Kava Addiction

Since the 1990s, a drink made from the kava plant has become more popular in the United States. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that many people mix kava with other substances, such as kratom. This is especially common among individuals who like to experiment with mind-altering drugs.

Experts express concern because of the increasing popularity of kava, especially among those on medication, because of potential misuse. Also, more and more places are selling kava, but sometimes it’s unsafe or good quality, which could be dangerous for everyone’s health.

Just like getting addicted to kratom is unusual if you stick to average amounts, it’s not expected to get hooked on kava, either. But, since kava can affect your mind, there’s a chance people might misuse it, and it can have risky side effects. Kava bars are becoming popular as a natural alternative to prescription medicine for anxiety, stress, and insomnia. They are opening in many places across the country.

What Is Kava?

Kava comes from the root of the Piper methysticum plant. It grows in the western Pacific islands and is part of the pepper family.

People in the South Pacific Islands have been drinking kava for centuries to help with worry. People used to drink it for special ceremonies, but now they mostly enjoy it for fun when hanging out with others. To prepare kava, you grind the plant’s roots into a soft mash and then combine it with water.

You can find kava as extracts, powdered forms, and liquid drops in the US. Numerous kava products utilize various plant parts, including the roots, stems, and leaves, leading to diverse impacts and potential side effects. The roots contain the key ingredient that impacts your brain and are the only part tested in research studies.

How the kava plant is grown determines the ingredients in a kava drink and the effectiveness of kava. Some types can leave you feeling like you have a hangover, with symptoms like headaches and feeling sick. This kava is called “two-day” because it lasts for two days. This makes them popular for fun, but it also means there’s a bigger chance people might get addicted to them.

how does kava make you feel

How Does Kava Make You Feel?

The main constituents present in kava are referred to as kavalactones or kavapyrones. They make you feel similar to when you drink alcohol— you might feel calm, happy, chatty, and some muscle relaxation. Although unlike alcohol, kava doesn’t slow down your central nervous system.

Is Drinking Kava Safe?

Lately, there have been worries about whether kava products are safe and work well. Some people have liver problems such as liver disease, hepatitis cirrhosis, and liver failure. These issues are causing concerns. Liver disease can lead to scarring on the liver, known as hepatitis cirrhosis.

Liver failure is also a serious issue that some people experience. Owing to these concerns, numerous nations, including Germany, France, Canada, Switzerland, and the UK, have imposed limitations or completely prohibited kava intake.

On March 25, 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned people that dietary supplements, herbal medicines, and treatments with kava in them might cause serious liver problems. A healthy woman underwent a liver transplant due to damage caused by kava abuse.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study named “Hepatic Toxicity Possibly Linked to Kava-Containing Products—United States, Germany, and Switzerland 1999-2002.” This research focused on two situations in the United States where individuals experienced liver failure after using dietary supplements that contained kava.

Many people in the US enjoy kava products as an alternative to alcohol due to their calming effects. They are selling it despite reported problems and despite other countries banning the substance.

Side Effects of Drinking Kava

People want to try kava because of its mind-changing effects, but drinking it can cause:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Shaky hands or body
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Stomach aches and cramps
  • Skin problems like rashes and itchy spots
  • Inability to fall asleep
  • Terrible liver damage or liver failure
kava side effects

Long-Term Effects

The biggest long-term problem from drinking kava is the serious chance of hurting your liver so severely it could lead to death. People aren’t entirely sure why this happens, but they think it has something to do with the active ingredients in kava.

Another long-term problem with kava that people don’t always consider is getting addicted to it. Even though it’s not as addictive as some strong medicines or painkillers, you can still get hooked on it, which can lead to tolerance. Regular consumption of kava might lead to a need for increased amounts to achieve the same effect, and cessation of its use could result in kava withdrawal symptoms.

Kava Addiction Treatment at Northridge Addiction Treatment Center

At Northridge Addiction Treatment Center, our comfortable and private residential treatment facility treats your addiction using evidence-based, proven methods to build a solid foundation for your recovery. We give you the support, tools, and coping strategies that you’ll need to live a life free from drug use and addiction.

Our team of licensed doctors, practitioners, nurses, therapists, and counselors, with extensive experience work with you to make a custom-tailored treatment plan. These treatment plans for residents are designed for you, focusing on your needs, goals, and where you are in life.

Build the base for recovery that lasts forever with NATC. Our medical detox program, medication-assisted treatment, and dual diagnosis for diagnosing more than one issue give you a great chance to beat addiction.

Contact us now. Our compassionate treatment specialists are happy to discuss treatment options to help you get on the path to a life-long recovery.

Find Meaningful Recovery

Our caring and compassionate specialists are eager to help you comfortably navigate this journey to recovery. Our individualized treatment plan, programs, and therapies may be a perfect match for you or your loved one. Let us assist you in living the happy life you deserve. It starts with a phone call.

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