Kratom, which is a plant-derived supplement, is growing in popularity. Kratom is an extract from the tropical tree Mitragyna speciosa, a relative of the coffee plant. 


Historically, laborers in Southeast Asia have used the compound by either chewing the leaves or making them into tea to soothe aches and pains and boost energy levels. 


Currently, kratom is not illegal in the United States and people can easily purchase it online. It is typically sold in

the form of a green powdered supplement. Manufacturers of kratom market the extract as natural and safe but this is far from true.


Scientists have carried out limited studies on its effects, but it appears to act as a stimulant at lower doses and has a sedative effect at higher doses. Over recent years, usage in the U.S. has increased sharply.


𝗪𝗵𝗼 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗸𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗺?


This plant extract initially became popular for those seeking to self medicate for mood disorders or chronic pain. Sadly, this plant has become popular among those suffering from opioid use disorder because the active component of kratom — mitragynine — acts on opioid receptors.


Many opioid addicts consider kratom to be a godsend. Relative to opioid-replacement medications, such as buprenorphine, it is much cheaper and easier to obtain.


𝗘𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝘀 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗸𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗺-


In a recent study, scientists focused their analysis on the 935 cases that only involved kratom. The most common adverse events were:


* agitation: 18.6%

* tachycardia: 16.9%

* drowsiness: 13.6%

* vomiting: 11.2%

* confusion: 8.1%

* seizure: 6.1%

* withdrawal: 6.1%

* hallucinations: 4.8%

* respiratory depression: 2.8%

* coma: 2.3%

* cardiac or respiratory arrest: 0.6%


In four cases, the reports listed kratom as either a contributing factor or a cause of death. In two of these cases, the reports identified kratom alone; in the other two cases, additional compounds played a role.


While kratom is less potent than other opioids, its use can result in a significantly negative impact on the body.


"In larger doses, it can cause slowed breathing and sedation, meaning that patients can develop the same toxicity they would if using another opioid product. It is also reported to cause seizures and liver toxicity." says Prof. William Eggleston from the State University of New York at Binghamton.


High school and college students are surrounded by kratom these days — in smoke shops and on the internet, says Mike Milham, MD, PhD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist who is vice president of research at the Child Mind Institute. “For students especially, you can imagine the allure of the stimulant effects, but once you start experiencing the euphoria of the opioid aspect, you’re at risk for addiction.


Students say kratom helps them study and counters anxiety. “Initially it helps you with your all-nighters, and it helps you with your stress,” says Dr. Milham. “But then you’re stuck.”


If you’re a parent or know of someone suffering from an opioid addiction, I’m posting this so that you’re aware that kratom is no joke and is definitely not safe despite marketing saying otherwise.


Parents should be on the lookout for kratom. It’s packaged and sold like it’s a beneficial herbal supplement but it’s a dangerous, addictive drug and should be treated as such.

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