Did you know that according to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 136 people die of opioid overdoses? With the opioid epidemic getting worse in the United States, some people are turning to alternative medicine options to help overcome their addictions.
Kratom is one option some are turning to. Kratom is a tree originally located in Southeast Asia. The leaves on kratom trees contain compounds that have psychotropic effects on people.
Some people claim that kratom helps them stop taking opioids and help ease opioid withdrawal symptoms. But, some states and government agencies are warning against kratom, and they’re concerned about its effectiveness.
So, is this a powerful herb to overcome addiction or a dangerous drug that should be banned? Additionally, how do you test to see if someone is using kratom?
Is Kratom Legal?
Currently, kratom is legal in the United States. However, there are some states now trying to ban it.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), due to the addictive properties and adverse side effects of kratom, it is now considered an emerging drug of abuse.
Kratom is marketed in the United States currently as an alternative medicine option. Kratom can be purchased in the United States at alternative medicine stores and supplement stores.
While kratom is legal in the United States, it is illegal in several other countries, including Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, and several other European Union countries.
Kratom affects the brain similar to how both opioids and stimulants do. Depending on how much someone ingests, they may experience either an opioid effect or a stimulus effect on their body.
Mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine are two of the compounds in kratom. These two compounds interact with the opioid receptors of the brain.
When taken in larger amounts, this interaction causes sedation effects, pleasure, and decreased pain.
Mitragynine affects the brain like an opiate, but it works as a stimulant as well. When someone consumes kratom in small amounts, it increases energy and alertness.
Is Kratom Safe?
More research is necessary to determine if kratom is safe. However, some people have tried using kratom to help with withdrawal symptoms with opioids and other addictive substances. Others have tried kratom to help with cravings associated with these substances.
Unfortunately, there is not currently any scientific evidence that kratom is a safe or effective treatment option to help people addicted to these substances.
While kratom may help some overcome addiction to opioids, there are several other FDA-approved medications for addiction and withdrawal. These medications include:
These medications have been well researched and put through clinical trials that have determined their effectiveness and safety. Unfortunately, to classify kratom as an option for helping opioid addictions, kratom must go through similar studies and tests.
Since these medications are FDA-approved, some find these medications to be a better option for opioid addiction treatment than the kratom benefits for opioid addiction.
Side Effects of Kratom
There are several side effects reported with kratom. Since there have not been any official studies of kratom and its side effects, all side effects are still unknown. However, some kratom effects that people have reported include:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Increased urination
In addition to the side effects listed above, there have been numerous cases of kratom overdoses. Unfortunately, these kratom overdoses have led to death in some cases.
Others have experienced psychosis episodes from using kratom.
People who have alcoholism need to be especially cautious when taking kratom. While more research is necessary, it seems that people with an addiction to alcohol have an increased risk for suicide when taking with kratom.
Deaths Associated with Kratom
At this time, we do not have enough scientific research to know how much or if any amount of kratom is safe. However, it is essential to note that just because it is a natural product does not necessarily mean it is safe.
Therefore, it is important to speak to your physician about all of the medications and supplements you are taking.
The exact cause of kratom overdose deaths is unknown. In most cases, the people who have died due to kratom overdose were also found to have taken other substances.
For example, a study conducted in 2019 by the National Poison Center Data System found 11 deaths associated with kratom ingestion. However, 9 out of the 11 deaths involved other substances as well.
Medicines such as diphenhydramine, alcohol, caffeine, benzodiazepines, fentanyl, and cocaine were also found in 9 out of 11 individual’s systems. Only 2 deaths were found to be from kratom alone.
In addition to the study conducted by the National Poison Data System, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) also evaluated kratom-associated deaths in 2017.
The FDA found 44 deaths associated with kratom. The FDA found the same problem with kratom-associated deaths as the National Poison Data System did. Many of the people who suffered from kratom overdoses had other substances in their system as well.
The FDA found that the people who died with kratom were also taking medications that include:
- Illicit drugs
- Over-the-counter medications (i.e., cough syrup)
There have also been some reports of deaths associated with kratom when taken as a dietary supplement. Additionally, there are some cases where deaths occurred when kratom was used as an ingredient and other compounds in dietary supplements.
It’s important to always check with your healthcare provider about all of the medications and supplements you are taking.
Yes, just like many other opioid drugs, kratom can also become addictive. When someone becomes addicted to kratom, they may experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop taking kratom.
Some withdrawal symptoms that some uses have reported include:
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches
- Jerky movements
- Emotional changes
- Aggression or hostility
Unfortunately, there is not a specific treatment option available to those who are experiencing a kratom addiction.
Some people addicted to kratom have found success in stopping using behavioral therapy. However, more research is necessary to determine the effectiveness of behavioral therapy to treat kratom addiction.
How is Kratom Consumed?
Kratom is ingested in several ways. Most commonly, people will take kratom in a pill or capsule. However, there are other ways that people choose to consume kratom.
For example, rather than taking kratom as a pill, some people chew Kratom leaves, brew dried or powder leaves into teas, or eat the leaves in food.
Sometimes people choose to smoke the Kratom leaves as well.
Kratom Drug Test
Currently, kratom is not listed as a controlled substance. However, several states have made motions to ban kratom. In addition, the US DEA considers kratom to be an emerging drug of abuse.
Kratom, especially when taken in large amounts, still affects the brain, similar to opioids. For this reason, many places should test for individuals taking kratom.
For example, kratom testing would benefit schools, police stations, clinics, hospitals, employers, and poison control centers.
Since some people use kratom instead of other opioids, rehab facilities and probation centers also greatly benefit from kratom testing.
Will Kratom Show Up in a Drug Test?
Most standard drug tests use a several-panel drug test. However, these standard drug tests typically do not detect kratom.
The kratom urine test strips and kratom urine cartridges from 12 Panel Now are quick, convenient, and accurate.
These test kits are simple to use. First, you dip the kratom urine test strip into the urine. Then after a few minutes, the test strip will absorb the urine. Once enough urine is absorbed after a few minutes, you will have the results.
The Kratom urine test strips from 12 Panel Now use lateral flow assay (LFA) technology to ensure the accuracy of their tests.
The paper tests can detect kratom in urine. This is because the membranes of the paper are infused with specific chemicals. These chemicals are then able to pinpoint particular drugs that are present in the urine.
Kratom and Drug Tests
Kratom is a powerful herbal substance that may have some benefits in helping people recover from opioid addiction. However, the safety and effectiveness have yet to be determined.
Others argue that several FDA-approved medications help treat opioid addiction already.
It’s essential if you’re concerned that your employees, parolees, students, or a loved one are taking kratom to find a reliable kratom drug test. Luckily, 12 Panel Now offers a quick, reliable, and accurate kratom drug test kit.
Contact us today to get more information on our kratom urine drug test kits.