While many people have not heard of kratom, it has become a popular source for a lot of people who are looking for an alternative drug. While it is not yet illegal in the United States, kratom can be addictive and dangerous to users. When combined with another substance, the risk for harm increases, making the dangers of kratom and alcohol a real concern for people who use them together.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is classified as a mind-altering substance due to the psychotropic reaction users have when ingesting it. While not considered illegal in the U.S. yet, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies it as a drug of concern. Many other countries have outlawed kratom, which originates from a tree native to Southeast Asia. The leaves from the tree can be made into tea, put on food, smoked, or turned into a pill. Kratom is sold on the street, in some shops, and over the internet, with advertising often describing it as an herbal supplement or dietary aid. It can be purchased as a powder, extract, or gum. Street names for kratom include Ketum, thang, and Thom.
What Makes Kratom Dangerous by Itself?
A lot of people make the false assumption that kratom must not be dangerous because, as of now, it is still legal to purchase and possess. What they do not realize is the risks associated with using this drug. Like many risky supplements that are legally sold in the U.S., no federal or state agencies monitor the production and packaging of kratom products. Labels detailing ingredients in a kratom product may be misleading, leave out items, or not be included at all. Because of this, the drug can be mixed with potentially dangerous or deadly other products. Numerous illnesses have resulted from people who ingested kratom products that contained salmonella and heavy metals.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued more than one warning against companies that sell products containing kratom while falsely claiming they help treat or cure opioid addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Some companies selling kratom also make bogus claims that it treats conditions like depression, anxiety, pain, diabetes, insomnia, and cancer. The FDA dictates that it recognizes no legitimate uses for kratom and does not recommend the consumption of it for any reason.
Dangers of Kratom and Alcohol: A Deadly Combination
Many people who use kratom combine it with other substances. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that from 2011-2017, around eight out of ten deaths that involved kratom happened to a person with a history of substance misuse. At the time of the person’s overdose, most of them tested positive for at least one other substance in their system.
A popular way many people use kratom is by combining it with alcoholic drinks. The dangers of kratom and alcohol have become a concern for medical and addiction treatment personnel. Alcohol acts as a depressant, causing a person’s perception, motor skills, and other senses to be altered when they consume a lot of it. Kratom provides stimulant effects while also acting as a sedative. When an individual combines a depressant with a sedative or stimulant, the results can be dangerous and even deadly.
A lot of people engage in the use of kratom to help intensify the effects provided by alcohol. They often don’t realize that the depressant effects caused by alcohol can reduce the stimulant effects caused by the kratom. In turn, this may cause the person to consume more kratom. Piling one drug and effect on top of the other repetitively can lead to dangerous medical symptoms
Side Effects and Overdoses from Kratom and Alcohol
A person who combines kratom and alcohol may experience dangerous side effects. Believing that because both products are legal in the U.S., they may not take side effects seriously or even attribute their cause to the dangers of kratom and alcohol consumption. Side effects of this combination can include:
- Feeling dizzy
- Elevated heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Loss of coordination
- Poor muscle control
- High blood pressure
- Altered perception of time and events
Because kratom is often cut with dangerous things like salmonella and heavy metals, side effects from those products may include:
- Blood in stool
- Muscle pain
- Elevated blood pressure
- Damage to the nervous system
- Damage to kidneys
The dangers of kratom and alcohol being combined can end up in a person overdosing. A person who has overdosed on a combination of kratom and alcohol may exhibit some of the following symptoms:
- Shallow or slow breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Pale, clammy skin
- Passing out
- Feeling confused
- Feeling agitated
Treatment for Kratom and Alcohol Addiction in Los Angeles
If you or someone you love is experiencing the dangers of kratom and alcohol abuse, Launch Centers can help. We offer proven substance abuse treatment that includes clinical and holistic treatment. We provide options for outpatient and inpatient programs that include high school and college courses. Our family groups and parent coaching helps the whole family heal together.
Contact Launch Centers in Los Angeles now and get started on a life of recovery from drugs and alcohol.