Kratom Overview and Risk of Overdose

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The Mayo Clinic explains, “Kratom is an herbal extract that comes from the leaves of an evergreen tree (Mitragyna speciosa) grown in Southeast Asia.” Its leaves contain a compound that when ingested can elicit mind-altering (psychotropic) effects. Kratom is a psychoactive substance that changes the brain’s natural chemistry. It works by interacting with the opioid receptors in one’s brain, producing sedation, decreased pain, and pleasure. When ingested, kratom elicits similar effects to both stimulants and opioids. There are different methods individuals can ingest kratom, such as: swallowing it as a pill, capsule, or extract, chewing kratom leaves, drinking it as brewed tea, smoking it and/ or eating it in food. When abused in small doses the effects of kratom can result in increased energy levels. When kratom is abused in larger doses it can have similar effects to those of opioid drugs, such as euphoria and/ or sedation. While the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has not classified kratom as a controlled substance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns its consumers against the use of kratom.

Risks of Overdose

Addiction Center defines an overdose as an individual’s “biological response to when the human body receives too much of a substance or mix of substances.” When a physical body is bombarded with a substance or substances that it is unable to process, whether it is due to the potency of the substance or the amount used, it must react. A kratom overdose is the body’s physical response to an inability to adequately metabolize the excess kratom the individual has ingested. American Addiction Centers list the following symptoms that may indicate a kratom overdose:

  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Hypertension
  • Nausea
  • Tachycardia
  • Drowsiness
  • Seizures
  • Coma 
  • Death 

Every person is different, and everyone’s body will have a distinct threshold for kratom ingested. A person’s body may reach its kratom limit at any given moment. There are many factors that weigh into a person’s tolerance of kratom, such as an individual’s age, health history, substance abuse history, etc. Overdose can occur accidentally or on purpose. It is important to note that any person that habitually abuses kratom is at increased risk of overdose. 

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-318-3777. You are also welcome to contact us anytime via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.

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