For the past few years, there have been many communities on the internet touting Kratom, a substance that works similar to opioids, as a cure-all. People with opioid addiction in many online communities have switched to it to ease withdrawal symptoms and help with chronic pain. However, researchers have warned all along that Kratom can be addictive. Now, researchers say kratom addiction is a growing problem in America.
As more people try to stop using Kratom, the addiction community has become aware of its dangers. And more people are looking for ways to quit using Kratom, too.
Kratom Addiction and Opioid Withdrawal
Many people who have used Kratom started off using it to quit drugs like heroin. Many then find themselves in withdrawal when they want to taper off it. Kratom addiction is new to America and hasn’t been studied much in medical communities. Many Southeast Asian countries have laws that treat it the same as heroin because people used it as a replacement for opium. Some countries cut down and burned all the kratom trees to stamp them out of their country.
Kratom eases withdrawal symptoms, most likely because it activates the same parts of the brain that opiates do. People who quit using Kratom describe a plethora of symptoms. Fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and even shakes and hallucinations are some of the symptoms people describe. These are all similar to the withdrawal symptoms of drugs such as heroin or Oxycontin.
Hope for True Abstinence
The good news is that new research has discovered that if you want to quit Kratom, you may be able to use the same medication that works for people on opioids. A recent study has shown that Medication-Assisted Treatment like Suboxone can help people stay off of Kratom and opioids such as heroin. Naltrexone and methadone are also effective as a treatment for kratom addiction.
Kratom addiction exists, according to the medical community, and now there is clearly a link between it and opioid addiction.
While Kratom is not currently an illegal drug, the FDA has asked customs to halt importations of the substance. Kratom overdoses have been increasingly common in the US. In 2018, there were at least 91 overdose deaths involving it. Seven of those who overdosed had Kratom and no other substance in their systems.