal, not legal, prescribed or DIY home remedy, the desire of most of us is to be truly free.
Abstinence-based recovery is often taking a back seat to “an easier softer way.”
The easier way generally comes with a consequence.
We learned that from our addiction, did we not?
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