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Barred Spiral

Registered: 02/03/03
Posts: 2,468
Last seen: 6 months, 25 days
I'm writing a kratom FAQ, and I'd like some feedback on my section for addiction
    #3634514 - 01/16/05 11:36 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Kratom deserves a FAQ since most of the information on it is rather scattered. Here's my current section I've written on addiction & kratom. Basically I'd like some proof-reading to make sure all the information is accurate.

Part V: Addiction, Safe Use and Responsibility

5.0 What Exactly is Addiction?

In the author?s opinion, addiction is a rather outdated term to describe a drug problem because of the amount of cultural influence on the use of the word. People?s idea of what addiction is differs so much that the term addiction becomes meaningless. For instance, a person who responsibly uses an illegal drug can be labeled an addict simply because the drug is taboo. Conversely, a person who misuses a drug which has a more accepted use in our society, such as alcohol, can be considered to not have a problem even if the person is directly suffering through their misuse of the drug. In other words, it?s more important to focus on how addiction works, how to avoid addiction and understand when responsible use turns into a problem.

5.1 What Causes Drug Abuse/Dependence?

The topic of addiction is extremely complex and while there is plenty of research on the matter, it still remains hard to define. To make matters worse, research on addiction tends to be very influenced by politics. Research grants are very often supplied on the pretext of a hypothesis that make drugs look more addictive/dangerous to justify spending in drug prevention. What this amounts to is extremely nonobjective and unscientific results.

But there is still a lot of very well done research which helps shed light on the reasons for addiction. For the purpose of understanding addiction in general and addiction to kratom, we?ll go over a simplified explanation of how the model of addiction works and where kratom falls into it.

The brain contains many different parts responsible for different activates. There is a part for motor control, memory and so on. The part we?re most interested in for understand addiction is called the limbic system which is generally responsible for emotions. Within the limbic system is what is called the ?reward pathways?. This provides people with the emotional reward for doing different activities. Any drug which is considered ?addictive? generally stimulates this part of the brain (among others).

The tricky part of this model is that different drugs have different degrees to which they affect the reward mechanism. Think of the reward pathways as a dimmer light switch. Every day activities such as eating, running, and so on, will turn it on part way. This helps provide pleasure which generates a memory and in the future, motivation for repeating the activity.

Many psychoactive drugs also will turn on that ?switch? to some degree. This does not necessarily mean that the drug is addictive because it largely depends on a few factors; how strongly does the drug activate the reward pathways, how often and how long a person is using the substance for and whether the person using the drug is neurologically susceptible to what is labeled addiction (more scientifically, ?drug dependence/drug abuse?).

Another aspect of drug dependence is psychological dependence which can happen regardless of whether the drug acts strongly in the reward pathways or not. However a drug which acts strongly upon the reward pathways is more likely to produce a psychological addiction than those which don?t strongly affect reward pathways.

Psychological dependence can happen when someone is using a substance as an escape or to suppress emotions, anxiety, depression, etc? A psychological dependence can also occur when a person is accustomed to using a substance to function if the drug is used for extended periods of time.

5.2 What is the Scientific Criteria of Drug Abuse & Drug Dependence?

The DSM IV is a mental health listing of different diagnoses with criteria that must be met for an accurate diagnosis. This is something which is meant for mental health professionals, so it generally a bad idea for a non-professional to diagnose themselves or someone else. However, the diagnosis for drug abuse & drug dependence is very useful to understand what is labeled ?drug addiction? and to understand dependence on kratom.

DSM Criteria for Drug Abuse and Dependence
Drug Abuse
A. A maladaptive pattern of drug use leading to impairment or distress, presenting as one or more of the following in a 12-month period:
1. recurrent use leading to failure to fulfill major obligations
2. recurrent use which is physically hazardous
3. recurrent drug-related legal problems
4. continued use despite social or interpersonal problems
B. The symptoms have never met the criteria for substance dependence.
Drug Dependence
A. A maladaptive pattern of drug use, leading to impairment or distress, presenting as three or more of the following in a 12-month period:
1. tolerance to the drug's actions
2. withdrawal
3. drug is used more than intended
4. there is an inability to control drug use
5. effort is expended to obtain the drug
6. important activities are replaced by drug use
7. drug use continues in spite of negative consequences
B. Two types of dependence can occur: a) with physiological dependence (with item 1 or 2), or b) without physiological dependence (neither item 1 nor 2).
Note that ?recurrent drug-related legal problems? may be misleading if the legal problems are possession of an illegal drug.

5.3 Is Kratom Addictive? Can I Become Addicted to Kratom?

There is a lack of scientific research on kratom addiction. There is however, anecdotal evidence on the internet of people in Thailand who have become dependant on kratom after long term use. Among the sampled people who are dependant on kratom, there is a strong correlation between dependence and using kratom on a daily basis to help with stamina while working in the field. Kratom dependence appears to happen in gradual steps of increasing frequency of usage and dosage needed to reach the desired effects.

For the most part, when used responsibly, kratom addiction is fairly easy to avoid. Follow these tips to reduce the risk of dependence on kratom:

- Do not use kratom daily or for extended periods of time.
- Monitor the amount needed to reach the desired effects. If tolerance occurs, give yourself time off from kratom to allow the tolerance to disappear.
- Do not use kratom to escape psychological problems or to get rid of a bad mood.

Remember, kratom should be enjoyed, not abused.

5.4 What Are the Symptoms of Kratom Addiction?

(still working on this one, any help would be greatly apperiated!)

The very nature of experience is ineffable; it transcends cognitive thought and intellectualized analysis. To be without experience is to be without an emotional knowledge of what the experience translates into. The desire for the understanding of what life is made of is the motivation that drives us all. Without it, in fear of the experiences what life can hold is among the greatest contradictions; to live in fear of death while not being alive.

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Barred Spiral

Registered: 02/03/03
Posts: 2,468
Last seen: 6 months, 25 days
Re: I'm writing a kratom FAQ, and I'd like some feedback on my section for addiction [Re: Twirling]
    #3634540 - 01/16/05 11:57 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

BTW, I should mention that I'm looking to make sure that the addiction part gives enough guidelines to people that they use kratom responsibly, but I also want to make sure it doesn't scare people off completely.

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Registered: 07/22/99
Posts: 13,774
Loc: gone with my shrooms
Re: I'm writing a kratom FAQ, and I'd like some feedback on my section for addiction [Re: Twirling]
    #3635131 - 01/16/05 03:53 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

In Thailand, tom addicts generally consume between 20 to 40 leaves daily.

It is addicting and in Malaysia treatment centers for heroin addiction use kratom rather than methadone because the kratom is not as addicting as methadone.

This is not a recreational drug for ludible purposes. It can esily cause heavy addiction over a period of time if someone has access to it such as plants, etc. or sources to start an addiction at such as those web sites selling seeds and leaves over the internet or strange extractions, some of which recently were found out to not be kratonm at all.

Do not be fooled into thinking it is a cool drug. IT is dangerous in the long run just as opium and heroin and morphine and codeine can be.

Murple wrote a good paper on kratom at erowid.org

Other papers on kratom are by Karl L.R. Jansen who wrote my Australian shroom article int he journal of psychoactive drugs in a paper with me and Mark Merlin.

Merlin wrote the difinitive book on opium in his "On the Trail of the Ancient Opium Poppy.? He also just recently updated much information on that opium book in an article recently published in the Journal of Economic Botany.

In Thailand, a user can actually get more time in prison for kratom than for opium. In the villages in the north and central and east Thailand, opium is allowed for personal use. However, it is a crime to grow for crop sales for heoin production.

While I have seen hands exchange money for leaves in Thailand on numerous ocassions, Trees are usually burnt to the ground when found by narcotics squads around the country.

And if one continues to use kratom, then generally that person will eventually use pills and thean most likely the opiates themselves. While most drugs do not lead to harder drugs, kratom becomes a hjarder drug as one needs more and more to feel the effects.. eventually you need something stronger. This is not urban legend bt actual facts of progress in a drug addiction following what you term as recreational use or responsible use. There is no responsible use when it comes to opiates.

and that includes the man-made pharmaceutical pills one uses along with heroin, etc.


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Barred Spiral

Registered: 02/03/03
Posts: 2,468
Last seen: 6 months, 25 days
Re: I'm writing a kratom FAQ, and I'd like some feedback on my section for addiction [Re: mjshroomer]
    #3635720 - 01/16/05 07:04 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Hmmm, this is contrary to what I've read in the past and what I've heard from other people. I'll have to look into it some more.

If there is anymore info to read about it, I'd apperiate it.

BTW, how long does it take for a person to become "addicted"? (I put that in quotes because it's not as if one day a person wakes up addicted, but rather that's its gradual) Are there warning signs of kratom addiction, other then increased tolerance of course.

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Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 362
Last seen: 11 years, 5 months
- [Re: Twirling]
    #3650035 - 01/19/05 08:51 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)


Edited by pod3 (10/26/06 01:47 PM)

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Barred Spiral

Registered: 02/03/03
Posts: 2,468
Last seen: 6 months, 25 days
Re: I'm writing a kratom FAQ, and I'd like some feedback on my section for addiction [Re: pod3]
    #3655471 - 01/20/05 09:39 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

That report is 20 years old. I'm pretty familar with everything that Erowid has to offer on kratom.

What I'm really looking for, is for someone to proofread my section on addiction in general and addiction to kratom. This is very important and I don't want to turn something in that has any errors.

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