Kratom is a relatively new drug in the US and Europe, but it has been used for centuries in Southern Asia as a painkiller. Mitragyna speciosa, better known as Kratom, is a plant in the coffee family. The drug can be found in leaf form, but mostly it comes in capsules filled with powdered leaf material. It can be used in tea or smoked, but most people prefer to ingest it. Kratom is legal in the US, and this makes it popular among the young people who are not yet old enough to buy alcohol and are concerned about getting arrested for possession of weed and other illegal drugs.
Effects of Kratom
Most people use it for its stimulating or sedative effects. In low dosages, it is a stimulant and makes a person more energetic, talkative and sociable. In high dosages, it creates euphoria and lethargy. The effects of Kratom come on rather quickly and can last up to seven hours, but if taken in higher dosage effects can last longer. Some of the undesirable effects of Kratom that a user might experience include:
Vomiting and Nausea
Kratom -Addictive High
Mitragynine the active ingredient of Kratom stimulates the opioid receptors like a drug like Oxycontin or heroin. This gives the user a relaxing and calming effect. Kratom initially has a stimulating effect that has been compared to caffeine. When taken in higher doses, it has an energizing effect that is followed by a relaxed and mellow feeling. The risk of overdose is low because it is nausea inducing, especially in high doses and this makes it difficult for people to keep enough down to be dangerous.
Kratom can and is smoked. The leaves are dried and crushed then rolled in a smoked paper and then smoked. But due to the way the alkaloids are distributed through the body when inhaled, it can be ineffective. By lighting it, you burn the alkaloids making the resin less effective.
The question of whether Kratom is addictive is a matter of serious controversy. According to this New York Times article, there is no question, others vehemently disagree.
Kratom is addictive and can lead to compulsive use. Some of the addiction effects include;
Loss of sexual desire
Constant cravings that lead one to use more of the drug
Darkening of the skin on the face
Read more about Kratom addiction on Reddit
Kratom Withdrawal – A Sign Of Addiction
The withdrawal effects of Kratom are very similar to those felt by a person withdrawing from heroin or prescription painkillers, including:
- Muscle pain
- Restlessness and sleeplessness
- Episodes of panic
- Severe depression
- Sudden mood swings
Potential Risks of Kratom Use
The number of people kratom sent to the emergency room and the number of calls to poison centers are not large. Unlike other opioid, Kratom has extremely low chances of overdose. Most of the adverse effects are being felt in Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand, where the drug is heavily used. In Thailand the drug is illegal and 13000 people are arrested for Kratom related crimes where this is 5% of all drug-related crimes in the country.
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