Many people are asking, “What is kratom?” Reports about the supposed benefits of the imported “wonder herb” has many taking a closer look. Others feel a bit suspicious about such supplements due to their perceived connection to opioids. Perhaps it is time to look at the facts and try and understand what kratom is and what harm it may cause. If you discover you need help from a women’s addiction treatment program, call The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® today at 855.773.0614.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) refers to a tree indigenous to Southeast Asia. The tree grows naturally in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and others. The plant found its way into traditional medicines in many cultures, often as a painkiller, and the use dates back hundreds of years. Ingesting the plant involved chewing the leaves, but boiling the leaves to make tea stands as another traditional method.
What Does It Do?
The herb connects with the same brain receptors that respond to opioids. Two particular compounds do so, leading to reactions similar to when someone takes opioids, such as a calming effect, pain relief, and even pleasurable sensations. Interestingly, in lower doses, the leaves can deliver a stimulant effect. Some resources suggest that the lower doses mimic the impact of the coca plant, the plant used to make cocaine.
The Opioid Connection
The plant found its way into natural supplements sold on the market as alternatives to opioids. These supplements sometimes promote recreational use. Research into kratom remains limited, and it doesn’t seem there is much evidence to support the positive claims. Studies have revealed many adverse side effects with its use. Also, the potential for dependency and, possibly, addiction exists.
People who use kratom like opioids often:
- Take the drug more frequently than directed
- Try to get higher doses of the drug
- Give up activities they used to enjoy
- Increase the amount of time spent using the drug
- Try to quit or reduce their use, only to find themselves unable to do so
At this point, you need to seek out a women’s treatment center in NC.
The Supplement and Chemical Gray Area
Many now-illegal drugs were once legal due to a lack of legislation, regulation, and classification. Research chemicals and various natural supplements made their way to the market, sold millions of dollars in product, and then, eventually, ended up illegal or banned. Two well-known examples of this are synthetic marijuana and designer steroids; initially, both products sold freely online and in various stores. Today, they fall under the long list of Schedule I drugs. Kratom exists within this gray area, although certain regions have addressed its sale with their legislatures and city councils. Regardless of legality, some people will continue to use it.
The legality of the herbal product remains somewhat inconsistent in the United States. On the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration has taken steps to warn manufacturers who sell any “K” product promoting unproven health benefits. Some dubious marketing campaigns promote products with Mitragyna speciosa as capable of assisting people struggling with opioid addiction. The FDA tries to step in to address situations such as these.
The Drug Enforcement Agency wishes to see Mitragyna speciosa listed as a Schedule I controlled substance. In 16 countries around the world, such is the case. Heroin, cocaine, anabolic steroids, and PCP are examples of Schedule I drugs. At present, the herb is not listed as scheduled in any way. As a result, it is still sold legally in many areas. Often, packaging comes with a warning “not for human consumption.” Regardless, purchasers still consume the product for perceived medicinal purposes and recreational use.
In the United States, six states have banned the possession, sale, and use of kratom. Those states include Alabama, Indiana, and Rhode Island. Washington, DC, also made the herb illegal. Whether the movement gains steam remains to be seen. Legislation could pass sometime in the future that settles the matter once and for all. For now, the herb remains a staple in the gray area market and reaches an untold number of customers.
Address Kratom Worries at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®
Don’t allow addiction to rule your life. A reputable kratom rehab can help you overcome your condition. Contact the professionals at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® for addiction treatment in North Carolina. A representative can answer your questions about the care offered here. Call 855.773.0614 to talk about your concerns and our treatment plans.