The name Kratom may not sound familiar, but this drug’s rising popularity already has the attention of addiction specialists nationwide. Kratom is a medicinal plant that gets processed much like cannabis, and offers versatility in the ways it can be consumed. For example, the plant’s leaves or powder created from them can be smoked, put into capsules, or placed in a tea.

Known by users through a variety of names—including Kratom, Ketum, Kakuam, Ithang and Thom—the plant is grown in Southeast Asia. In fact, Malaysia and Thailand are two hot spots for harvesting. The drug made from the Kratom plant can produce a high that lasts for several hours depending on the dosage of powdered extract or crushed leaf. The alluring aspect of Kratom abuse comes from its ability to produce feelings of euphoria at first, then reduce anxiety and/or provide a relaxing experience. Some reports suggest individuals suffering from opiate withdrawal may be turning to Kratom because of its opiate-like properties.

Users are getting access to Kratom through head shops and online stores. The drug is even drawing attention as a dietary supplement. Since it’s not a controlled substance, it’s legal to possess in the United States, although it is banned in Thailand. And users are finding out its not affecting drug tests because it doesn’t show up in standard drug testing at the moment.

Kratom is not considered a dangerous drug on its own as use generally leads to nausea, vomiting or prolonged sleep only. Yet mixing Kratom with other substances may be far more harmful. One documented case in Ireland reveals Kratom and other drugs were in the system of a 21 year old man who died of respiratory complications.

While attention is primarily placed on the resulting health risks associated with a particular drug, other concerns may be raised. In the case of Kratom, an individual abusing the drug may be negatively affecting his or her own financial independence, relationships and employment status. With ongoing Kratom abuse comes serious consequences that may even lead to criminal behavior. Recognizing the threat of these potential consequences may not be enough to stop an individual from abusing Kratom.

For Kratom abusers, there is help available at Burning Tree in Texas. This long-term drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility provides expert care in residential settings outside of Dallas and Austin. Addiction specialists guide individuals through the steps to enjoy life without substance abuse thanks to a program centered on a 12-Step recovery. The program is ideal for anyone who has experienced no progress despite multiple visits to short-term rehabs and other resources. Breaking the cycle of chronic relapse is a fundamental part of the program at Burning Tree, and more information can be obtained online at www.burningtree.com or by contacting an admissions representative today at 866-287-2877.