Kratom, a coffee-like plant found in Southeast Asia, has been used by individuals to self-medicate for diarrhea, as a pain reducer, and for recreational purposes.
Tea is made from the leaves, and dry leaves can be crushed into a powder and then put in capsules to be swallowed. The tea tends to have a bitter taste. When lower amounts of kratom tea powder are consumed, it acts as a stimulant. In larger quantities, however, kratom tea becomes a sedative, like an opioid drug. Even though some countries and states have regulated or banned the kratom plant, it is still extremely popular in the western part of the world. Kratom tea can be found online or in natural food stores where it is often promoted as a natural or herbal supplement.
Effects of Kratom Tea
As previously stated, when consuming smaller quantities of kratom, individuals may experience a slight stimulating feeling. Stimulating effects can intensify mood or sexual arousal and lower your appetite. When kratom is consumed in greater doses, individuals can sense an intense euphoric high. This effect leads some individuals to drink kratom tea as a remedy for their opioid withdrawal symptoms.
The side effects of kratom tea may include any of the following:
- changes in heart rate
- respiratory depression
Side effects of long-term use can include:
- Fatal relations with other substances
- Kidney failure
- Liver damage
When used on a regular basis, one may become dependent upon or addicted to kratom. Some may suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms. The full severity of using kratom is still unknown since this drug has not been classified or scheduled and is sold as if it is a legal and safe way to develop a high. Drugs that are not regulated are a risk because there is not enough evidence to completely understand the effects the drug will have on appearance, body and health. Until more research is conducted, kratom tea is still considered a high-risk substance and should not be consumed without medical supervision.
Possible Overdose with Kratom Tea
Consumption is on the rise; so are concerning calls into the Poison Control Center. According to the Poison Control Center, they received approximately 600 calls between the years 2010 and 2015 regarding exposure to kratom. These calls are growing each year. In 2016, there were 490 calls to the Poison Control Center regarding kratom poisoning. While these numbers are still lower than other drugs, kratom still has the potential of an overdose.
Below are some common overdose symptoms related to kratom:
Kratom has been linked to several deaths. However, in most cases, other substances were also consumed along with kratom. Regardless of the deadly incidents that have occurred, kratom tea is still legal in many states. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has tried to place kratom tea on the Schedule I controlled substance list, but the decision has been deferred until more scientific studies have been done.
Does Kratom Affect the Brain?
As discussed, depending on the amount consumed, kratom can affect the brain as do stimulants or opioids. The combination of mitragynine and 7-a-hydroxymitragynine found in kratom effects the brain’s opioid receptors, causing drowsiness, relaxation, and even decreased chronic pain.
There have been some reports of kratom being beneficial for some individuals. However, these benefits have not yet been scientifically verified. Without the proper research, there is still uncertainty regarding the effectiveness, dosage limits, interactions and dangerous effects. If you feel you or a loved one has become addicted to kratom, contact Serenity Acres today for treatment options.