Vaping: Should You Be Worried?

Vaping Claims Sixth Life

A sixth person has died from a vaping-related lung disease. Since August, there have been over 450 reports of lung illness and six deaths in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Oregon and Kansas. Health officials said it wasn’t clear what type of vaping products the patient was using; however all have had high levels of vitamin E acetate, which is common in cannabis-containing vapor products. At least one vapor product containing this chemical has been linked to each person who fell ill and submitted a product for testing in the state.

The federal investigation into the link between vaping and severe lung illnesses is ongoing and has not identified a cause. There are also separate investigations being conducted in separate states.

While an investigation into the lung illness outbreak is ongoing, people should consider not using e-cigarette products and people who do should monitor themselves for symptoms, the CDC said.

After the death of 6 people, vaping has become quite the controversy in the news, however smoking cigarettes causes 140,000 deaths annually.

Cigarettes Claim 480,000 Lives (A Year)

While it is alarming to hear that people are dying due to vaping, we need to look at a few key facts: vitamin E acetate and cannabis oil are not in all vaping products, many people are buying “bunk” or “fake” e-cigarette/vape cartridges online to save money, and cigarette smoking kills 480,000 people a year.

It is easy for us, as a society, to focus on something bad, without asking questions. How much and how long did they vape, did they smoke and vape, did they smoke prior to vaping, did they buy fake cartridges of the internet, did they use cannabis products- the list can go on and on. E-cigarette companies have been around since the early 2000’s, and there have been six deaths- still with unknown causes.

Vaping and Substance Use Disorder

44.3% of all cigarettes are consumed by individuals who live with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders. One could surmise that many people with mental health and substance use disorders also use or have switched to using vapor products.

When we enter recovery, many of us struggle with deciding to quit smoking, and turn to using vapor products to assist in curbing cravings. Quitting smoking while simultaneously abstaining from alcohol and drug use, can often feel impossible and overwhelming. If you are using vapor products to help curb your cigarette cravings, make sure to ask your local vape shop what is in their liquid.

If you knowingly are using cannabis oil products in you vape and are concerned with vaping-related lung disease, help is available. Amatus Recovery Centers owns and operates 11 treatment facilities across the country that offer a full continuum of care in addiction treatment. Whether you are in search of medical detox from drugs or alcohol to long-term group therapy and aftercare, Amatus Recovery Centers will help you. To find out which level of care is the right one for you, call to speak to one of our admissions specialist today at 833-216-3079.

 Amatus Recovery Centers, a division of Amatus Health, offers treatment for drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders in facilities across the country.  To learn more visit

Mac Miller’s Drug Dealer Arrested

One Year after his overdose, Mac Miller's loved ones may finally see justice

Eds: Story includes vulgarity

About a year after the untimely death of famous rapper, Mac Miller, the police have finally arrested and charged Cameron James Pettit for allegedly distributing counterfeit oxycodone pills to Miller days before his overdose. The rapper died early on September 7th, 2018 due to a mixture of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol. In a recent statement, U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said that, “Fentanyl disguised as a genuine pharmaceutical is a killer…drugs laced with cheap and potent fentanyl are increasingly common, and we owe it to the victims and their families to aggressively target the drug dealers that cause these overdose deaths.”

Pettit made his first federal court appearance earlier this month in downtown Los Angeles. He was ordered detained without bail pending trial and was given an October 11 arraignment date. If he is convicted of the drug trafficking charge alleged in the complaint, Pettit will face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. It is unknown if police will be adding charges for the role he played in the death of Mac Miller.

Millers father recently put out a statement about the arrest of Pettit, stating, “So they finally caught the motherf-cker that sold him the drugs that killed him…all it takes is a stone-a little tiny stone of fentanyl and cocaine-and you’re dead…the one thing I would say to you is: don’t take the risk, it’s just not worth it.”

Malcom Miller, better known as Mac Miller, passed away in September of 2018 after ingesting counterfeit oxycodone pills.

While it is important for law enforcement to take steps toward ending the trafficking of dangerous narcotics, like fentanyl, the fact that Mac Millers drug dealer is being brought to justice can feel like a slight towards families who have lost a loved one to drug overdose with no justice. Whether you are in recovery or not, addiction has most likely touched your life in some way. Lately the way it is touching people’s lives is through accidental overdose death. It could be at the hand of counterfeit pills or cocaine and heroin contaminated with fentanyl, regardless of the drug, the outcome for many has been the same. An untimely death. A friend, sister, brother, mom, dad, aunt or uncle, gone too soon. Where is their justice?

It is great the police have pursued the man who played a part in Miller’s death, this should be common practice across the board. Regardless of socioeconomic standing, regardless of the background or stature of the person who overdosed, we should be fighting for their justice. This is something all people, all families, deserve. Mac Miller is one of tens of thousands of people who lost their life to drug overdose last year. His drug dealer is one of thousands of people selling drugs laced with fentanyl. Justice for one, in this case, does not mean justice for all.

To make an impact we must start somewhere, with someone, and I am not taking that away from LAPD and their efforts in apprehending Mac Millers drug dealer- however this epidemic has only gotten worse in the past five years, and thousands more deserve justice. We say that addiction doesn’t discriminate, so why should justice?

Overdose death is preventable. Amatus Recovery Centers owns and operates 11 treatment facilities across the country that offer a full continuum of care in addiction treatment. Whether you are in search of medical detox from drugs or alcohol to long-term group therapy and aftercare, Amatus Recovery Centers will help you. To find out which level of care is the right one for you, call to speak to one of our admissions specialist today at 833-216-3079.

 Amatus Recovery Centers, a division of Amatus Health, offers treatment for drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders in facilities across the country.  To learn more visit

Enjoying Labor Day, Sober

Learning to do Labor Day Sober

Whether you are newly in recovery or have been for quite some time, the holidays are, without a doubt, a stressful time of the year. Sobriety during the holidays may even seem completely impossible at some points. How do you possibly not drink on the last weekend of the summer? Labor Day is a day for BBQ’s and beers, isn’t it? Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be if you don’t want it to be. You can have fun at a Labor Day BBQ with family and friends, without using drugs or alcohol.

Communicate with family and friends:

Having an honest conversation with your family or close friends (that you are comfortable with) can be helpful for those in early recovery. Explaining what you need from them, in terms of support, can help make your holidays much more manageable. They will be proud of your decision to stop using drugs and alcohol. If there is certain family or friends you don’t feel comfortable with, consider creating a word that you can use to signal to your trusted family member that you feel uneasy/triggered.

Use your support system:

Whether you use a faith-based program, Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, utilizing the support system you have created through these programs is vital in early recovery. Let them know you are worried about going home for the holidays and seeing family/friends. Reach out to them if you find yourself struggling. Communicating and utilizing your support system is vital to recovery

Spend time with sober friends instead:

If you have friends who are sober, spending time with them might be more beneficial for your recovery. If you have a family obligation, ask a sober friend to come with you for extra support and accountability.

Go to a meeting:

Going to a 12-step meeting before and/or after a family event is a great time to talk to people who understand what you’re going through. Ask for advice. Arrive early, stay late. Make sober friends!

Limit your time around triggers:

If your family, a specific friend group, or certain area is a huge source of anxiety for you, limit your time there. You don’t need to be at your family or friends’ holiday event all day long if you know your Aunt Jane is going to stress you out, or if your friend Mikey is always high and triggers you. You need to do what’s best for your recovery.

If you cannot stop using, don’t wait until after the holidays. Reach out to an admissions specialist today to learn about what options are available to you, call Amatus Recovery Center’s at 833-216-3079

Remembering Those We’ve Lost: Overdose Awareness Day

August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day

Drug overdose deaths have spiked drastically in the past five years, with 2017 being one of the worst years for drug overdose deaths with over 72,000 lives lost. Over 40,000 of those deaths can be attributed to opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl.

About 197 Americans die every day from drug overdose, 197 human beings, with families, friends, hopes and dreams.

Overdose Awareness Day is on August 31st and aims to reduce the stigma of addiction while raising awareness of overdose and drug-related death. Overdose Awareness Day is also a day to acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends who have lost someone to overdose. Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that overdose deaths are preventable.

Overdose Awareness Day is a day to remember those we have lost and to raise awareness about addiction.

Whether you are in recovery or not, you have probably been affected by drug overdose in some way or another. Dealing with the sudden death of someone you care about can be very difficult, especially when its due to a drug overdose. People are often left with many questions, feelings of “I could have done more,” and frustration. Using Overdose Awareness Day to talk about these feelings and raise awareness about the drug epidemic can be therapeutic for someone going through the grieving process.

Throughout the country, there are many things you can do to observe or participate in Overdose Awareness Day as a way to remember lost loved ones or stand up against stigma. As a way to show support and pay remembrance on Overdose Awareness Day you can hang a black balloon outside your home, show support on social media, share you or your family members story about addiction or recovery, or even attend a local candlelight vigil. Paying remembrance can be therapeutic and open the conversation about prevention, education, and addiction treatment options.

Overdose deaths are devastating, mostly because they are preventable. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, the safest place to be is in treatment working towards long term recovery. You do not have to be another statistic. You deserve to live a life free from alcohol and drugs.

5 Tips to Dealing With Back to School Stress

5 Tips on Dealing With Back to School Stress

Summer is quickly coming to a close, and fall is right around the corner. For some, this means nothing but the changing of seasons, for others this is “back to school” season.

Going back to school can bring a mixture of emotions to new and returning students alike, whether its excitement or nerves or something in between. A lot of the time, we are excited for that first day back, to catch up with friends, to walk around campus, the “easy” first week, however it doesn’t last that way for long. Many of us know that regardless of how happy we are to return to the routine of college, see our friends, and experience freedom from parents, it can get stressful very quickly. One week we might get a syllabus, then the next week we feel we have three papers, two exams, and twenty chapters to complete.

Whether you are in recovery or not, stress can be debilitating. Dealing with the stress of balancing school with everyday life, relationships, and our mental health, doesn’t have to be so difficult. These tips can help reduce back to school stress, before it even starts.

Going back to school can cause a lot of stress, which can lead to substance abuse and mental health problems in young adults. Do you know how to cope with stress, without drinking or drugging?

1. Pencil in “Me Time”

Scheduling me time can help you keep a clear head, give you space to meditate, pray or journal, and helps you get into a positive “self-care” routine. Your me time doesn’t have to be an hour long with a three-part full body meditation, it could be ten minutes before bed when your washing your face, or the five-minute walk to your car. With this time, focus on yourself, what are you thinking, what are you feeling, and how is it positively or negatively affecting you?

2. Get Plenty of Sleep

I know, 8 hours of sleep may seem impossible, but it could greatly increase your mood and productivity. A good way to work on getting enough sleep is turning off your “blue light” on your phone, minimizing the use of TV’s, consuming less caffeine, and setting a “sleep time” schedule that you regularly adhere to. (yes, even on the weekends!)

3. Healthy Coping Skills

Everyone has different coping skills, from painting to baking to going for a walk. Whatever you can do to keep your mind off of something stressful, or to clear your head, can be a healthy coping skill that you can use to get through life’s difficult moments.

4. Create a Support Network

Your support network can be a group of friends, your family, a support group such as AA or NA, or even a therapist. Creating a support group can be helpful for more than just someone to vent to, they can help with advice, they can come from a place of non judgement, and they can help you through the bad times and cheer you on through the good times.

5. Get Up and Move!

Exercising can improve your mood and alleviate stress, whether its walking, running, weight lifting, or dancing, moving around can take your mood from a two to a ten!

Sometimes stress can become too much to handle, you don’t have to go through this alone. By reaching out for help you can finally learn how to utilize coping skills and live life without drugs and alcohol. Call 833-216-3079 to learn more about managing stress without drugs and alcohol.

Getting the Most Out of Substance Abuse Treatment

How to get the most out of treatment

When entering drug and alcohol treatment, we are faced with many different emotions, such as worry, nervousness, anger, hopelessness, to name a few. Many of us enter treatment wondering if it will even work, will we even get better? These thoughts are completely normal for someone trying to get clean and sober for the first, or fifth, time. So, how can we make sure that we get the most out of treatment?

1.Be open minded: Being open minded to treatment is one of the most important aspects when it comes to getting the most out of your time in treatment. It is important for you to be receptive to new ideas and suggestions. If we continue to do the same thing, we will get the same result, so being open minded to change can help your recovery in the long run.

2. Remember why you’re there: You chose to enter treatment, you want to start a new life, you want to be able to wake up clean, sober and not in withdrawal from alcohol or drugs- remember that. Even on the difficult days.

3. Be honest: Being honest about your history, whether it is how much you used drugs and alcohol, or any past traumas, or what makes you want to continue to use- is an important piece of working through your addiction. Being honest in treatment can help you heal.

4. Put in your all/commit to the program: When we are in treatment, we get what we give. That might sound like a cliché, but it is the truth. If you give 50%, you are only hurting yourself. Many of us have been to treatment in the past and it hasn’t worked, because we haven’t put all of our effort into getting honest, vulnerable, and fully committing to treatment and recovery. Committing to treatment looks different for everyone, maybe it is speaking more about how you’re feeling in group, or maybe its working on not fraternizing with other men or women or telling your therapist about something you previously refused to talk about. Whatever it is, giving it your all and committing to treatment is committing to yourself and your recovery. You will thank yourself one day.

If you want to get the most out of treatment, you have to put the most effort in, even when you "don't feel like it."

5. Follow the rules: There are some rules in treatment that might seem arbitrary. No hats in group, no cell phone, no fraternizing with the opposite sex, make your bed, etc., are all set in place to help you heal and grow. These may be frustrating but it’s important to remember that these rules are here for a reason and that learning how to follow simple rules in recovery is important for life outside of treatment. When we are using drugs and drinking, we ignore rules. Learning how to follow rules is a part of getting better.

6. Be patient: Be patient with yourself when you enter treatment, it is not easy, and recovery won’t happen overnight.

7. Accept the good and bad days: We all have good days and bad days, even in recovery. Entering treatment can be a very emotional time, so be gentle with yourself. Accept your bad days and enjoy your good days.

8. Connect with others: Building connections with other people in recovery can significantly improve your mood, help you feel understood, and help feelings of loneliness dissipate. Feeling connected can help you progress through treatment and recovery by giving you a support system to lean on in times of struggle.

9. Trust the process and take suggestions:  You will hear hundreds of suggestions in treatment, some from trained, licensed therapists, some from peers, some from people at AA or NA meetings- a good way to get the most out of your time in treatment is to practice taking suggestions. Recovery is about taking suggestions from people who are living a life you hope to live one day. Recovery is about getting outside your comfort zone. Recovery is about working towards a better way of life and trusting that if you keep making good choices, you will get there. Trusting the process and taking advice or asking for help, are not easy things to do when you have been living in the cycle of addiction, practicing asking for help and trusting others in treatment will help you feel comfortable asking for help and taking suggestions outside of treatment.

If you or a loved one is ready to give treatment a real try, reach out to one of our admissions specialists today by calling 833-216-3079 or chatting now. Everyone deserves to live a life without addiction.

9 Things to Do When Your Loved One Refuses Help

When our loved ones are addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is normal to want to help, or “save” them. We can offer our loved one help, but they don’t always take it, which often puts us in uncomfortable or upsetting situations. Check out these 9 things you can do when a loved one is refusing treatment for their substance abuse!

1. Follow through on any consequences or boundaries you set

When your loved one is given the option to get help, you should have boundaries and consequences in place for if/when they decline any treatment options you provided them. The most important thing to do when your loved one declines help, is to stick to any consequences or boundaries you set. If you told them they could not live with you unless they accepted help, it is important that you hold the line and ask them to leave. If you allow them to stay, without repercussion, they will not take your word seriously and continue to cross any lines or boundaries you draw out. Holding your ground could change the trajectory of their life, and catapult them into recovery.

Offering our loved one's support and treatment is the only way we can really help them through their addiction, but what if they say no?

2. Recognize your role

What role have you played, if any, in their addiction? Have you given them money? Bailed them out? Lied for them? Whatever role you may have played, whether enabler or savior, it is important to stop. Realize that you didn’t cause this, but you may have helped in perpetuating it. You can’t fix this, but you can fix your side of the street.

3. Stop enabling

Enabling is when you allow/validate/permit/authorize someone’s behavior through your own behavior, actions or inactions. Enabling someone’s addiction could mean giving them money, a place to live, or even ignoring that their using is a problem. This behavior must stop if you want to actually help your loved one.

Enabling someone’s addiction could mean giving them money, a place to live, or even ignoring that their using is a problem. This behavior must stop if you want to actually help your loved one.

4. Prepare for their reaction

Your loved one may be angry when you set clear boundaries and do not change them to appease their addiction. This is totally normal and totally okay. Their anger has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. Allow them to feel however they may feel, say what they need (as long as it is not harmful towards you or themselves) and accept where they are at. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

5. Educate yourself

Learning more about addiction, alcoholism and recovery can help you be more compassionate and understanding, as well as teach you about the different side effects and withdrawal symptoms you need to be on the lookout for. Learning about recovery can also help you understand the process your loved one is going through.

6. Be patient

Recovery is a process, for your loved one and for yourself. Being patient can help your loved one feel understood and safe. It is equally important to be patient with yourself as you move through the process with them, whatever that may be.

7. Encourage them

Encouraging your loved one to get help is important, it can bring both of you closer together and can remind them that you are on their side.

8. Plan an intervention

If you have already staged an intervention, make sure that you are following through on any boundaries and consequences you had made, they may see now more clearly that treatment is the only option if they want you to be a part of their life. If you have not already planned an intervention, it is important to contact a professional and begin the process. Staging an intervention could be what saves your loved one’s life and puts them onto the path of recovery.

9. Make sure you are taking care of yourself

Attending Nar-Anon or Al-Anon meetings, seeing a therapist regularly or taking time to do things you enjoy throughout the day, are all great ways to take care of yourself in this difficult time. Addiction doesn’t only hurt the addict or alcoholic, but anyone close to the addict or alcoholic as well.

If you or a loved one have decided that it’s time to enter treatment, call 833-216-3079 or chat now to learn about your options.

When Should I Stage an Intervention?

It is easy to feel helpless when a family member or close friend is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol. Although you show support in whatever ways you can, when your loved one continues to use or relapses frequently it is difficult to set boundaries and avoid enabling their destructive behavior.

You shouldn’t to blame yourself for your loved one’s actions. However, it is important to know when stepping in to stage an intervention would be appropriate.

What to Say at an Intervention

“An intervention should be held when someone’s quality of life is suffering as a result of their drinking or substance abuse, the families’ and loved ones’ efforts to resolve the behavior have been ineffective and the identified person is displaying resistance or reluctance to enter treatment,” said Meredith Meng, certified interventionist and Director of Operations at Blueprint Recovery Center.

An intervention is different than simply confronting your loved one about their substance use. An intervention usually consists of a group of four to six family members and/or friends who disclose to the identified person how their destructive behaviors have impacted them. Rather than asking your loved one to stop using on their own, an intervention should include which treatment options available for them. If the appeal is successful, getting your loved one into a treatment facility immediately is ideal, as any additional time between the conclusion of the intervention and admission to a facility could give them time to drink or use drugs.

It is important for the entire family to remain on the same page during an intervention.

Should I Hire a Professional Interventionist?

Many families will hold interventions on their own but hiring a professional interventionist to facilitate should be carefully considered.  If the person suffering with addiction has histories of mental illness, suicide attempts, violence or has a tumultuous relationship with family members, hiring an interventionist might be appropriate.

“Key players in the identified person’s life should be involved and must be equipped to stand united with the support team,” Meng said. “This can often be difficult to accomplish without a professional present due to the potential for emotions to run rampant, desperation in the moment, hostility, unexpected variables in the identified persons’ circumstances and manipulation.”

These factors may be hard to avoid without a professional and could change the identified person’s mind about entering treatment. Without an interventionist a family might make negotiations with the identified person that are not in the best interest of either party.

If a loved one is struggling with substance abuse and seems unwilling to enter treatment, there is help. Learn more about our Levels of Care and methods of family involvement. Let go and let’s chat. Call 833 216 3079.

5 Boundaries you should be Setting with the Addict or Alcoholic in your life

Alcohol and drug addiction hurt more than just the addict or alcoholic, it hurts all the people around us. Friends, family members, significant others, all go through the pain and suffering with the addict. Learning how to set boundaries with an addict can be difficult, and can often feel painful, but boundaries are the best way to help an addict, and yourself, throughout the process of addiction and even recovery.  Having poor boundaries can make you lose yourself, your freedom, and your personal space. Poor boundaries when a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, can end with you feeling lied to, cheated on, and stolen from. Setting boundaries can help you and your loved one’s relationship in the long run- but how do we do it?

So…What Are Boundaries?

Boundaries are physical and emotional limits that people set for themselves as a way to prioritize their mental/emotional health and well-being.

-Healthy boundaries give you a safe, supportive and mutually respectful relationship.

-Unhealthy boundaries often deal with manipulation and control as a way to keep your relationship where it best suits you

You might need to set boundaries if you:

-Cover for or lie for your loved one

-Change your beliefs or stuff your emotions to avoid conflict

-Feel taken advantage of, have been lied to, had possessions or money stolen from you

-Try to tell them what to do

-Argue about the past

Boundaries often run on a continuum from one extreme to another- being too lenient or too rigid both can hurt your relationships- staying somewhere in the middle ground can be hard, but it is rewarding and can help keep your relationships intact. But, what boundaries can we set, and how do we stick to them?

5 Boundaries to Set With Addicts

  • No using drugs or alcohol around me/in my home:

This is a very important boundary to set, letting your loved one know that you are not willing to accept them using in front of you or in your home sets an expectation. If or when this expectation is broken, letting them know they are not respecting a boundary you set with them will feel less stressful and open a line for communication.

If you find them using in your home, you will know that you already set the expectation- remember when someone doesn’t respect or like your boundary, it is because it was easier to misuse and manipulate you when you didn’t have them.

  • If you are arrested, I will not pay your bail or for your lawyer:

Using drugs or drinking and driving is illegal. As a recovering addict I can assure you that we know what we are doing is illegal when we are buying drugs and using drugs. Letting your loved one know that you are not willing to bail them out can help save you from arguments, money, and tears. You are not responsible for our decision to break the law.

  • Do not ask for money- whether it is to put gas in your car or for a phone bill:

Giving money to a loved one struggling with addiction could be the last time you give them money. Many street drugs are cut with fentanyl, a deadly opioid, and can lead to overdose and death. Regardless of what your loved one is claiming to need money for, there is a 50/50 chance they are manipulating you. Setting a boundary by stating that you will not give them money, lets them know that you are not willing to enable them throughout there addiction. This also can put responsibility onto your loved one regarding money management and remaining employed, which can help them decide that maybe they do need treatment.

  • I will not lie for you:

In active addiction, many people ask their loved ones to lie for them. Whether it’s regarding missing work, missing class, or skipping plans, active addiction forces us to make up lies and half-truths. Letting your loved one know that you are not willing to participate in there manipulating of others, forces them to take responsibility for their actions.

  • I will not support you using drugs or alcohol, so I cannot continue to spend time with you until you decide that you are ready to enter treatment:

Letting your loved one know that you cannot support them through active addiction, and limiting time spent around them can improve the chances that they will seek help. Letting them know that you will support your decision to enter recovery when that time comes can be all they need to hear to make the decision to change their life.

Alcohol and drug addiction hurt more than just the addict or alcoholic, it hurts all the people around us. Friends, family members, significant others, all go through the pain and suffering with the addict. Learning how to set boundaries with an addict can be difficult, and can often feel painful, but boundaries are the best way to help an addict, and yourself, throughout the process of addiction and even recovery.

Setting boundaries can help your loved one move towards recovery. Deciding to recover from alcohol or drug addiction can be the most rewarding and best choice of your life. Let go and let’s chat!

Kratom: A Dangerous Drug or a Healing Plant?

What is Kratom? And can it really help with opioid addiction?

Kratom is hailed by many as a miracle supplement, sold as pills, tea or powder, that allegedly can cure pain, fatigue, anxiety and opioid addiction. However, the claims made by Kratom users have been unsubstantiated. In fact, the FDA and federal government have said that they believe Kratom is dangerous due to the similarities it shares with opioids and its habit-forming properties.

Kratom comes from a tree native to southeast Asia. Technically, it is a member of the coffee family, but its leaves contain properties that act on opioid receptors in the brain.

Kratom comes from a tree native to southeast Asia. Technically, it is a member of the coffee family, but its leaves contain properties that act on opioid receptors in the brain. While the FDA says that kratom carries similar risks of abuse and addiction and has been linked to overdose deaths, its advocates say the risks have been blown out of proportion by health officials and that kratom can be used to help addicts wean themselves off harmful opioids. Kratom’s use to help opioid addicts has not been FDA approved and could actually end up keeping patients from seeking the real, lifesaving treatment they need to recover from addiction.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kratom use has become increasingly popular in recent years and has been present in a shocking 91 fatal overdoses. The problem stems from companies marketing Kratom to “cure” addiction and other ailments, online and in stores. Some states have even gone so far to create bans on Kratom as a precautionary measure to prevent addiction. Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington D.C., Wisconsin, and Sarasota County, FL., have all made the sale and possession of Kratom illegal.

Not only is kratom addictive and can lead to its own set of withdrawal symptoms, but kratom is also known to cause severe negative side effects to those who abuse it long term. When people use Kratom daily, it can cause decreased appetite, weight loss, and severe depression as well as psychosis, hallucinations and delusions.

The bottom line is that using Kratom is dangerous, and you truly don’t know what you are using. This makes it no better than any other street drug that may be contaminated with fentanyl or other dangerous chemicals.

Using Kratom to try to get off dangerous street drugs is not safe and could cause more harm to your mind and body. The best way to get off of drugs and restart your life is by entering treatment as soon as possible. If you are struggling with addiction, whether it’s to heroin, cocaine or kratom, entering treatment will help save your life.