Kratom use has recently busted into the scene as a relaxing herbal remedy for a number of things. One of those things is opioid withdrawal and recovery. Within a few months, the herb was popping up in smoke shops and kava bars all across the country, with weak rules regulating it, and few people knowing what it actually is and does.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is the marketable name for Mitragyna Speciosa, a tropical tree in the coffee family. It grows primarily in Southeast Asia, Indochina, and Malaysia. It is also native in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea. There, it has been used in traditional medicine for over a hundred years.
It has become popular in the United States because it is not illegal and can easily be bought. It has similar effects as opioids with effects that come on within minutes and last over five hours. In 2016, efforts were made to make sale of Kratom illegal, but just as it was about to take effect, it got overturned. So, the plant is still widely available for purchase, with random and loose rules overlooking the sales from state to state.
Kratom Use in Opioid Recovery
Many people who are in opioid recovery are finding kratom and taking it to combat the effects of withdrawal. It is said to help to manage cravings and keep people from going for a fix at their local drug dealer. It is safe to say that using Mitragyna Speciosa is surely healthier and less of a danger than heroin or other opioids, but that doesn’t mean it is a good thing to do.
In recovery from drugs and alcohol, it is all about being free from any kind of mood-altering substance. Kratom is a mood altering substance, no matter how you look at it. Just because it is currently legal doesn’t make it ok. Look at alcohol, for instance. Sure, it is legal, but it causes immense destruction of personal lives, disease, and death each year. The bottom line is that if you have an addiction issue you will always have an addiction issue, and you need to focus on staying away from all things that you can get hooked on.
Swapping one addiction out for another is extremely common in recovery. People in opioid recovery will start drinking beer, for example. Or an alcoholic will start smoking marijuana. This is extremely dangerous behavior because once you start dabbling it is hard to stop, and one substance usually leads to another. At the very least, you could become addicted to multiple things, and then have more habits you have to worry about quitting. It is a dangerous and slippery slope.
Kratom Use Does Not Equal Opiate Treatment
If you want to get clean from opiates, the best thing to do is go to a treatment center. Not to a smoke shop to buy kratom. The ritual of getting high is still there, just like a heroin addict gets the drug and sets up the needle. Only with kratom use, you buy the powder and brew a tea or make your capsules. It is still working on your mind and your addiction and it is in no way positive.
If you are dealing with addiction, go to treatment for opioid recovery. It is the best thing you can do. It is a well-rounded approach in a medically and therapeutically supervised environment. It will teach you how to live a life free from drugs and alcohol with various healthy coping mechanisms.
You can use things like exercise and healthy eating to distract yourself from your addiction, but kratom shouldn’t be a substitute. At the end of the day, it is an addictive substance that might help for a little while but is eventually more than likely to land you back where you started.