A recreational substance that produces stimulant effects in low doses and sedative effects in high doses is called Kratom and according to kxan.com not long ago, there's been a "sharp surge" of admissions at Austin Recovery Center for people seeking treatment for Kratom addiction.
Even though Kratom is a tropical tree in Southeast Asia, the leaves can be easily obtained throughout the internet today and even purchased in some smoke shops but not everyone realizes that the use of kratom can lead to addiction. Kratom produces different effects depending on the amount that's used. Various forms of Kratom can be found online which include whole leaves, crushed leaves, powder form, extract, encapsulated powder and resin pies according to the DEA. Right now Kratom is legal in the United States but it's on the DEA's list as a drug of concern.
How is Kratom Abused?
Kratom leaves are commonly brewed as tea but Kratom is also smoked, chewed and can even be obtained as gel caps. Kratom is known on the streets as Biak, Kakuam, Ketum, Thang, and Thom.
Kratom Use and Abuse Effects
A low dose of kratom produces a stimulant effect which includes; mild euphoria, talkativeness, increased alertness, increased physical energy, and sociable behavior. In high doses, Kratom produces sedative effects and the user experiences intense euphoria. It only takes around five to ten minutes after a person ingests Kratom to start feeling the effects and they can last for around two to five hours. The use of Kratom can cause nausea, dry mouth, itching, sweating, loss of appetite and increased urination. According to the DEA, psychotic symptoms have been reported associated with the use of Kratom which include delusions, hallucinations and confusion.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
- Runny nose
- Mood swings
- Muscle and bone aches
- Jerky limb movements
Today recreational drugs are very popular and according to nbcnews.com people are showing up in emergency rooms in the United States sick from taking Kratom, "especially teens" that are trying to get high on the substance. The article goes on to say that there are companies on the internet that sell Kratom saying it can help with depression, pain and fatigue and used as an antidote for heroin addiction.
Young people are curious and as long as Kratom is legal in the United States and easily obtained, there will be a lot of teens and young adults trying it to see what the effects are like and some of them will become addicted like others have. We don't know enough about the risks associated with the use of Kratom and until we do, hopefully people will think twice about achieving a legal high from the substance.