Kratom has been widely available for a number of years in pill, powder, or tea form. You can find it at kava shops, gas stations, and smoke shops readily available. It is a type of plant called mitragyna speciosa that is a tropical tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia. It is unique in the sense that it can act as a stimulant in small dosage, and a depressant at higher doses. It has come onto the recovery scene as an alternative to opioid recovery. The more it is out there, the more it is apparent that it isn’t a good method for getting clean off of opiates.
Kratom and Opioid Recovery
Opioid recovery is no walk in the park. Drugs like Percocet, Valium, oxycodone, and heroin are extremely difficult to get off of. Relapse is almost always inevitable. And, the withdrawal symptoms are so unbearable that most people trying to get clean relapse within a few days.
Since kratom has hit the scene, many people trying to detox from opiates and stay clean have turned to it. Kratom effects the opioid receptors in the brain, so it can minimize detox symptoms and also diminish cravings. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t quite that easy.
Kratom itself is relatively unknown. The FDA has gone back and forth about its legal status, and so far it is on the watch list for dangerous substances, but it has not yet been officially deemed illegal. Though it by no means is nearly as dangerous as heroin and other opiates, it is still a mood-altering substance. In recovery, messing with anything of that sort is playing with fire.
Truthfully, people who use kratom to kick their opioid habit are mostly replacing one addiction for another. It is the same as an alcoholic switching to marijuana. It may seem like less of a danger, but you are really just putting a band-aid on a bullet hole.
The point of recovery is to kick any and all mood-altering substances. So, if you are using kratom, technically you are still getting high. Also, kratom is habit forming and is known to cause unpleasant side effects when a person stops taking it. So, why use it if you are only going to get hooked to it also? It is much better off to go to a treatment center and learn how to truly live a lifestyle completely free of drugs and alcohol.
The Dangers of Kratom
Kratom is an unknown at this point. We do not yet know the effect of long-term abuse, but the evidence is mounting that it is dangerous and can even be fatal. We know for sure that it is habit forming and is a mood-altering substance. The problem with using kratom for opioid recovery is that it is like a placebo. So, you still feel like you are “getting high.”
What happens when the kratom becomes unavailable, and you crave it and begin to experience withdrawal symptoms? You will be way more likely to turn back to drugs and completely ruin everything you have worked towards in trying to stay sober.
Additionally, to being habit forming, kratom has been proven to have negative effects on your organs like the liver, and even to cause seizures in some people. It simply isn’t worth it.
The best thing you can do for opioid recovery is going to a treatment center. There, you will learn how to live a sober lifestyle without the aid of any substance whatsoever. You will also be aided through the detox process with a supervised medication regimen to ensure that you don’t abuse anything like you would be likely to do with kratom if you were on your own.
Treatment is the way to go, and substituting one addiction for another will never work. When it comes to kratom and opioid recovery, the best thing you can do is say no.