LTTE: Kratom, A New Addiction

Published 5:56 pm Sunday, March 3, 2019

During the 1940’s Thailand and Malaysia set out to exterminate a specific type of tree known as the Kratom tree. Seventy years later the native tree of Southeast Asia is still thriving. Why has such an effort been placed on the annihilation this one tree? It is because of the devastating effects it has on those who chew, ingest or smoke the leaves of the Kratom tree.

The side effects of kratom are very similar to those of opiates, to which the plant is related. The most common short-term side effects are vomiting and nausea, along with a temporary impairment of mental and motor functions. Just like other opiate drugs like heroin, kratom is addictive and users can become dependent with frequent use.

It is just recently that kratom has begun to show up in a large scale across the U.S. Because it is so new in the American market, there has been very little research on its chemical make-up and long-term effects on those who abuse it. In addition, kratom is most often combined with other substances that makes the estimate of side effects much more difficult.

Any form of substance abuse has consequences and kratom is no different. The addiction is real: the more kratom a person uses, the higher the dose that is needed to get the same effects. Before too long, the user will have to combine with other, more potent drugs, to maintain the same level of effect.

If you or someone you know is struggling with kratom or any other substance, there is somewhere to go for confidential and free assistance. The Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council is the place to start. For help call toll-free 1-844-772-3483.


Kim Bartel

Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council

Region 5 Prevention Resource Center