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Hidden Risks of Kratom

Not every drug addiction comes from illicit substances. There are a host of dangerous drugs sold in gas stations and convenience stores that can be bought legally. Legal drugs, such as kratom, are often just as dangerous or more dangerous than illegal, controlled substances.

Kratom is one such drug that is marketed at a safe alternative to opioids. Kratom is often pushed as a way to treat addiction, anxiety, and depression, but it is anything but safe. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement, “It [kratom] has gained popularity in the U.S., with some marketers touting it as a ‘safe’ treatment with broad healing properties. Proponents argue that it’s a safe substance largely because it’s a plant-based product. The FDA knows people are using kratom to treat conditions like pain, anxiety and depression, which are serious medical conditions that require proper diagnosis and oversight from a licensed health care provider. We also know that this substance is being actively marketed and distributed for these purposes. Importantly, evidence shows that kratom has similar effects to narcotics like opioids, and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and in some cases, death. Thus, it’s not surprising that often kratom is taken recreationally by users for its euphoric effects. At a time when we have hit a critical point in the opioid epidemic, the increasing use of kratom as an alternative or adjunct to opioid use is extremely concerning.”

The real danger of kratom is that people are using it under the false belief that it can treat addiction, when kratom is, in fact, a dangerous and addictive substance. In Gottlieb’s 2017 FDA statement, he states that there had been 36 deaths and a tenfold increase in calls to poison control centers between 2010 and 2015, and called for more scientific research into kratom’s possible negative effects. According to Rob Stein, in a 2017 NPR Health News article entitled FDA Warns About Dangers of Kratom Herbal Supplement, “The Food and Drug Administration says there’s insufficient evidence the supplement works to treat addiction or other problems and cited growing evidence it can be dangerous. Kratom may cause seizures, liver damage and withdrawal symptoms.” The purported ability of kratom to treat addiction is false. The only way to overcome addiction is through treatment and a program of recovery.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help now and begin building a future of happiness, joyousness, and freedom. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers a high-quality residential treatment program that includes medically-supported detoxification, maintenance care, individual therapies, counseling (including family therapy), and plans to help clients build life skills that will help them after discharge. For information about Residential Treatment and other individualized treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431