Kratom: Deadly Drug or Alternative Medicine

In this day and age, it would seem that there is always another drug that people are getting hooked on and that it would appear that substance abuse is continuously becoming a more and more concerning issue and problem.  It’s been my observation that substance abuse just keeps getting worse and worse, despite my and others attempts to correct it.

What is this I’m hearing about Kratom?  Is this the newest drug on the block for people to abuse, or is it something that is actually helpful and beneficial?  I heard about this drug just a few months ago, and it was a new thing to me.  I did some research, and I wasn’t exactly happy with what I found out.

The Truth About Kratom

Kratom is a biological, organic drug.  Anything at all that is, “good” about it basically stops there.  I will go so far as to say that Kratom is not as bad as prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine, crack, or meth.  But yes, it is still a drug, it is still addictive, and it does create habits.

When I looked into Kratom, I was blown away by the controversy and the back and forth argument that was going on in regards to this drug.  It took me awhile before I could find some academic text that simply described the drug, and that didn’t either advocate it or defame it.  Here’s what I found:

  • Kratom is simply a tree-like plant from Southeast Asia that belongs to the same basic, biological family of plants as coffee and gardenias do.  Sound okay so far right?  It’s a plant.  Big deal.
  • Kratom has actually been used as an herbal remedy in Thailand and neighboring countries for hundreds of years for a number of different ailments and difficulties.
  • Kratom has what is called, “dose-dependent” stimulant and opiate-like effects on those who take it.  Interesting.  I was pretty suspicious about that “dose dependent” part, so I looked into it further.
  • In addition to being used for an energy boost for brief spurts of sudden activity as well as for some mild pain relief from basic injuries and aches, there is some, scant anecdotal evidence to suggest that Kratom may be helpful in the management and remedy of withdrawal symptoms from other drugs.

Looking Further

After my extensive research (the above bullet points are only a brief summary) I found that Kratom is the new rage in the United States for “helping” people address mild pain, to give people an energy boost, and to help people withdraw off of opiate pain reliever drugs.  As a recovered addict myself, I am just a little more than suspicious.  Heck, I’m suspicious whenever a new drug comes onto the scene and gets advertised as the new miracle cure for everyone to get all excited about.

There is really only one way to beat addiction and the sooner that Americans wake up to that the better.  The way to beat addiction is with inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment centers, detox facilities, rehab programs, and recovery organizations.  You need to actually beat the addiction for good and be completely drug-free.  No maintenance programs!  In my research, it seemed pretty typical that, once people started taking Kratom, they would just take that on a regular basis instead of their previous drug or choice.  Essentially, it’s just maintenance, replacement drug.

The Drug Enforcement Agency is none too pleased with Kratom either.  Since the year 2000, there has been a substantial increase in the rates of Kratom use in North America both as a recreational drug and for the self-management of pain.

In fact, the use and abuse of this drug is getting so out of hand that the DEA issued its formal notice about Kratom on Aug. 30, calling it:

  • “An increasingly popular drug of abuse readily available on the recreational drug market.”

Final analysis?  Just beat addiction the right way.  There are holistic methods of pain management.  There are non-addictive ways to boost energy.  Look into these methods, and stay away from maintenance drugs.