Kratom: Seizures, Respiratory Depression, and Relapse

The New York Times published an article about the dangerous affects of the substance Kratom on individuals and identified it’s significant addictive tendencies. Despite the evidence of its continued concern lawmakers appear unable to fully ban its distribution in several Smoke and Beverage Shops under the surnames of Kava and Ketum, used to avoid any association with Kratoms dark past. Kratom is a plant based “supplement” that is sold “not for human consumption” to avoid any threat of litigation by it’s distributors. The article went on to report that distributors “caution” any customer with a substance abuse recovery past from use of the supplement for concernsĀ of its imminent risk to their recovery.

The article touches on personal stories of people in the recovery community whom have been affected by Kratom’s addictive and highly volatile affects. There seems to be an epidemic in the Delray Beach Florida area, as it is notoriously known as the substance abuse recovery capital of the world. Many patrons of treatment centers find themselves visiting Kava bars only to find themselves quickly in the throes of addiction once again. This is a dangerous substance that needs to be removed from the shelves of distributors making a living off of the addiction of others. Recovery community members need to avoid this substance just as any other addictive substance and high risk environment.

I have seen first hand the effects of Kratom, Spice, and over the counter substance abuse in individuals of the recovery community. Having worked in a treatment center in Delray Beach it was appalling to see the flood of people in early recovery whom look for a quick substitute to their drug of choice and become highly addicted to Kratom. Their attitude, demeanor, and physical appearance radiates their relapse. The grayish, dulled emotions, and disregard for their family and finances is a horrific reminder of the rock bottom that got them to treatment in the first place. The severe behaviors begin once again, stealing from their family savings, their employers bank accounts, and pawning their belongings for access to the drug. Maintaining their denial with justifications that the substance is “legal” and justifying their use. The pattern of obsessions, constant thought and rumination about use, and compulsions, inability to stop with just one, again begins to consume their thinking and being. Yes they are “at work” but if they’re honest with themselves, their thoughts are consumed with the next time they can use and how they will find a way to use without being caught. The Hollow begins to take over.

This is addiction! The behaviors are not specific to Kratom but to the of addiction itself. The answer is enter treatment and participate in a recovery program. Asking for help is a strength and listening to the suggestions given is a way of life. Enso can help contact us today.


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Angie Speller, LMHC, NCC

About Angie Speller, LMHC, NCC

Angie Speller is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor. She received her Master of Arts from the prestigious Rollins College in Winter Park Florida, after graduating from University of Florida for her Bachelor of Science, in Psychology. Aside from her training in Mental Health Counseling, Angie received specialized training in Dream Interpretation, Mindfulness Meditation, and Hypnosis. Read more about Angie.