The opioid crisis is inevitably going to continue to grow in the United States. This is going to force more and more people to first confront, and possibly struggle to overcome their dependency. As more people look for help less than reliable systems will appear.

One of the most controversial methods to self-detox from opiates is a previously little-known herb from the other side of the globe: Kratom.

What is Kratom? Kratom, scientifically known as “Mitragyna speciosa” is a relative of the coffee plant, only with a much darker history. It’s leaves are picked, dried and then ground into a powder that is packaged for sale.

The problem with Kratom is simple: It is just as addictive as opioids.

In February 2018, the FDA released a statement after extensive tests stating kratom contains the same chemical compounds found in opioids. Research on the 25 most common chemical compounds found in kratom indicates it acts on the brain in the same way as prescription opiates, such as oxycodone, and non prescription opiates, such as heroin.  

“Claiming that kratom is benign because it’s ‘just a plant’ is short-sighted and dangerous,” said the FDA’s commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, MD, in a statement. “It’s an opioid. And it’s an opioid that’s associated with novel risks because of the variability in how it’s being formulated, sold, and used recreationally.”

A Look At If Kratom Can Help Addiction: The Science On Opiate Withdrawal Is Mixed

The issues behind why Kratom isn’t the solution people think it is are simple. Kratom’s popularity is due in part to opioid addicts claiming the use of the drug has helped them overcome addiction to prescription medications.

But here’s the issue: Users often find themselves trading one addiction for another.

Kratom’s chemical properties cause it to bind to the opioid receptors of the brain. The treatment works by hoping the more mild effects can help replace the needs of those addicted to ‘harder’ drugs. The problem is the same chemical properties that make it a potential detox aid also make it an addictive substance.

A look at the research shows those who have used kratom for as little as six months begin to experience the same withdrawal symptoms as opioid users, with about half of users reporting those symptoms as ‘severe’. Last November, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a recommendation that kratom be classified as a Schedule I substance, placing it into the same category as heroin and LSD.  

Because herbal supplements are often unregulated and can vary in intensity, until greater research is done, using kratom  as a way to self-detox from opiates presents a dangerous risk.

How Kratom Impacts Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

When using Kratom people looking to find relief from opiate withdrawal symptoms end up creating a whole new set of problems leading to them becoming addicted to Kratom!  

Kratom withdrawal symptoms look remarkably similar to those experiencing withdrawal from heroin. They can include:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Hallucination
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures

Right now kratom is marketed as a safe way to overcome opioid addiction-it’s not.  In fact researchers now warn that it may not be safe like the packaging suggests.

In addition, many people using kratom to overcome addiction choose to ‘go it alone’- in a DIY attempt to detox. Mixing unknown substances with withdrawal symptoms without a support network just makes the journey to recovery impossible.  

The truth is you shouldn’t ‘go it alone’ while self-detoxing. Here’s why.

Detox Safely With Professional Help

Detoxing can be a difficult experience done alone and rarely does the change last.

The problem is when you do it alone you end up ignoring the regenerative and holistic healing needed to get and stay sober.

That’s why we suggest people beginning detox, experience it under professional care. When working with a team of medically trained professionals you not only get the care you need you also get hands on help resolving the traumas that brought you to addiction in the first place.

That is why at Infinite Recovery we use a holistic, hand tailored approach to help you resolve traumas, get sober, and guide you on your journey to recovery.

Find out more about how we help, our integrative holistic approach, and what you can expect during recovery. Contact us

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