Using Kava for Opiate Withdrawal
Kava kava can be an effective natural treatment for opiate withdrawal. As an anxiolytic and natural medicine which may promote relaxation, kava can help ease symptoms of opioid withdrawal. If you’re going through the detoxification process from heroin, prescription painkillers, or any other opioid, we do recommend reaching out to professionals. There are many residential and outpatient addiction treatment programs where you can receive quality medical and clinical care to get clean.
What is Kava Kava?
Kava is a plant native to the Western Pacific, and sometimes known as kava kava. It’s a type of pepper plant, and has been used for centuries by the Polynesian people for its sedating qualities. Some cultures also use kava as a painkiller, as the active ingredients can help reduce the perception of pain in the body. Unlike medications that produce sedation, kava is known to not reduce mental clarity. Kava is sometimes treated as a sacred plant, and kava ceremonies may be held for its consumption.
The active ingredient in kava kava are kavalactones. There are many known kavalactones in the kava plant, with most of them concentrated in the roots and stem of the plant. Together, kavalactones work to reduce stress, ease anxiety, and relieve pain. Different cultivars of the kava plant from different locations are likely to have different levels of kavalactones. There has been quite a bit of research on kava, with many studies finding the kavalactones effective at treating anxiety, insomnia, and pain.
Kava Health Risks
It is worth noting that there are some health risks, especially with long-term kava use. Kava has been found to be especially damaging on the liver. There have been quite a few reported cases of liver damage from kava kava use, mostly with regular use. Furthermore, kava at high doses can produce psychoactive effects, and people may begin to abuse kava for its psychoactive properties.
How Kava Helps Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
As many people are looking for more natural ways to ease themselves off opioids, kava has made a comeback. It can be consumed a number of ways, but it is most commonly consumed as an herbal tea. There are also pills, powders, and extracts available.
Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal
Opiate withdrawal can be quite unpleasant and difficult. The symptoms of opiate withdrawal may vary from individual to individual, and there are many factors that may affect the severity of symptoms. These include length of use, drug being abused, dose of opiates, and the individual’s body chemistry.
Common symptoms of opiate withdrawal include:
- Muscle pain and aches
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Sweating and fevers
- Craving for opioids
- High blood pressure
- Diarrhea and nausea
Effects of Kava
Kava is most well-known for its ability to ease anxiety, promote sleep, and relieve pain. It’s easy to see how kavalactones may greatly help opioid withdrawal. Effects an individual may experience from consuming kava are:
- Anxiety relief
- Muscle relaxation
- Pain relief
Kava can be a great medicinal option for those struggling with withdrawal from opioids. You can find it at your local health food store, some grocery stores, and of course online on places like Amazon.