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What Is Kratom?

a man experiences adverse effects from taking kratom for a long period of time

Kratom is an alternative health product that is derived from a tree in southeast Asia. It is marketed as an herbal supplement that people use to manage drug withdrawal, for pain relief, or as a method of alleviating mental health symptoms. Notably, kratom is not approved by the FDA for any medical use. Nor is it illegal. It is widely and readily available through CBD distributors and alternative health outlets. Anthropologists indicate that kratom has been used in southeast Asia cultures for millennia.

Modern research has yet to explore kratom, and thus very little is known about its long-term impacts and what, if any, health issues it may cause in people who overuse kratom. Learn more about addiction treatment near you by calling Serenity Grove at  844.904.3485.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom is a term for a southeast Asian tree, Mitragyna speciosa. In more common parlance, it refers to any product derived from this tree. Kratom is typically used in pill form. Kratom powder can also be mixed into drinks, its leaves can be brewed as tea, and liquid kratom extract can be ingested.

Regardless of how someone takes kratom, it is most often used in similar ways to sedatives or opioids. It produces a sense of calm and relaxation. Pain relief is another effect of using kratom. The use of kratom remains relatively rare compared to other drugs and supplements. The most recent data indicates less than 1% of the US population has used kratom in the past year.

What Is Kratom Used For?

With use still far from widespread, many people ask, “Kratom, what is it used for?” A few of the reasons people report using kratom include the following:

  • As a pain reliever
  • To reduce mental health symptoms
  • To manage withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings, especially in relation to opioid addiction

Research into valid medical uses remains ongoing. Kratom is not a restricted substance. However, it is not FDA-approved for any of the things people typically use it for. Other medications that are studied and proven safe and effective are valid in relieving pain, reducing mental health symptoms, and managing drug withdrawal.

So why would someone turn to kratom? Many reasons exist. It could be that someone does not want to take their issues to a medical professional. They may view kratom as cheaper and easier to come by. Or they could distrust traditional medical interventions for their issues. While their reasoning may be understandable, using kratom is unlikely to produce any lasting benefits. Moreover, its use is not without risk.

Is Kratom Safe to Use?

Kratom is certainly far from the most dangerous drug available in America today. Even among its legal, widely available counterparts, kratom is relatively benign. But using kratom is not risk-free. The FDA and the US Centers for Disease Control have identified a couple of concerns related to kratom use.

First, kratom may be contaminated with more dangerous substances. Kratom production is not widely regulated. When you buy kratom from a distributor, there is no way of knowing exactly what is in the product. Second, kratom use does often come with adverse side effects. Most of these are mild, but they can be severe in some instances. The third is simply that much about kratom remains unknown. Its impact on pregnant people has yet to be thoroughly studied. Furthermore, the long-term implications of using kratom are another area that remains murky.

When other, more reputable medications exist for everything kratom is purported to help, there’s no real reason to turn to the unknowns of kratom.

Find Drug Addiction Help at Serenity Grove

Serenity Grove has years of experience treating mental health and drug addiction. No matter the drug in question, we can build a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses your needs and helps you through recovery. Call 844.904.3485 or fill out our online contact form to begin healing from addiction today.