Kratom, officially called Mitragyna Speciosa, is a Southeast Asian tree-like evergreen commonly used for its stimulant and narcotic effects. Although it has been traditionally used in the region for centuries to treat common ailments and exhaustion, many reputable sources have indicated that kratom poses serious risks of addiction—even at low doses. With so many controversies surrounding this drug, it can be hard to understand just how addictive kratom really is. Here are some indicators to look out for if you think a person close to you may be struggling with kratom addiction.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is a tropical tree-like plant found in Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand and Indonesia. It has been used in this region for centuries for its stimulant and narcotic effects. The kratom leaves can be chewed fresh or dried, usually brewed into tea or powdered and taken as capsules.
The kratom plant naturally contains two alkaloids—mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine—which interact with the opioid receptors in the brain to produce both stimulating and sedative effects. When kratom is consumed in low doses, it acts as a mild stimulant that increases energy levels, focus, alertness, and motivation. Higher doses of kratom can cause more sedating effects, such as relaxation, drowsiness, and euphoria.
The Risk of Addiction
Although kratom has traditionally been used overseas for medicinal purposes, it has become increasingly popular as a recreational drug in recent years. Unfortunately, kratom can be habit-forming and has been linked to an increased risk of addiction.
When kratom is abused regularly over a long period of time, the user may build up a tolerance and require higher doses in order to achieve the desired effects. This puts users at an even greater risk of becoming addicted. In addition, kratom withdrawal symptoms—which include muscle aches, cravings, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and nausea—can be difficult to manage without professional help.
Health Risks of Kratom
Regular kratom use has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, and psychiatric issues. Long-term kratom abuse can also cause problems with breathing and heart rate regulation, as well as lasting effects on the brain's pleasure centers that may lead to depression or anxiety.
If you or an individual you know is struggling with kratom addiction, seek professional help immediately. It is important to understand the risks associated with kratom abuse in order to protect your health and safety. There are effective treatments available for kratom addiction that can help those struggling get back on track toward recovery.
Signs of Kratom Addiction
Kratom addiction is a real and serious issue that needs to be addressed. People who are addicted to kratom may become physically dependent on the drug and experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit. It's important to recognize kratom addiction in its early stages so that appropriate treatment can be provided.
If you recognize these signs and suspect that someone is struggling with kratom addiction, it is important to reach out for professional support:
- Increased Tolerance and Dependence
One of the most common signs of kratom addiction is an increased tolerance for the drug, meaning that more kratom is needed to experience the same effects as before. As kratom abuse continues, users become physically dependent on it—experiencing physical withdrawals when kratom is not taken regularly or at all.
- Long-Term Use Despite Negative Consequences
Kratom addiction is marked by continued kratom use despite negative consequences such as decreased performance at work or school, financial difficulty, damaged relationships with family and friends, or health issues.
- Unsuccessful Quitting Efforts
People who are addicted to kratom often try to quit on their own but are unable to do so without professional help. People may find themselves going back to kratom in spite of their best efforts to stop using it.
- Withdrawal Symptoms
When kratom isn't taken regularly or at all, the user may experience withdrawal symptoms such as muscle aches, cravings, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and nausea—all of which can be difficult to manage without professional help.
- Loss of Interest in Other Activities
Kratom addiction can lead to a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable, such as hobbies or spending time with friends and family. People may become isolated and focus their attention solely on kratom use instead.
- Neglecting Important Responsibilities
If a person's recreational use of kratom starts to interfere with daily tasks and responsibilities, this may be a sign of kratom addiction. This includes missing work or school, not paying bills on time, or not taking care of other important obligations.
- Spending Excessive Amounts of Money on Kratom
Someone who is addicted to kratom may find themselves spending a disproportionate amount of money on kratom in order to maintain their habit. This can quickly spiral into financial trouble and put a person in jeopardy of becoming homeless or otherwise struggling financially.
As mentioned, if you have noticed any of these signs in yourself or someone you know, it is important to reach out for help. Treatment for kratom addiction can be effective and provide the necessary tools for long-term recovery. By recognizing kratom addiction early on, we can help those struggling get back on track toward health and wellness.
Seeking Professional Help
If kratom addiction is present, it's important to seek help right away. Treatment centers and programs can provide the necessary support to help those suffering from kratom addiction get back on track toward a healthier lifestyle.
Outpatient programs are an excellent way to receive help for kratom addiction in an independent, flexible setting. These programs are tailored to meet the individual's needs and often include counseling, medical care, support groups, and other resources that can benefit those struggling with kratom addiction. The greatest benefit of outpatient treatment is that it allows people to remain in their home environment while still receiving the needed care and support.
Kratom Addiction Treatment in Chattanooga, TN
Iris Wellness Group provides individualized kratom addiction treatment plans in Chattanooga, TN, including outpatient rehab, to help those struggling with kratom addiction achieve lasting recovery. We understand that kratom abuse can be difficult to overcome, and we are dedicated to providing the care and support needed for recovery. Our kratom addiction treatment programs include counseling sessions, medical care, relapse prevention strategies, and more.
If you or someone you love is struggling with kratom addiction, Iris Wellness Group can provide the necessary treatment and resources for long-term recovery. Contact us today for more information about our kratom addiction treatment program in Chattanooga, TN.