Just because kratom is legal doesn't mean it is safe

Just Because Kratom is Legal, Doesn’t Mean it’s Safe

The Food and Drug Administration has issued another warning about kratom after heavy metals were found in all kratom products tested for salmonella. The agency has previously warned that there is no safe use of the drug, but despite the FDA’s warnings about kratom, its popularity persists.

Kratom is a drug made from a south Asian tree in the coffee family. It’s marketed as a treatment for depression, pain and even opioid addiction, but scientists warn that there is no proven benefit to taking kratom. There are proven risks, however.

Kratom Isn’t Just Kratom

The risk that was of primary concern for FDA scientists testing kratom was that of salmonella contamination. In March of 2018, 87 people were infected by a salmonella outbreak tied to kratom products. Since then, the FDA has been monitoring kratom products.

But when 26 different kratom supplements were tested in November, scientists instead found high concentrations of heavy metals in all samples tested. Among the metals found in the samples were lead and nickel, in some cases at unsafe levels for human consumption; the FDA warned that regular use of kratom could cause heavy metal poisoning. Among other catastrophic effects, heavy metal poisoning is linked to heart disease and stroke.

It’s not just salmonella and heavy metals that kratom users must worry about: manufacturers sometimes mix kratom with opioids like hydrocodone to boost its effects, and potency may vary from product to product, which increases the chances of overdose. It’s hard to know what you’re getting when you consume kratom, but chances are, you’re consuming more than what’s on the label.

Kratom Itself Can Make You Sick

Even if your kratom doesn’t contain any surprise ingredients, you could still be at risk. Kratom’s side effects include nausea, itching, hallucinations, sweating, seizures and, in some cases, psychosis.

Kratom has also been known to interact negatively with certain pharmaceutical and illicit drugs. Not enough is known about how it interacts with other drugs to safely use it with other substances.

And despite advocates’ attempts to portray kratom as a safe drug, the reality is that it is extremely addictive. Kratom addiction is widespread in parts of southern Thailand where it’s primarily used, and has all the same devastating psychological and physical health effects as any other opioid addiction.

Opioid Addiction Should be Treated Holistically

If you’re worried about your kratom use, The Sanctuary at Sedona can help. Our Integrative Addiction Recovery program recognizes that lasting recovery from opiate addiction can only happen when the mind, body, spirit and soul are treated together. We use therapy, energy medicine, shamanic healing, nutrition and more to ensure our patients fully heal and go on to live a life free of drug addiction.

For more information on The Sanctuary and our integrative approach to drug addiction treatment, contact us online, call us at (866)668-7987 or email us at [email protected]

Read about how mindfulness can be a life-changing alternative to opioids here.