Before you take any medication, supplement, or substance, it’s important to know the answers to some important questions. In the case of kratom, this can include what are its effects, is it dangerous, and does kratom show up on a drug test?
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a substance that is derived from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree. This tree is an evergreen that is native to Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Kratom can be used in a variety of forms, including as a capsule, powder, or liquid. It may be swallowed directly, smoked, mixed into food, or brewed into a tea.
People who use kratom have reported effects such as the following:
- Increased energy
- Enhanced alertness
- Pain relief
- Improved mood
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved kratom for medical use, and it has cautioned consumers not to use it. However, the drug is not banned at the federal level – though several states have prohibited its sale. In places where kratom can be legally purchased, it may be marketed as an herbal extract or a supplement.
In the United States, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that about 1.7 million people aged 12 and older (or about 0.06% of the population in that age range) have used kratom at least once in the previous 12 months.
Does Kratom Show Up on a Drug Test?
If you have been wondering, does kratom show up on a drug test, the answer is that it depends on which type of test you are taking.
Many standard pre-employment drug screenings use what are known as five-panel tests. These types of tests are designed to detect the following substances:
Does kratom show up on a drug test that uses a five-panel screen? No. However, some organizations use 10-, 12-, or even 16-panel drug screens. As these names suggest, these types of screenings are designed to detect a greater number of substances. In some cases, this can include kratom.
If you complete a drug screen that tests for kratom, here are estimates of how long this substance may be detected in your system:
- Kratom may show up in a urine test for up to a week.
- A blood test may find evidence of kratom use for three or four days after you last used the substance.
- Hair follicle tests can typically detect substances for as long as 90 days. However, there are currently no hair follicle tests that screen for kratom.
Other factors that can influence if kratom does or does not show up on a drug test include:
- Your age, weight, and metabolism
- The amount of kratom you have been using
- How long you have been using kratom, and how frequently you use it
Is Kratom Dangerous?
In addition to wanting to know does kratom show up on a drug test, you may also be interested in its potential negative effects.
Though some people mistakenly believe that kratom is safe because it is natural, the truth is that people who use it may expose themselves to both short-term side effects and long-term damage.
On the milder side of the spectrum, kratom use can cause the following:
- Mood swings
- Dry mouth
- Fever and chills
- Muscle pain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Kratom use has also been linked with potentially more serious negative effects, such as:
- Cognitive impairments
- Breathing difficulties
- Impaired liver functioning
- Kidney problems
- Heart damage
- Hallucinations and delusions
As we will discuss in greater detail in the next section, kratom use can also lead to addiction.
What Are the Signs of Kratom Addiction?
Kratom’s addiction risk remains a point of debate among substance abuse experts. Some sources claim that the drug is highly addictive, while others report that people who use kratom have a relatively low likelihood of becoming dependent on it.
Regardless of how common kratom addiction is, most reputable sources agree that it is possible.
If you fear that you or someone you know may have become addicted to kratom, here are a few signs to keep an eye out for:
- Frequently using kratom to experience joy or cope with sadness
- Spending significant amounts of time acquiring, using, and recovering from the effects of kratom
- Continuing to use kratom even after incurring harm as a result of prior use
- Using kratom in ways that are especially dangerous, such as combining it with other drugs
- Failing to meet personal, academic, or occupational responsibilities due to kratom use
Two of the clearest signs that someone has a problem with kratom are tolerance and withdrawal:
- Tolerance means needing to use larger amounts of kratom to achieve effects that were previously attainable through smaller doses.
- Withdrawal includes psychological and/or physical distress when unable to use kratom, or when trying to stop using kratom.
Anyone who suspects they may have become addicted to kratom should consult with a qualified healthcare professional or contact a reputable addiction treatment center. Completing a thorough assessment and receiving an accurate diagnosis can be important steps on the path toward treatment and recovery.
Find Kratom Addiction Treatment in Atlanta, GA
Peachtree Recovery Solutions provides an array of personalized outpatient services for adults whose lives have been disrupted by kratom addiction. Our Kratom rehab options at our center in Georgia include partial hospitalization programming, intensive outpatient programming, and traditional outpatient rehab. We also offer specialized care for young adults. To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our contact form or call us today.