Drug Use

Kratom Withdrawal: What to Know About Kratom Addiction & Treatment

Seeking relief for muscle aches and pains without the use of prescription drugs leads many people to self-medicate with homeopathic medicine and supplements. Kratom, relatively new in the marketplace, is a popular herbal remedy for its wide-ranging benefits.

Some users report positive results, such as improved mood and pain relief, while others experience adverse reactions ranging from irritability to more serious issues like high blood pressure. The impact of kratom on a person's mental, physical, and behavioral health can vary widely among individuals and is a topic of study for researchers.

Overview of Kratom

Derived from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa, a tree in the coffee family native to Thailand, Malaysia, and other countries in Southeast Asia, kratom has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its medicinal and therapeutic effects. Kratom is most often consumed in powder form when brewed as a tea but is also available in liquid tincture, capsule, tablet, and gummy form.

The active ingredients in kratom (mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine) bind to opioid receptors in the brain, producing stimulant, sedative, and analgesic effects. Kratom is also considered effective for helping people recover from opioid addiction. Ironically, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports kratom use can lead to psychological and physiological dependence, resulting in a kratom addiction.

Although kratom supporters claim the supplement improves their quality of life by easing symptoms, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns kratom is unregulated. The DEA has listed kratom as a Drug and Chemical of Concern.

Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms to Know

Kratom produces a mild stimulant effect in low doses and sedative properties in very high doses. Moderate to high doses are associated with opioid-like effects, offering relief for acute and chronic pain, and are seen as an alternative to prescription painkillers or opioids. Kratom is also used for managing certain mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, and opioid withdrawal symptoms.

However, regular use of kratom can result in dependence on the herb, bringing its own set of withdrawal symptoms. If you or someone you love takes a kratom product and are experiencing any of the following symptoms of withdrawal when you discontinue use, you may have a kratom addiction.

  • Achy muscles and joints
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) issues such as nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea

  • Hostility
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Jerky limb movements and tremors
  • Mood swings
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes

Research shows the most commonly reported withdrawal symptoms are similar to opioid withdrawal and include nausea, diarrhea, and muscle cramps.

Kratom Withdrawal Timeline: How Long Does it Last?

The types and severity of kratom withdrawal symptoms depend on the strength, frequency, and duration of dosing, the form of kratom taken, and the overall health and wellness of the individual. Similarly, the onset and duration of withdrawal symptoms will vary among individuals depending on their severity of dependence.

6-12 Hours: Individuals hoping to stop their kratom addiction can typically expect withdrawal symptoms to begin within 6 to 12 hours after their last dose.

1-3 Days: In more severe cases, withdrawal symptoms peak within 2 to 3 days. During this critical, painful time, individuals must resist the strong urge to relapse.

Days 4-7: The most severe withdrawal symptoms will clear during the final 4-7 days.

Primarily, individuals who have a moderate to severe dependency on kratom will experience longer and more serious withdrawal symptoms for an extended withdrawal process. Researchers report kratom users who consume excessive amounts of kratom daily have a higher chance of developing severe kratom dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and kratom cravings.

A complete kratom detox and resolution of GI complaints and sleep issues may take several weeks, with symptoms gradually improving. There is also the potential for mood swings and other lingering psychological effects.

How to Treat a Kratom Withdrawal

Correct treatment of kratom withdrawal symptoms can lead to a successful recovery from kratom use. Because the kratom withdrawal process can mimic an opioid withdrawal, seeking guidance from a healthcare provider is advisable. Care providers can help minimize the risk of relapse and ensure the safe management of withdrawal symptoms.

The science surrounding the treatment of kratom withdrawal is relatively new; however, following care plans using evidence-based therapies that work well with opioid dependencies can be a successful approach.

Caron offers comprehensive kratom dependence treatment programs by addressing physical dependencies and cognitive and emotional reasons for using kratom. We employ a combination of addiction treatments, including supervised detoxification, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical-behavior therapy (DBT), and cognitive processing therapy to help those with a Kratom dependence recover.

During detox, adequate rest, hydration, and a balanced diet can contribute to recovery and help individuals feel better faster.

Experience a Breakthrough at a Caron Treatment Center

If you or a loved one are struggling with overcoming a kratom addiction, Caron can help you get your life back. Caron’s team of experts creates comprehensive and individualized treatment programs, including medical detox and individual, group, family, and behavioral therapy.

Contact us today to learn more about detox and management of withdrawal symptoms.

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