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Kratom is an herb extracted from Evergreen tree leaves. It is available in leaf, capsule, and liquid form, and can be chewed, smoked, swallowed, or drunk. Kratom is legal in some states, but it is not regulated by the FDA or otherwise.  


Kratom is structurally similar to opioids, acting on the same receptor sites in the brain. At low doses, Kratom makes users feel alert and energetic. At higher doses, it produces feelings of calm and euphoria, much like opium.  

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Here are some of the signs you may be struggling with Kratom abuse:  

  • Regular or daily use
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Dry mouth
  • Urinating more frequently
  • Lying to friends and family about your use
  • Needing more over time to get the same effect
  • Spending money you shouldn’t or don’t have to maintain a supply

Behavioral Effects of Kratom Use

People sometimes use Kratom to mitigate the effects of withdrawal from other opioids, such as morphine, fentanyl, and heroin. Unfortunately, Kratom is addictive in its own right. 

Kratom abusers frequently isolate and withdraw from friends and family. They become increasingly focused on getting more Kratom and spend more money, genuinely believing they can’t function like a normal person without it. They may attempt to justify their Kratom use, citing pain, sickness, or some other condition it’s providing relief for. Unfortunately, like any opioid, tolerance develops quickly, and the adverse effects eventually tower over the potential benefits. 

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Physical Behavioral Effects of Kratom Use

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The mind-altering effects of Kratom are close to those of other opioids. Users may feel euphoric while under the influence, but sick while it wears off. Kratom abusers have reported withdrawal symptoms like chills, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, itching, and muscle pain.  

In severe cases, there have also been incidences of seizures, hallucinations, psychosis, coma, and liver toxicity. When combined with other substances, Kratom abuse can lead to overdose and death.  

Kratom may be legal to purchase in some places, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Kratom addiction needs treatment and support. We can help with that.

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We at HCBTS are available 24/7 to take your call and are committed to helping you get the help you need when you need it.

Read more about the levels of care we offer on our substance abuse treatment page.

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