Kratom is not currently an illegal substance and has been fairly easy to order on the internet. It’s sometimes sold as a green powder in packets labeled “not for human consumption” or as leaves like a tea. It is also sometimes sold as an extract or gum.
It can cause effects similar to both opioids and stimulants and will show up as an Opioid in urine testing. It will also react adversely with Suboxone just as with any other Opioid.
So, What is Kratom?
It’s derived from a tropical tree (Mitragyna speciosa) native to Southeast Asia, who’s leaves contain compounds that can have psychotropic (mind-altering) effects similar to opioids.
Kratom is not currently an illegal substance and has been fairly easy to order on the internet. Kratom is sometimes sold as a green powder in packets labeled “not for human consumption” or as leaves like a tea. It is also sometimes sold as an extract or gum.
Kratom sometimes goes by the following names:
How do people use Kratom?
Most people take Kratom as a Tea, pill, capsule, or extract. Some people chew Kratom leaves or brew the dried or powdered leaves as a tea. The leaves can also be smoked or eaten in food.
How does Kratom affect the brain?
It can cause effects similar to both opioids and stimulants. Two compounds in Kratom leaves interact with opioid receptors in the brain very similar to opioids. When it’s taken in small amounts, users report increased energy, sociability, and alertness instead of sedation.
However, Kratom can also cause uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous side effects. The good news is that Kratom has not become illegal because over ingestion or what could be called an overdose is typically nausea and vomiting.
What are the health effects?
Reported health effects include:
- dry mouth
- increased urination
- loss of appetite
Other effects at lower doses can be increased awareness and stimulation similar to caffeine.
Symptoms of psychosis have been reported in some users.
Can a person overdose?
There have been reports of deaths in people who had ingested Kratom, but most have involved other substances. Most often an overdose involves nausea and vomiting.
Is it Addictive?
The jury is still out on addiction. Like other drugs with opioid-like effects, it might cause dependence, which means users will feel mild physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. Some users have reported becoming addicted to Kratom. Withdrawal symptoms include:
- muscle aches
- emotional changes
- runny nose
- jerky movements
Does it have Value as a Medicine?
Yes, but it is just a very weak opioid. In recent years, some people have used Kratom as what they consider to be a herbal alternative to medical treatment in an attempt to control or alleviate the withdrawal symptoms and cravings caused by addiction to opioids.
This is because it is or acts as a mild opioid. It also is sometimes used in lesser doses as a mood enhancer or mild stimulant. Warning! It will show up as an Opioid in urine testing and will react adversely with Suboxone just as with any other Opioid.
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