Whether it be for anxiety, depression, or heightening one’s sexual performance, there is a drug that some use to self-medicate; this drug is referred to as Kratom. According to those who use it, the drug offers relief from pain. Some even claim it helps their depression. According to some experts, it could help treat opiate addiction in the future.
Things aren’t all sunshine and rainbows, however; the DEA has labeled it as a drug/chemical of concern. Not only that but there has also been talk of classifying it as a schedule 1 controlled substance.
When it comes to Kratom and other drugs like it, there are many different opinions. Some think it’s great and natural, while others recognize its abusive potential. The harm is too prevalent to ignore; it is a cause of death in some cases of addiction. However, in other cases, it helps those with ADHD focus better at a low dosage. Regardless, it’s important to know what a substance is to measure its potential.
What is Kratom?
Kratom originates in Southeast Asia, where a tree is used for its leaves containing chemicals that help fight depression, anxiety, and pain. It could be used in low dosage as a stimulant. This makes it popular in the realm of college-aged students who have trouble focusing. If they use Kratom without a controlled prescription from a professional, it is self-medication and has the potential to be very dangerous. To give an idea as to how powerful it is, in its low dosage it’s similar to Adderall. In higher dosages, Kratom acts as a sedative.
Some studies suggest that Kratom’s effects of the brain are similar to those of Codeine, Fentanyl, and Morphine. These are more commonly referred to as Opiates, which are very addictive and can cause extreme harm to the human body when they are abused; it is imperative to understand the potential Kratom has on the human body.
In addition to all of this, the DEA, as previously mentioned, has classified Kratom as a drug and chemical of concern. This is due in large part to the tendency of drug abuse via Kratom. The DEA is also close to classifying it as a schedule 1 drug, which means if anyone using it were caught, they would be detained. Because of this, someone could spend up to 30 years of their life incarcerated because it would be classified as a felony.
Why Use Kratom?
Kratom is nothing new. Its usefulness has been fulfilled for centuries. Throughout the world, mainly Asia, its continent of origin, Kratom has been used to treat bad coughs and diarrhea. Fast forward to modern-day and it is used to treat symptoms of withdrawal.
Regardless of whether or not the drug is helpful, however, the DEA still holds fast to the thought that Kratom has no potential benefits. People’s perspective on the drug could be largely based on how it is used. For example, in the United States, Kratom is used with the intent of self-medication to relieve pain, anxiety, or withdrawal. This is perhaps why the DEA sees no benefit; because the risks outweigh the benefits.
What Are The Dangers of Abusing Kratom?
Kratom is very dangerous if its use is not supervised by a medical professional, affecting the brain the same way that opiates do; Kratom is addictive because of this. Oftentimes those who use Kratom end up abusing it, thus requiring addiction treatment.
There have been some circumstances in which Kratom has been reported as a cause of death. It is worth mentioning, however, that in some of these cases Kratom was one identified drug among many others. The CDC has claimed that as many as 91 people died from using Kratom between 2016 and 2017.
Kratom withdrawal is dangerous, which is another reason to be hesitant about it. In some cases, individuals who are trying to quit have experienced intensified anxiety. This makes it difficult for those who need help to get it. Kratom also contains lots of unknown substances, which makes it difficult to treat.
The Dangers of Substance Use Disorder
Substance use disorder is a very dangerous mental illness and in many cases leads to withdrawal. Some symptoms of withdrawal from Kratom include the following:
- Muscle Aches
- Runny Nose
Due to Kratom’s addictive potential, its use can lead to substance abuse. Substance abuse is a very dangerous path to wander. This is due in large part to addiction’s long term impact on the body and mind. The effects of long-term substance abuse have to do with developing a mental illness or cancer. Not only does substance abuse have long-term effects on the body and mind, but it also negatively impacts loved ones.
Treatment Options for Kratom Abuse
Dealing with addiction is a tough pill to swallow; what’s even more difficult is having to evaluate one’s needs and find the kind of treatment that works best for them. At Amethyst, we know how difficult it is, and we want to stand beside you and empower you to make the right choice. There are options available to combat Kratom addiction or any other type of substance abuse. Some of these include the following:
- Inpatient Treatment
- Outpatient Treatment
- Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Inpatient Residential Treatment
Used to treat more severe cases of addiction, inpatient residential treatment offers 24/7 medical care as it relates to their addiction. Patients also have weekly access to professional therapists and psychiatrists, as well as a comfortable bed to sleep in, hot meals, and a variety of amenities. This form of care could last anywhere between 28 days to six months.
Lasting anywhere between 3 months to over a year, outpatient treatment is used to combat milder cases of substance abuse. Those who participate have 10-12 hours of weekly access to professional therapists and psychiatrists. This method of care allows individuals to reside in the comfort of their own homes while attending treatment throughout the week. Sometimes, those who have completed inpatient residential treatment are not ready for the world outside rehab, so they adjust by the means of outpatient care.
Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Medically assisted treatment (MAT) is what is referred to when a patient is given prescription medication to curb the symptoms of withdrawal. Some withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Mood Swings
Quitting a drug addiction is difficult. There are so many variables that it can be dangerous to try and quit by yourself. This is why MAT is so important. Self-medicating is dangerous and can sometimes prove fatal. At Amethyst, our goal is to meet each patient where they are to properly curb their withdrawal symptoms for a comfortable, seamless recovery journey.
Therapy is a treatment method that most everyone is familiar with, but there are many different kinds. Overall, however, the goal is to address behaviors and emotions that need help and successfully overcome those hurdles. Some different forms of therapy include the following:
- Individual Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Some of those who suffer from substance abuse require more intimate and attentive assistance. For these people, individual therapy is the right fit. Individual therapy allows patients to disclose their emotions, past, or anything else to a professional mental health counselor.
Group therapy is a great fit for those who require support from their peers. Those who are more comfortable disclosing their struggles with a group find themselves succeeding in group therapy. In group therapy, individuals are gathered together, typically in a circular fashion, and they are led by a professional counselor/moderator. This method helps individuals to bond over their struggles and strengthen each other in a fight against a common enemy.
Those who are addicted aren’t the only ones suffering from their substance use disorder. Substance abuse tends to have a splatter effect on those closest to an individual. Anybody who cares for/loves the individual is stained with the ugly nature of addiction. Family therapy allows these people to mend their broken hearts and relationships so that they can move on to a healthier place.
Don’t Fight Addiction Alone – Amethyst Can Help
Many in the world would be willing to admit that they’re struggling with their mental health; in a time where many individuals struggle in this manner, substance use disorder is more common than ever. This is because so many individuals have access to drugs like Kratom that they can use to self-medicate. Those who do this end up becoming addicted.
Kratom abuse is not an exception to this. Whether someone believes it is beneficial or harmful, many will agree that the abuse of drugs such as Kratom is a problem. At Amethyst, we believe substance use disorder is not an impossible obstacle to overcome. We believe in meeting individuals where they are and offering them care that best suits their unique needs. If you would like more information regarding Kratom abuse or treatment options, you can contact us here.