Not sure if your employee is addicted to Kratom? Here are seven warning signs of Kratom addiction and how you can test for this drug.
Although kratom was traditionally used by farmers in Southeast Asia for a boost of energy throughout the day, this plant can have some unwanted consequences when consumed in high doses. You don’t want your employees feeling nauseous and short of breath while on the job.
Users can consume kratom in several ways. This includes swallowing powder-filled capsules or brewing it into a tea. When consumed, kratom activates the brain’s pleasure center, making kratom addiction a strong possibility.
The jury’s still out on whether or not kratom affects users’ ability to operate heavy machinery, but the intention in most recreational usages is to feel sedated and euphoric. Kratom is a mind-altering substance that should not be consumed at work.
Here are seven signs your employee may have a kratom addiction.
1. They Have a History of Addiction
Kratom and opiates are often compared to one another. The FDA has even liked the compounds found in kratom to those found in derivatives of morphine.
It’s no surprise that people use it as a substitute for other addictive substances. Alcoholics replace a trip to the bar with a glass of brewed kratom tea. Opioid addicts wean themselves off with a milder but similar sensation.
Kratom is easy to buy on the internet and creates a strong euphoric high when more than 20 grams are consumed. Addictive tendencies do not apply to one substance alone.
If your employee has a history of addiction, they are more likely to develop a kratom addiction.
2. They Openly Consume Kratom on the Job
The average American couldn’t identify kratom in any of its various forms.
Between 2011 and 2017, only 11 deaths were associated with exposure to kratom. Compare this to the 17,029 deaths from prescription opioids in 2017 alone and it’s clear kratom’s user population does not compare.
Since users can make a powerful drink that looks no different than an herbal tea, it might be tempting to drink kratom pretty much everywhere.
A constant stream of tea that makes me feel chill and happy? Why wouldn’t you bring a thermos-full along?
If you notice an employee nursing a beverage throughout the day, casually ask them about it. You might not get a clear confession from everyone, but it can’t hurt to just ask and discuss.
3. They’re Frequently Complaining of Stomach Issues and Increasingly Need the Restroom
Much like opioids, kratom can lead to nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Kratom opiates have been used to treat diarrhea, so its impact on the stomach is a consistent side effect.
If your employee drinks kratom and regularly complains of stomach pain and nausea (or calls out of work altogether), this may be caused by a kratom addiction.
Frequent trips to the restroom may also be a warning sign. Kratom is a diuretic, meaning the more your drink, the more you have to pee.
4. They Consume Kratom Daily and Appear Affected When They Don’t
The more you interact with your employees, the more clearly you will see their tendencies. One employee may seem to have the same thermos at their side throughout the day but never refill it with water or coffee. Another employee may grab something from their bag before heading to the bathroom at random times.
Of course, routine behaviors such as these don’t make someone an addict. But those with a kratom addiction can display withdrawal symptoms if they go too long without a dose.
Aggression, jerky movements, irritability, as well as muscle aches and a runny nose become apparent.
5. They Appear Lethargic or Otherwise Sedated
Your employee may not ingest the substance openly, and its effects can be quite subtle. If kratom isn’t illegal in your state, who can stop an adult from drinking whatever they want or chewing on a leaf at their desk?
You may notice a change in your employee, however. One day, they’re high energy and high strung. The next, they’re quiet and sleepy looking. If an employee suddenly develops a new demeanor and mannerisms, this should be a cause for concern.
Consistent low motivation and alertness may be caused by kratom addiction. But some variations of this plant have the opposite effect.
6. They Appear More Social and Talkative than Usual
Not everyone uses kratom to sedate themselves or recover from heroin. Some people find that small doses of certain strains of kratom give them energy. And just like coffee or a shot of Five Hour Energy, people will consume anything that makes them feel like they can get through the rest of the day.
Kratom produces a euphoric feeling that could cause some individuals to become more social or productive. Users could become dependent on this substance to stimulate their ability to interact with others or reduce their feelings of stress and anxiety on the job.
7. They Know What Kratom Is
Obviously, you can’t assume any employee who knows about kratom has an addiction to it. But because it is such a niche and unpopular substance, those who consume it tend to know a fair bit about it.
Whether they’re purchasing it online or visiting a local kratom bar, chances are they’ve done some research. Or have at least heard the bartender’s explanation.
The culture surrounding kratom consumption can be very communal. Regulars at kratom bars often refer to the bartenders and other regulars as family. An individual that heavily consumes kratom is sure to be familiar with this relatively unknown substance.
Don’t Let Kratom Addiction Put Your Business at Risk
It’s easy to assume someone is a bad person because they can’t control their compulsive tendencies. But addiction is part of the human condition.
Your employee may be under the false impression that because this substance has not been completely outlawed by the federal government that it is not potentially harmful.
Any degree of sedation does not lead to productive, high-quality work. So regardless of the legal standing of kratom, you have every right to test your employees for this mind-altering substance. Overly sedated workers put themselves and others at risk, especially in hazardous work environments.
If you suspect your employees suffer from kratom addiction, you can purchase a kratom drug test here.