Kratom has gained popularity as a potential substitute for opioids due to its ability to mimic the effects of opioids on the brain when taken at higher doses. Kratom withdrawal can occur with mild to moderate symptoms in cases where the substance is being regularly abused.
Like other substances that produce opioid-like effects, the sustained use of kratom can develop tolerance, cravings, and physical dependence. Consequently, discontinuing kratom use can result in physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.
Today, discover what to expect when coming off kratom and learn about the following issues:
- Can you have withdrawals from kratom?
- What helps with kratom withdrawal?
- What are the most common kratom withdrawal symptoms?
- Can you withdraw from kratom at home?
- What are the most effective treatment options for kratom abuse?
What Is Kratom?
Kratom, an evergreen tree from the coffee family that is native to Southeast Asia, has been used for generations in traditional medicine practices throughout Malaysia and Thailand. Despite warnings from the FDA not to use the drug, its popularity has now spread to the United States as more people seek out legal ways to experience a substance-induced high.
Derived from the Mitragyna speciosa plant, kratom is often sold as a dietary supplement in tablet or powder form. The substance is commonly referred to as incense when sold in stores or online. Kratom is not currently classified as a controlled substance by the DEA.
Kratom can have a stimulant effect and increase energy levels when consumed in low doses. However, when taken in higher doses, the effects of kratom are similar to those of opioids and can trigger feelings of euphoria and sedation, as well as induce a dreamlike state. The regular use of kratom can lead to the development of physical and psychological dependence.
Kratom and Opioids
The similarities between the effects of kratom and opioids are due to their impact on similar neuropathways in the brain. Resultantly, withdrawals from kratom can be just as demanding as opioid withdrawal, potentially leading to severe anxiety, depression, and cravings.
Regrettably, some people falsely claim that kratom can cure heroin addiction and the associated withdrawal symptoms. Despite these claims, attempting to use kratom as an alternative to heroin or opioids can be extremely dangerous and provoke drug dependence. In such cases, medical detoxification and ongoing treatment programs are necessary to overcome the addiction (substance use disorder).
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
Discontinuing kratom use can trigger both physical and mental symptoms, resulting in kratom withdrawals. Research shows that those who regularly use kratom are likely to experience mild or moderate kratom withdrawal symptoms upon moderating or discontinuing use.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with moderate to severe kratom dependence may include:
- Depressed mood
- Disturbed sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Hot flashes
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
How long do kratom withdrawals last, then?
Kratom Withdrawal Timeline
The severity and duration of kratom withdrawal can vary greatly depending on several factors, including biology, genetics, history of addiction, method/length of use, and any co-occurring medical or mental health conditions. Environmental factors like chronic stress or trauma may also impact the severity of symptoms and the overall recovery timeline when withdrawing from kratom.
Here is a general timeline of what individuals may experience when detoxing from kratom:
- First 12 hours: During this time, you may experience flu-like symptoms and heightened symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Days 1 to 3: Symptoms typically peak during this time, and you may be most at risk of relapse due to the discomfort experienced when getting off kratom.
- Days 4 to 7: The most severe symptoms generally start to subside during the end of the first week of kratom detox.
- Week 2 and beyond: While the worst of the symptoms typically subside within one week, milder symptoms may linger for several months or even years, especially for heavy kratom users. Psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, mood swings, and cravings can also persist.
How Bad Is Kratom Withdrawal?
While kratom withdrawal symptoms are generally not life-threatening, there are still risks associated with the process:
- Hallucinations occur rarely, but they can be dangerous if you are not in a safe environment.
- Mood swings during withdrawal can lead to poor decision-making and accidents.
- Nausea and vomiting can cause dehydration and other complications.
- Severe cravings and distress may prompt relapse. Kratom relapse may result in overdose.
- Kratom use can be life-threatening if combined with other drugs or medications
How can you ease kratom withdrawal?
How To Get Through Kratom Withdrawal
Dealing with kratom withdrawal on your own can be difficult and potentially dangerous. Fortunately, there are detoxification programs available that offer a safe and supportive environment for a successful detox. These programs provide structured care and 24/7 support from a team of medical professionals who will assess your physical and mental well-being and provide appropriate treatment as you withdraw from kratom.
The benefits of undergoing a medically supervised kratom detoxification program are numerous. Firstly, you are ensured increased safety, as medical professionals are always available to help during complications. Beyond this, the risk of relapse is significantly lower under supervised care. Additionally, undergoing detoxification in a controlled environment helps to prevent the potential complications and health risks associated with attempting to detoxify from kratom alone.
During a supervised kratom detox, medical professionals can prescribe medications to help manage the physical discomfort and symptoms associated with kratom withdrawal. These medications can make the process of detoxification and withdrawal more bearable for patients.
If you have been using kratom and have a co-occurring mental health disorder, it may be necessary to enter a treatment program that specializes in dual diagnosis conditions – we can help you with this here at California Detox. Integrated dual diagnosis treatment allows for a more specific diagnosis and treatment plan that can be completed at a faster rate. Treating both addiction and mental health conditions concurrently is proven more effective than treating them separately.
While it is possible to manage kratom withdrawal symptoms at home, it is strongly recommended to seek professional medical care for a safe and successful detoxification.
There are nevertheless some steps you can take to help manage your discomfort during kratom withdrawal. Keep in mind that these remedies are not a substitute for medical treatment, and if your symptoms are severe or persist, you should seek medical attention. Here are some tips that may help:
What Helps With Kratom Withdrawals?
- Take an OTC pain reliever: If you’re experiencing muscle aches and fever, an OTC pain reliever like Tylenol can help alleviate your symptoms.
- Stay hydrated: Vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating can cause dehydration, so it’s essential to drink plenty of fluids, including water and electrolyte-replenishing solutions during detox.
- Use anti-diarrheal medication: Over-the-counter drugs can help stop diarrhea.
- Eat small, frequent meals: Eating small, frequent meals and sticking to a bland diet can help ease stomach discomfort and nausea during kratom withdrawal.
- Try antiemetic medication: Antiemetic medications may help ease nausea and vomiting. Ginger tea or candied ginger may also help soothe your stomach.
- Get enough rest: Try to get a full night’s sleep and take a nap during the day if you feel the need. This may help reduce irritability and anxiety as your system normalizes after discontinuing kratom use.
- Apply heat or cold: Applying heat or cold to sore muscles can help alleviate muscle aches.
- Use relaxation techniques: Breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga can help improve pain, anxiety, and insomnia as you withdraw from kratom.
- Engage in hobbies and activities: Participating in activities you enjoy can help keep your mind off your withdrawal symptoms. Have books, movies, and music on hand.
- Talk to a friend: Talking to a friend or family member or having someone over for a visit can help provide emotional support and serve as a good distraction.
And now for the best news – kratom withdrawal may be aggravating, but it’s also fairly fleeting.
How Long Does Kratom Withdrawal Last?
Studies show suggests that those who experience kratom withdrawal report that symptoms typically appear after 12 to 48 hours of the last use of kratom. Kratom withdrawal symptoms last from 1 to 3 days, although in some cases kratom withdrawal may last for a week.
Get Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction at California Detox
At California Detox in Laguna Beach, we understand that addiction can impact anyone, regardless of their background or circumstances. That’s why we offer a variety of treatment programs for those struggling with physical dependence or a diagnosable addiction to prescription medications, alcohol, or illicit drugs.
Prompt intervention that begins with our supervised medical detox program is the smoothest pathway to inpatient or outpatient rehab and long-term recovery from kratom abuse. Benefit from access to medications to streamline withdrawal and mitigate cravings, while also addressing the issue of physical dependence. From there, we offer several treatment programs to help you continue on the path to recovery, including partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and dual diagnosis treatment programs.
At California Detox, we believe in a whole-body approach to addiction recovery. All of our treatment programs provide individualized treatment that combines evidence-based interventions and holistic therapies. This includes MAT (medication-assisted treatment), group counseling, individual counseling, psychotherapy (CBT and DBT), family therapy, and holistic therapy.
If you or a loved one is battling kratom addiction, call admissions today at 949.694.8305 for immediate assistance and take the first steps towards a brighter future.