It is known by many names, including Ithang, Mambog, Mitragynine, thang, Biak-Biak, Maeng Da, Thom, and of course, kratom.
Kratom is a type of tree that grows natively in many parts of the tropical world, particularly in Southeast Asia. Countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia are hot spots for kratom. The trees are harvested and processed in order to create an extract with psychotropic effects. These psychotropic effects can significantly alter the perception, mentality, and physical state of those who consume it.
It is the leaves of the kratom tree that are so highly sought after for processing. They have a long history of use as a traditional medicine in the cultures that use it, and in addition to being used medicinally, it is processed for recreational use as well. It can be taken in a number of different ways. When prepared for consumption, the leaves are often dried and then brewed into a tea or even simply chewed on to release their psychotropic prize.
There are many different types of kratom, with many formulations being sold medicinally to help relieve specific symptoms and others being used recreationally to induce specific effects or feelings in the user. Some people will use kratom to help relieve or reduce coughing, depression, high blood pressure, anxiety, and even to help minimize or eliminate the symptoms that occur during withdrawal from opioids like heroin. However, kratom, in and of itself, is extremely addictive and can cause an opiate user to stay in the perpetual state of addiction, thus creating more issues for the user in the long run.
Dangers/Side-Effects of Mixing Alcohol & Kratom
With the drug kratom being able to fill the role of two potentially addictive substances, depending on how it’s used, there is a significant risk of potentially dangerous effects which can include sweating, seizures, nausea, hallucinations, elevated urine production, constipation, dry mouth, itching, and hallucinations.
Alcohol abuse can frequently result from the strong chemical dependence that it creates with the drinker, and can cause a host of side effects from neurotransmitter burnout and CNS damage, to brain damage, memory loss, and seizures.
Mixing kratom and alcohol can be incredibly dangerous, no matter how the kratom is dosed. Since alcohol causes central nervous system depression, and since kratom can act either as a stimulant or a sedative it can cause significant interactions. Since alcohol can interfere with both the user’s judgement as well as their ability to feel the effects of the other drugs they have consumed, the risk of an accidental overdose condition will be incredibly common and easy to achieve.
There are some who will purposefully combine drugs like this to feel effects they haven’t experienced before, or in an attempt to heighten the effects of either one substance or the other. In many cases, this can cause consumption to dangerous excess
Abuse Potential For Kratom & Alcohol
Kratom has a reputation for causing a number of enjoyable and pleasant effects in its users. This activity is facilitated by the effects that it creates, which are incredibly similar to the effects that people feel when they consume stimulants and opioids. This is because the chemical compounds that are contained in the kratom extract both interact with specific opioid receptors in the brain.
These compounds are the psychoactive 7-alpha-hydroxy-mitragynine and mitragynine. When these two compounds attach to receptors in the brain, a rush of pleasurable effects washes over the user. These effects can include significant pain reduction, euphoria, general feelings of pleasure or enjoyment, and sedation.
The occurrence of effects that mimic opioids is often experienced when the user takes a large dose of kratom extract. This is thought to occur due to the mitragynine being overpowered by the effects of the 7-alpha-hydroxy-mitragynine since smaller doses seem to more frequently trigger receptors that are often associated with stimulant use. Smaller doses are reported to produce effects such as increased alertness, more relaxed social interaction, and elevated energy levels, instead of the more relaxed sedation that larger doses seem to cause.
These effects, whether desirable to others or not, are incredibly potent and the receptors they act on can alter brain chemistry. This can lead to a relatively strong chemical dependence in those who consume it. This dependence will cause those users to go through a detox and withdrawal phase, once cessation begins.
There will be some relatively serious withdrawal symptoms after the user has taken their final dose of kratom, and allows their body to begin functioning on its own again. The effects that kratom has on the user’s brain chemistry mean that suddenly stopping the use of kratom can cause significant stress on the neurotransmitters.
These withdrawal symptoms will vary in severity from person to person depending on a large number of factors, like age, sex, medical history, current health, and more. These symptoms can include general achiness, irregular emotional state resulting in anger, irritability, and even aggression. Other common withdrawal symptoms include disruption of the sleep cycle often resulting in insomnia, runny nose, and jerky movements resembling ataxia.
Alcohol also has significant potential for abuse, largely due to the high level of social acceptance that surrounds it and the tendency for people to ignore problems with alcohol when they first begin. The potential for abuse is also magnified by the availability of alcohol and the ease by which nearly anyone can get it.
Alcohol detox can be complicated and taxing, featuring a number of potentially serious withdrawal effects such as nausea, vomiting, constant sweating, headaches, and more. The increasingly severe symptoms include hallucination and even seizures, with long-term and heavy users also being prone to delirium tremens or the DTs.
How To Get The Help You Need For An Addiction to Kratom & Alcohol
If you or someone you know and love may be addicted to kratom and alcohol, not only should help be sought, but it should be done quickly, and by working with experienced treatment professionals. Not only can those professionals ensure that the potentially dangerous detox process can occur safely and with medical supervision, but they can also create flexible treatment plans that are tailored to each individual.
Reach out today if you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to kratom and/or alcohol. Now is the time to get the help you need and deserve.