“Although kratom is not an opiate, it works on the same receptors as opioids,” says Clare Waismann, an addiction specialist at the Waismann Method.
Some people use kratom to wean themselves off opioids. However, Waismann says that plan often backfires. How could ordering a drug off the internet to help you stop taking a different drug go wrong?!
The problem is serious, though: dozens of Waismann’s patients switched from opioids to kratom — then, when they found themselves dependent on kratom, they went back to opioids. “Once they see the withdrawal from kratom is very similar [to opioid withdrawal], they go back to their drug of choice,” she says. “It’s easier to get heroin than the amount of kratom they need.”