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Kratom Addiction

Kratom is a drug being used by people in increasing numbers, though the exact number is not truly known at this time. Kratom is not as well-known as other substances, such as opioids or marijuana, but its potential for misuse and adverse outcomes are real.
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What Is Kratom?

Kratom can refer to both a tree that is called Mitragyna speciosa, which is grown in Southeast Asia, or it can refer to products derived from the leaves of the tree.1

Alternate names for kratom are thom, ketam, and biak.2 There are numerous compounds in kratom that can affect the body, but the 2 most widely studied are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.1 Kratom is currently legal in most of the United States. Though some states regulate it, kratom is not currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical purposes.1,2

Kratom Dependence and Addiction

Addiction is formally diagnosed as a substance use disorder (SUD). At this time, there is no specific diagnosis of a substance use disorder involving kratom. However, there is growing concern among health professionals that kratom may be associated with certain SUD-related phenomena—such as kratom cravings and a kratom withdrawal syndrome—that resemble those of substance use disorders involving other addictive substances.1,3