Terrorism, a word with a negative connotation defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. It happens to specific countries and it happens to specific people, but can one terrorize themselves? Many of us enter the rooms of Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous after waging chemical warfare on our bodies for years. The bombing against our livers and shots fired upon our veins always takes its toll.
After we’ve had enough we eventually attempt the 12 steps, dealing with ourselves in a manner like we never could’ve dreamed. Consequently, life begins to restart itself and things continue to gradually get better. However, with addicts and alcoholics, we are always one step away from picking up a substance. All it takes is one non conducive playmate to hang around. One bad sandbox to play in. One bad situation or another will lead up right back into the pits of disheartened helplessness. Then it’s batten the hatches as we prepare for another lost battle.
Some know this and will tempt themselves with the likes of other contentious substances instead. In many situations, Kratom and Kava are both herbal replacements that people in recovery gravitate toward thinking it’s a weaker enemy than their previous addictive foes. Wrong, wrong, wrong. That’s like thinking you won’t get addicted to beer because your were a liquor guy/gal. When enough of this aromatic plant is taken, it can produce some very intoxicated effects of euphoria. It’s also legal and socially acceptable, so many rationalize its use in recovery. Nonetheless make no mistake, Kratom and Kava will hurt your recovery quicker than you can blink.
How Will “Just Tea” Hurt Your Recovery?
It’s factually known that Kratom and Kava will hurt your recovery because they’ve been abused for years by addicts of all sorts that have tried to beat the disease of alcoholism. It all goes back to that: addiction is a disease. It doesn’t disappear because we switched brands. There is this idea that develops for many that two herbs can somehow be terrific non-addictive replacements for all the other substances we were consuming. That’s not just tea brewing, it’s trouble too.
Even though they’re safer in the aspect of dying on the spot, that doesn’t mean they still won’t ruin your life. Both Kratom and Kava contain a lot of the same properties that opiates/opioids do. They’ll bind to the same receptors in your brain as opiates/opioids plus they’ll give you similar feelings. Alas, this means that tolerance is also a possibility. When tolerance is a possibility, it usually means addiction is woken back up. Withdrawal is now part of the equation and detox is now needed if you want to get back out. Sound familiar? The sad truth is that a lot of addicts aren’t aware of any of this when they first start dancing around with these seemingly innocent plants.
The Terrible Two
Kratom and Kava will hurt your recovery and are both under criticism from sober communities around the world in correlation to this. Still, many will never know if the stove is hot unless they touch it for themselves. So if some have such a reservation, it’s important to be educated on the terrible two. Although to be clear, there is absolutely no blessing of the behavior on this end.
For starters, although the two are very similar, they do have some key differences to note. Kratom specifically is physically addictive and Kava is more so psychologically. They are indeed different herbs and have a few different effects, but at the end of the day they both can be used for many of the same purposes; ie. getting trashed or numbing reality. They are indigenous to different locations of the world. Kava is generally found in the Western Pacific in places like Micronesia, Fiji, or Hawaii. However, Kratom originates from Southeast Asian territories like Thailand, Indonesia, or Malaysia. Kava is typically extracted from the root, whereas Kratom takes advantage of the leaves. Both can easily be transformed into powders, pills, or into a drink which is usually the most popular method.
This is all good and fun for a little bit, but as your addiction keeps getting stronger, the possibility of discomfort to come is always anxiety. As mentioned before, detox becomes a very strong reality after Kratom and Kava are taken for long enough. We’ll then have certain withdrawal symptoms to look forward to like:
- Disturbed hunger and dehydration
- Feverish body aches
- Hot flashes and cold sweats
- Overly sensitive nerve endings
- Lack of energy or motivation
Pick Java Over Kratom and Kava
Cross addiction is absolutely a real thing and has taken many well respected people out of the rooms, often putting them in a box 6 feet deep. We have to really step back and look at our truest of intentions. If maintaining sobriety is your top priority, then make it so. There’s no room for excuses and justifications in recovery. Heed to the advice of many by staying away from synthetic drugs or things that seem like a cheat. Go exercise or have a cup of coffee if you’re looking for a little change in pace. If living clean and sober is NOT the priority, by all means have it.
Again, for those trying to stay sober, it’s important to realize that going back to our old manner of thinking is deranged. Let the question “why even risk it?” skip on a broken record player in your mind. Make no mistake, Kratom and Kava will hurt your recovery.