Kratom has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia. In recent years, it has become more widely available in the West, where it is sometimes marketed as an herbal supplement or “natural alternative” to opioids. However, growing evidence suggests that kratom may be just as addictive—and potentially even more dangerous—than the drugs it supposedly replaces. If you or someone you love is struggling with the substance, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects of kratom.
The team at Fort Behavioral Health knows how difficult it can be to break away from the grips of substance use and addiction. Most times, addiction is only a symptom of an underlying mental health problem. That’s why co-occurring therapies are vital to our substance abuse treatment programs. We will help you learn the skills to stay sober and develop coping mechanisms to ease mental health symptoms. If you’re ready to experience life without drugs or alcohol, call 844.332.1807 today to get started in our Texas rehab center.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. The leaves of the kratom tree have been used for centuries by Indigenous peoples for their stimulant effects. In low doses, kratom leaves can produce feelings of euphoria and increased energy levels; in higher doses, they can produce sedative effects. Kratom leaves can be chewed fresh, dried and smoked, brewed into tea, or crushed into powder and taken orally.
The Side Effects of Kratom
Although kratom is often touted as a “safe” and “natural” way to manage pain or achieve a sense of euphoria, the truth is that there are many potential side effects associated with its use. These side effects range from mild to potentially life-threatening. Some of the most commonly reported side effects of kratom include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Liver damage
- Psychotic symptoms
It’s important to note that because the FDA does not currently regulate kratom, there is no guarantee of its potency or purity. This means that people who use kratom—particularly those who use it regularly—are at risk of experiencing severe side effects from contaminated products. In some cases, these side effects may be irreversible.
Recognizing Kratom Abuse
If you’re concerned that you or someone you love may be abusing kratom, there are some signs and symptoms you can look out for:
- Preoccupation with obtaining and using kratom
- Using more kratom than intended or using it more frequently than intended
- Unsuccessful attempts to cut back on or quit using kratom
- Continued use despite negative consequences
- Isolation from family and friends
What to Expect from Kratom Addiction Treatment
When you get help for your addiction, you commit to a happier, healthier future. After checking into a rehab center, you’ll usually go through a few phases on the road to recovery:
- Detox – The first step is to rid your body of the drug. This usually takes place in a medically-supervised setting where you can be monitored for withdrawal symptoms and given medication to ease the process.
- Rehab – In this phase, you’ll work with counselors and therapists to understand the root causes of your addiction and develop coping mechanisms to avoid relapse.
- Aftercare – Once you’ve completed treatment, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in an aftercare program. This may include continued therapy, support groups, or sober living arrangements.
If you or someone you love is struggling with kratom addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. The sooner you start treatment, the more likely you can achieve a full and lasting recovery.
Addiction Treatment at Fort Behavioral Health
While kratom may initially seem like a harmless way to relieve pain or achieve a sense of euphoria, the truth is that it comes with many risks—including addiction and overdose. If you’re concerned that you or someone you love may be abusing kratom, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects and seek professional help as soon as possible. With treatment, it’s possible to overcome addiction and reclaim your life.