We were aware of the benefits of Kratom but did we ever consider the adverse effects of Kratom if used recreationally? This is where we lose the game! Many herbs are introduced into the market for relieving the ailments of humanity, but ultimately they are abused. We cannot blame the herb or the drug; it is us who choose to abuse the drug. We have had many drugs banned from the market because we start abusing them and the real benefit of the herb is no more considered. Similarly, Kratom is being abused by many though the main purpose of the herb was to cure pain, opiate withdrawal symptoms and to cure stress disorders.
Kratom is used recreationally, and thus people are developing dependence to Kratom as it acts on the same receptors like opioids do. So here we are today, discussing alternates to Kratom, and the treatment for Kratom withdrawal. The first drug that comes to our mind that can help with Kratom withdrawal is Kava.
What is Kava?
Kava is considered as one of the most potent alternatives of Kratom. Generically called Piper Methysticum and commonly known as Kava Kava, this plant has calming properties, and it evokes a sense of contentment in one. It is known for its sedative, hypnotic, psychotropic and anxiolytic properties. It alleviates the symptoms of restlessness, insomnia, chronic pain as well as anxiety. It aids in the relaxation of muscles. Burning Kava helps one in socializing as it increases confidence and focus levels.
It has many bioactive substances that are responsible for its properties. These are collectively called kavalactones and include methysticin, dihydromethysticin, kavain, dihydro kavain, yangonin, and desmethoxyyangonin. Other than the kavalactones, Kava has 12 other types of lactones, small amounts of awaine, pipermethysine, and glutathione.
Kava works by a number of pathways that include; Glutamatergic signaling, GABAergic signaling, Dopaminergic signaling and serotonergic signaling.
Does Kratom cause dependence?
Yes, Kratom causes dependence. This is due to the constant use of Kratom in high doses. Dependence refers to a condition in which the body gets used to the presence of a drug. If the person stops taking Kratom suddenly, he will experience measurable symptoms that are known as withdrawal symptoms. A usage of Kratom results in certain changes in the body. These changes occur because the body is exposed to Kratom for an extended period.
To treat Kratom dependence either you use the tapering method where the dose of Kratom is slowly decreased to minimize withdrawal, or other drugs are required to detoxify the body and prevent severe withdrawal symptoms. This is where the role of Kava comes.
What are Kratom withdrawal symptoms?
The Kratom withdrawal symptoms are similar to the extremely mild form of opiate withdrawal. These symptoms typically last 3-4 days. By the end of the 1st week, the symptoms fully vanish. Those who take Kratom extracts experience the withdrawal symptoms for a longer duration of time, and they are usually severe in nature. Some of the Kratom withdrawal symptoms are mentioned below;
- Mild Nausea
- Jerky movement of arms and legs
- Muscle ache
- Join pain or bone pain
- Runny Nose
- Difficulty Sleeping
Psychotic symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, confusion and even seizures may occur in the severe form of addiction.
Can Kava be given to help with Kratom withdrawal?
Yes, Kava is an adequate substitute of Kratom. It helps in detoxifying the body from Kratom. It is safer as compared to Kratom thus it is less likely to develop dependence to Kava. It alleviates the withdrawal symptoms and cravings for Kratom. However, it should be noted that Kava is hepatotoxic so one shouldn’t use it more than a couple of months.
Continuous use of Kava can result in yellow discoloration of the skin, mucosa, and nails. It can also cause an allergic skin reaction, scaly rash, and dyspnea.
What other substances can be given for Kratom withdrawal?
The best method to deal with Kratom withdrawal is cessation by the tapering method. However, the following substances can also be used as part of medical treatment;
Are Kratom withdrawal symptoms similar to opiate withdrawal symptoms?
Yes, the symptoms of Kratom withdrawal are similar to that of opiate withdrawal but they are usually very mild, and dependence to Kratom develops very late as compared to opiates. Opiates cause severe withdrawal symptoms that need prompt medication. Kratom, on the other hand, makes one feel jerky and nauseous, and the symptoms usually disappear within a couple of days.
Thus it can be concluded that Kava can be used as an appropriate substitute to Kratom and it helps in getting rid of the Kratom Withdrawal symptoms as stated by many users in various drug forums.
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