Kratom Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline & Treatment for Kratom Withdrawal
There is a misconception that naturally sourced products are not harmful or addictive. Many believe they are safe to use compared to more potent substances like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. The above-listed drugs are indeed more dangerous, but naturally sourced products are not without danger.
Many plant-based drugs have psychoactive effects that can lead to several dangerous side effects and addiction. Currently, one such natural substance has been becoming popular in our country. It is known as kratom.
Kratom is a legal substance (in most states) that is available as a dietary or herbal supplement. Some believe it can provide a pain-relieving effect besides increasing physical energy and talkativeness. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public regarding the possible side effects of kratom.
Kratom Withdrawal: What is Kratom?
Kratom is a common name for a tropical tree named Mitragyna speciosa. It belongs to the Southeast Asian region and is indigenous in countries like Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
The leaves of this tree contain psychotropic effects that have a mind-altering nature. People from these countries have been chewing on these leaves for centuries. It has been used since the 19th century and has been smoked, chewed, and used in tea-making. People claim that kratom leaves help fight fatigue, alleviate pain, increase productivity, and are an alternative to more addictive drugs like opioids.
Kratom Withdrawal: A Short History of Kratom
Kratom was introduced to Western nations via colonial rule connections. In the 19th century, a botanist named Pieter Willem Korthals discovered the existence of kratom. He worked with the Dutch East India Trading Service and brought kratom to this part of the world.
In today's time, kratom is a topic of a lot of debate and controversial opinions. Even though it is sold as a mood and energy enhancer and even to treat opioid addiction, many questions are attached to it. The psychoactive kratom leaves are known by terms like thom, kratom, biak, madat thang, herbal speedball, kakuam, and maeng da leaf.
The legality of kratom varies by country and region, but in the United States, it is considered a dietary supplement and is legal to purchase and consume. However, some states have passed legislation regulating access to kratom.
It's important to note that while kratom is not illegal in most parts of the world, it can still be dangerous if used improperly. For this reason, it's important to be aware of any potential risks or side effects when taking kratom and follow the recommended usage instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Additionally, if you're considering using kratom for medicinal purposes, it's always best to consult a healthcare professional first.
Kratom Withdrawal: Is Kratom Addictive?
Kratom is a tree native to Southeast Asia and is often used in traditional medicine. It has gained popularity in recent years as an herbal supplement due to its potential for providing mild relief from pain and anxiety. However, there have been some reports of people becoming addicted to kratom, leading many to question whether or not it's addictive or not.
The answer to this question is complicated, as it depends on a variety of factors. For example, the type of kratom you use and how much you take can influence its addictive potential. There are also certain compounds in kratom that may increase one's risk for addiction if used in high doses or regularly over a long period of time.
Research into kratom addiction is ongoing, but it's important to be aware of the potential risks associated with using this supplement. It's recommended that you use kratom only occasionally and in moderation.
Additionally, if you're experiencing any withdrawal symptoms after stopping the use of kratom, such as anxiety or cravings for more kratom, it's best to seek medical advice right away.
Kratom Withdrawal: What is Kratom Like?
Kratom leaves contain two types of compounds, namely mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine. These compounds communicate with our brains. The interaction with our opioid center results in the generation of stimulating effects. The higher the dose, the more pleasure, pain relief, and sedation a user feels. Even though kratom does not belong to any drug class, the effects are very similar to that of opioids.
Lower doses of kratom lead to stimulant-like effects such as elevated mood, high energy, and enhanced awareness. People who are in favor of kratom claim that kratom can become an alternative medication or herbal treatment to manage opioid withdrawal symptoms.
However, official and scientific studies have not provided the abovementioned claims. There is no evidence to determine whether kratom is safe and effective in reducing cravings and symptoms. NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) has mentioned that a few people have reported having short and long-term effects because of kratom abuse. These include respiratory issues, cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal disease, and psychiatric conditions.
A small number of kratom-related deaths have taken place in the US. Most of them were said to be because of polysubstance abuse or contamination. This is why kratom has not been restricted yet.
There are different types of strains in kratom. These strains have been named according to their drying method, origin, and harvesting process. Similar to the strains of marijuana, kratom, too, has varying effects. Most of the reports are anecdotal, and more research is required. A few of its strains include Maeng da, Bali/red vein, Green Malay, Borneo, Malaysian, and Thai.
In today's market, various kratom-based products range from capsules, powders, and gum to tea.
A few studies have claimed that people who use kratom regularly can develop an addiction to kratom. In fact, they also experience kratom withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop their usage. It is vital to identify the initial signs of kratom addiction. It can save a person a lot of troubles and health complications.
If you have doubts about someone having this problem, watch out for the following signs and symptoms:
Inability to stop using kratom even when you want to
Overlooking familial obligations and professional duties
Low productivity on every front
Development of tolerance
Using despite negative outcomes
Increasing the frequency of usage
Lost interest in activities you once enjoyed
Exhibiting risky behavior
Experiencing kratom withdrawal symptoms
Kratom Withdrawal: What are the Risks of Kratom Use?
People must understand the risks that are posed by kratom-sourced products. Various national and international agencies have time and again shown concern regarding them. FDA has warned the users along with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and NIDA supporting it.
Some of the dangers associated with kratom are:
The first concern is related to contamination. Since kratom supplements are not approved by any governmental agency, it is possible to contaminate them. Few researchers have found that many herbal supplements related to kratom contain harmful bacteria and heavy metals.
Harmful Side Effects
Secondly, reports of numerous adverse side effects range from mild to severe intensity. The milder side effects include dizziness, nausea, constipation, and drowsiness. The more severe side effects are related to neurological and mental problems, heart and lung conditions, liver issues, and gastrointestinal problems.
Thirdly, kratom can be dangerous when a person abuses multiple substances. A few reports have shown that kratom has poorly interacted with prescription medications. This has led to liver disease and even death. There is a lack of evidence, but kratom's long-term effects include liver-related issues.
Kratom Withdrawal: Are There Signs of Kratom Addiction?
Some commonly associated signs of kratom addiction are:
Mood-related side effects include euphoria, calmness, and enhanced well-being. Some behavioral side effects are increased talkativeness and better social behavior. Psychological effects can range from increased motivation and alertness to psychosis. Lastly, physical health can be impacted due to increased libido, itching, nausea, sweating, constipation, sleepiness, dry mouth, pain relief, energy, sunburn sensitivity, and urination.
Many people associate kratom abuse with opioid addiction because of the withdrawal effects. There is a strong possibility of users experiencing kratom withdrawal symptoms like depression, seizures, constipation, liver damage, hallucination, depression, vomiting, depression, cravings, loss of appetite, diarrhea, tremors, restlessness, cramping, disturbed sleep, anger, nervousness, sadness, tension, and chills. These will set in once a person stops their regular kratom dosage. Let's learn more about it below.
How Long Does Kratom Withdrawal Last?
The length of kratom withdrawal symptoms can last from person to person. The duration depends on the individual factors and level of dependency they have created because of kratom. Some of these factors are the user's biology, genetics, history of abuse and addiction, level of dependency, length of abuse, and manner of abuse.
Besides this, there are also instances of polysubstance abuse where more than one substance is being consumed by an individual. This substance doesn't necessarily have to be narcotic. It can range from medications to alcohol. Certain environmental factors like trauma, abuse, and chronic stress can increase the severity of the addiction.
It has been noted that users who use kratom experience kratom withdrawal symptoms within 12-48 hours from the last dose. The symptoms will subside from 1 to 3 days. In a few cases, it can extend up to 3 days or more.
Can Kratom Withdrawal be Helped?
Medical detox is the only way to manage and treat kratom withdrawal symptoms. This procedure takes place in a specialized facility where many addiction experts and physicians ensure that your symptoms do not intensify. They provide round-the-clock supervision besides giving medical care, both physical and mental. Let's learn more about kratom withdrawal and addiction treatment below.
Kratom Addiction Treatment & Recovery
The first step towards seeking treatment for kratom abuse and addiction is asking for help. This can be one of the toughest decisions one to make in their life. So, asking for help is the very first and most vital step. After this, the detoxification process comes in.
Detox is a medical procedure in which a patient is assisted to get off the drug safely and smoothly. As per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), detox involves three steps.
Screening: The first is to evaluate and screen the substance in the bloodstream and other health issues.
Stabilization: The second is to stabilize the withdrawal symptoms that set in as soon as the drug usage is stopped. Various medications are used for this.
Developing a Treatment Plan: Lastly, is to commit to the treatment plan made by the experts. It is the pre-treatment phase of the patients.
The purpose of this treatment is to allow the patient to live a normal, healthy, and addiction-free life. People generally pay attention to the physical damage sustained by addiction but forget to address the mental deterioration because of it. The therapies and counseling sessions help manage this aspect of kratom addiction.
Therapy sessions are conducted by either psychologists, counselors, or psychiatrists. A wide variety of therapies are available to treat behavioral alteration because of addiction. These therapies help a patient identify their destructive patterns. It also allows the patients to learn how to cope with the trigger points.
Some addiction cases do not have any approved medication, and they have supplementary prescription drugs to treat the underlying conditions, such as anti-depression medications. Thankfully, this is not the case with kratom addiction.
A few medications can be given to manage the withdrawal symptoms. These meds are dihydrocodeine and lofexidine (Lucemyra). They are typically given during opioid addiction but work with this type too. It has also been stated by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) that anti-anxiety drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and antidepressants can be beneficial.
Think You Have an Issue with Kratom? The Edge Treatment Center Will Help
Most people like to think that addictive substances are made in the laboratory and are human-made. However, many natural products or semi-synthetic substances are made from organic sources. Cannabis-based and kratom-based products are perfect examples of naturally sourced products.
If you or someone you care about is facing substance addiction, it is best to seek professional medical treatment. Hundreds of drug rehab centers cater to the needs of people who suffer from substance use disorder (SUD). The Edge Treatment Center will help you or a loved one treat kratom addiction. We’ll help you navigate kratom withdrawal as well.
Our drug rehab is a certified dual-diagnosis facility. We offer comprehensive treatment to those who suffer from SUD and those who are going through co-occurring disorders like anxiety and depression. We provide multiple drug rehabilitation programs, behavioral counseling, medication-based therapies, aftercare plans, support groups, and alternative treatments.
If you’d like to know more about our evidence-based treatment for kratom abuse and more, reach out to The Edge Treatment Center today.