Kratom is a tree found in regions of the tropics, and it is indigenous in the areas of Southeast Asia. The scientific name for Kratom is Mitragyna speciose and is also known by many acronyms such as Thom, Kakuam, Biak, Ithang, and Ketum. The leaves of Kratom have effects that can alter the mind of the user if taken as extract, capsule or a pill. Some users chew the leaves of Kratom while others make a brew of the powdered or dry leaves of the plant and drink it as tea. Due to the psychotropic effects of Kratom and among other adverse health effects, Kratom is an illegal substance. However, Kratom has been available for sale over the internet platform. Kratom has sometimes been packaged as a green powder and sold in packets that have been branded “not for human consumption.” Kratom can also be extracted and sold or transformed into a gum. According to https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/kratom once the user has ingested Kratom, they will experience effects that are similar to stimulants and opioids. The leaves of Kratom contain two compounds namely 7-a- hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine that come in contact with the opioid receptor cells of the brain. Once these two compounds interact with the opioid receptor cells of the brain, the user will experience effects such as decreased pain, a feeling of pleasure and sedation. Also, when mitragynine comes in contact with receptors in the body of the user, the user will experience stimulant effects. Users that have had the experience of Kratom in small amounts have experienced alertness, bursts of energy and enhanced sociability. These are contrary to when users take in large quantities of Kratom and have reported a feeling of sedation. Furthermore, cases of dangerous and uncomfortable side effects due to the drug have also been reported among users. Also, some of the health effects associated with the use of Kratom have been published as follows:
- The users may experience dry mouth especially if they are smoking the leaves.
- The user may feel nauseated.
- The user may feel itchiness and discomfort.
- An increased frequency of urination.
- Loss of appetite and constipation have also been reported.
Also, it has been found out that in some users, psychosis has also been among the symptoms.
There have been no cases associated with the overdose of Kratom. However, it is crucial to note that some forms drugs that have been packed as supplements for diet may be mixed with other substances that might cause death to users. It has been reported that just like opioids, the users of Kratom might develop a dependency for the drug. Some withdrawal symptoms that have been associated with dependant use of Kratom include muscle aches, changes in emotions, some cases of aggression and hostility have also been reported.