There are a bunch of studies going on right now concerning kratom. One of the most important questions that needs to be addressed is the addictive properties of a this plant. I think most people get the words "addiction" and "habit" confused with one another and, in fact, the line of distinction between these two is often a blurry one.
A habit is defined as "a repeated action or behavior that may not be consciously recognized." In other words, habits are things you do so often that you do not think about them. And it has been proven that it is more difficult to break old habits than to form new ones.
In fact, studies show about 40% of people’s daily activities are performed in almost the same situations. Some examples of habits include:
One of the key things that differentiates habits and addictions is willpower. If a person has enough control over their behavior to decrease it or stop it, then it is a habit.
An addiction is defined as a compulsive need for, and repeated use of, a habit-forming substance or behavior.
Addiction is a mental disease. An individual who is addicted is unable to control their craving for the object of their addiction, despite knowing the damage it is or could cause. Frequent relapses after promising themselves or others that they will abstain is a sign of addiction.
Addiction has the greatest impact on the physical makeup of the brain. Addictive substances and behaviors provide a shortcut to the brain’s reward system by flooding the brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. When drugs of abuse are taken, they can release two to ten times the amount of dopamine that natural rewards such as eating and sex do.
The key difference is that habits are easy to interrupt and break if you want to.
However, habits become addictions when a chemical dependence is formed. For example, drinking alcohol can be habitual if you always drink a beer at dinner, but it is likely to become an addiction when you consume multiple bottles a day to help create positive feelings or try to hide your negative feelings.
Addictions render the individual almost powerless over their craving while harming the individual, their personal life, and their family.
Habits can be harmful if they turn into addictions. But I have never met anyone who is harming their loved ones or family because of taking kratom. Yes, kratom can be habit forming (just like drinking coffee) but just like coffee, you'll never hear about jonesing kratom addicts robbing stores and hijacking motorists to get money for a fix. That’s because while kratom does cause dependence, it isn’t in the same category as opiates or alcohol.
Unlike alcohol and drugs, kratom does not cause disease, crime, financial ruin, automobile and other types of accidents and a breakdown in social interactions. Until I see proof of anything different, I feel that kratom is as safe as drinking a cup of coffee everyday....
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