The Side Effects Of Kratom
The Hype About Kratom:
Kratom is known by its scientific name, “Mitragyna speciosa”, which is an evergreen and tropical tree, native to South East Asia in the countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. It is from the same family as the coffee tree, “Rubiaceae”. The leaves of this herbal drug have been used since a very long time by the people living the South East Asia. It is often used for medicine as a stimulant when taken at low dosage and also as a sedative when taken at higher doses. It is often used as a pain killer, recreational drug, as a medicine to treat diarrhea, and also for opiate addiction, as it is known to have similar effects as opiate do. Examples of opiates are heroin or narcotics. Many people have also used Kratom for the treatment of restless legs syndrome (RLS), arthritis, and also for fibromyalgia.
It is a form of intoxicant that is used by young people to get “high” and also used in traditional medicine. This drug has recently come under the attention of the relevant authorities and addiction specialists, mostly because of the side effects kratom which can be dangerous and at times prove to be fatal. People who have used this drug have reported feeling of well being and euphoria, relaxation, increase in their energy and sociability, sensory enhancement, as well as pain relief. Many people have also reported of many negative effects where around 15% of the users experienced an upset stomach or feeling of nausea. Some people also felt withdrawal symptoms.
How is Kratom Taken?
In the native region where Kratom is found, it is usually chewed fresh after removing the central vein. Dried whole leaves can also be chewed but because they are quite dry and touch to chew on, many people like to crush them in a powder form so that they can easily be swallowed. The powdered form of Kratom can also be drunk after mixing it with water, which is the easiest way of taking Kratom.
Moreover, it can be mixed with other forms of liquids as well, such as milk, kefir, or fruits juices. Flavored milk is usually the best idea to overpower the strong taste of Kratom powder. Other ways of having it is making a paste out of the dried and crushed Kratom, or having it as tea, by boiling the dried leaves and straining them and drinking the tea. It can be made into capsules. Many people also smoke Kratom but that is not a very convenient method.
More About Kratom and Its Usage
Currently, Kratom is not an illegal drug and in recent years, it has been very easy to order it over the internet. It is known to be sold as “green powder” in packets which are labeled as not for the consumption of human beings. Sometimes it may also be sold as gum or extract. Recently people have also been using it as an alternative herbal medicine for treating addictions to substances like opiods or even for alcohol. There is however no scientific evidence to support whether it is safe or not for such purposes.
Kratom is mostly available in the market by various names such as:
There have been some reported health effects that are felt after consuming this drug. Some of these side effects kratom are:
Being sensitive to sunburn
Feeling of itching
Loss of appetite
Having a dry mouth
Increase in urination
Kratom in the USA
Kratom has gained popularity in the United States over the past decade or so. It is available online and through head shops. It is taken by people in their regular tea, sipped for a mild comforting effect and gives a slight buzz. Larger doses of the same induce more of a euphoria that helps to ease the pain for those who are suffering.
Majority of the users of this drug are males and white who are educated and employed. Most of them are between the ages of 31-50 years old according to a survey by a pharmaceutical sciences professor. The Kratom business is usually through retailers who buy from overseas distributers or farmers. The annual revenue for these vendors is more than $1 billion. Due to its availability and its quick relief effects, more and more people are turning to this new found drug. Majority of the people start by using it as a form of pain reliever, which works better than the over the counter medicines and helps to relieve them of the pain quickly. This way they become addicted to this drug and will do no matter what to get their hands on it.
The US government did not pay much attention to this drug till the year 2013. Previously, it was classified by the FDA as a supplement as well as an unapproved drug. The DEA on the other hand, had listed Kratom as a drug that requires concerns, but that was about it. It wasn’t until a few suicides later that they took it seriously and eventually declared it illegal in certain states.
Can Kratom be Addictive?
When the body as well as the brain gets used to or dependent on a certain types of a psychoactive substance, like Kratom, this can lead to physical as well as psychological withdrawal symptoms that can happen if the person using the drugs stops using it. Kratom can have the same effect as well. Just like other forms of opiod drugs, it can cause dependence on this drug and adverse effects when it is not consumed. Many users who have been taking this drug go through series of certain side effects that they face when they do not have access to this drug.
Majority of the people start taking this for their pain while some take it for recreational uses as well. Many users have been to the rehabilitation center to seek help from letting go of this addiction and are cured as well. For other consumers, however, if they get into a relapse, it may even prove to be fatal. The side effects usually associated with the withdrawal symptoms of Kratom addiction for the users may include:
A loss of libido
Losing body weight
The skin on face being darkened
Constant cravings that encourages the person to take more of the drug
Furthermore, the users of Kratom may feel some physical type of withdrawal symptoms when they do not take the drug. The withdrawal symptoms of this drug, although milder than other drugs are still quite serious and often make it difficult to quit the drug. Some of the withdrawal symptoms reported are:
Having pains and aches in muscles
Hostility towards others
Feelings of aggression
Sudden, jerky movements
Having a runny nose
The hallucinations and the delusions are quite disturbing for the person and because of this; it makes it important to have that individual supervised so that the withdrawal symptoms do not get severe or dangerous. It is because of these reasons that many countries in the South East Asia have put restrictions on the use of Kratom because of the potential for drug abuse.
Dangers of Kratom Consumption
It is definitely a cause of concern when people start resorting to alternative herbal medicines to treat themselves which has no medical significance. It can be dangerous and harmful both for the person administrating such drugs. Furthermore, it can be dangerous if a person is known to have a disease and is using such drugs to treat them, means the disease can further get worse or spread.
Moreover, it can cause various side effects, which will be discussed in more detail. It may also cause withdrawal symptoms which is yet another cause for concern as a person becomes depressive, anti social or may be even suicidal.
Lastly, this drug can also be addictive and is proven harmful when taken in large doses. Governments are now taking this drug seriously and realizing how dangerous its side effects can be. Even though the usage of this drug is not very common in the United States as of now, there have still been 15 cases of death related to this drug according to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration).
Thus, the dangers that Kratom may pose can be many, although some people may argue that it is quite beneficial for the treatment of aches and severe pain. Many people who find no peace or solace in traditional pain killers prescribed by doctors, resort to using Kratom and have never been happier.
This however does not mean this drug should be consumed by just anybody, the biggest danger it faces is that until now, there has been absolutely no medical research on this drug and so, most people who do take this drug are harming themselves and putting their lives in danger.
The Side Effects of Kratom
There are quite a few known side effects of Kratom, just like it is with the use of opiods. Among them are:
Having a dry mouth
Feeling of nausea
Reduce in appetite
Itching on the body
Increased heart rate
Majority of these side effects of Kratom are short term and generally disappear as soon as the person stops taking the drug. The whole problem lies where people simply do not stop taking the drug even after their pain has subsided. This makes Kratom dangerous as a habit forming drug which is extremely difficult to stop taking.
Some side effects and symptoms however, can be more severe in nature and lead to permanent damage if this drug is taken continuously and in large doses.
The obstruction in bowel movements can prove to be very dangerous and result in permanent damage to the bowel system and this may lead to the removal of the bowel in order for the obstruction to be fixed.
If the Respiratory depression is severe and serious it may lead to the inability for the brain to get the required oxygen from the blood and may lead to a condition known as hypoxia which results in brain damage and rapid cell death and its effects are generally unpredictable.
Conclusion: Is Kratom a Safe Drug?
Some people might argue that Kratom is a safe drug since it is herbal and it comes from a plant or a natural source. However, it can be argued that not all plants are fit for human consumption and any plants may be toxic and dangerous for humans. Unless there is some research conducted on the drug, it is quite dangerous to consume it without any medical confirmation.
Moreover, with its so many known side effects of Kratom, it is potentially harmful for anybody to be consuming it and it may cause life threatening problems. The dangerous are not restricted to just side effects alone, but also on the dosage taken, an overdose can be fatal in many cases and since there is no doctor intervention, nobody knows for sure how much Kratom is to be consumed.
The withdrawal symptoms are yet another factor of the dangers of this drug. These also cannot be taken lightly as it leads to depression and suicidal tendencies in people that is why it is important that such people are not left unsupervised.
Thus, overall, considering the side effects, the withdrawal symptoms and lack of medical research on this drug, it can be potentially harmful as well as dangerous for human consumption. It should not be consumed, as once a person starts taking this drug, due to its addictive and habit forming nature, it becomes almost impossible for them to leave the drug at all.