What Is In Kratom
Kratom is sold in powder form and can be taken in capsules or made into a tea: some states even have bars devoted to it.
One of the substances found in kratom leaves, mitragynine, interacts with receptor systems in the brain to produce stimulant effects. Mitragynine and another compound, 7–hydroxymitragynine, interact with opioid receptors in the brain, producing the pleasurable, pain-reducing effects of opioids, especially when users consume large amounts of the plant.
It is sometimes advertised as safe kratom, and touted as able to relieve everything from anxiety to diabetes. Proponents believe kratom can be a lifesaver for opioid addicts since you dont need a prescription to get it, and it may help reduce withdrawal symptoms. To date, however, there have been no well-controlled scientific studies showing that kratom is effective for opioid abuse withdrawal or any other conditions in humans. There is also no research on how kratom may interact with other medications.
Q: Why Do People Use Kratom
A: Precisely because kratom interacts with the brains opioid receptors, some people use it to relieve pain or overcome opioid addiction. Medical communities now try to shy away from opioid use for pain, so many patients who previously relied on them no longer can. Scrambling to find alternatives, some people turn to kratom, which is a compelling replacement because it has similar pain-relieving effects.
People tend to think that kratom is safe because its natural. Its also legal and easily obtainable in many states without the stigma attached to narcotics.
Learn More About Kratom Addiction Treatment And Recovery Today
Recovering from kratom addiction can be difficult, but it is not impossible, by any means. Attempting to quit on ones own can be hard and many people are not successful with that method. It is far too easy for them to just go back to using to relieve their withdrawal symptoms. But professional treatment can set people up for success.
Have you been abusing kratom? Have you grown dependent upon it or addicted to it? If so, you are not alone. So many people have found themselves in the same situation, and for them, going through detox and rehab was a life-changing experience. The same can be true for you. All you need to do is take that first step and ask for help.
Would you like to know more about kratom addiction? Do you have questions about our addiction treatment program? Please contact us today.
Also Check: How To Beat Cigarette Addiction
Kratom Addiction Withdrawals What Does Detox Look Like
Kratom withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of opiate and opioid withdrawal, though typically milder. Medically-managed detox usually makes for a safer and more comfortable experience, as doctors can evaluate your needs and put you on a safe and effective tapering schedule, gradually weaning you off kratom.
This method reduces the severity of withdrawal on your body, reducing the risk of long-term damage.
Detection Window For Kratom
The average amount of time kratom will trigger a positive test result can vary greatly due to a number of factors, from the overall health of the person being tested to the method of consumption and how much was consumed. The average detection window of kratom tests is as follows:
- Urine Test: 5-14 days: This is the most common type of test for kratom.
- Blood Test: 3-72 hours: This test is not typically used due to its brief detection window.
- Hair Follicle and Saliva tests: While these types of testing are theoretically possible, they have not been pursued nor extensively studied.
You May Like: Should Recovering Drug Addicts Drink Alcohol
Is Kratom Physically Addictive
This is another facet of kratom addiction that you may want to know. Some types of substances quickly cause an individual to experience withdrawal symptoms, causing physical addiction. Other drugs can remain only as a psychological addiction for a while.
Since kratom produces the same analgesic effects of opioids, as well as supposed relief from anxiety and depression, it is possible to get physically addicted. There are withdrawal symptoms associated with heavy kratom use as well, which will be discussed in detail below.
Cycle Through Other Herbs & Supplements
As far as herbal supplements go, kratom is certainly among the most powerful. Its power is also the reason that its one of the most important herbs to avoid taking every day.
Instead of taking kratom every day, you can alternate, taking kratom one day and a different herb the next. Or, even if you are an everyday user, consider staggering your doses in between other herbal supplements.
Try to avoid getting in the habit of taking these herbs and supplements in conjunction with your kratom. This might lead you to develop a habit with both of them!
Here are some examples of herbs that synergize well with kratom. When you start hankering for some kratom, reach for one of these instead.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To Percocet
What Does Kratom Do
Pharmacologically, kratom acts in a similar way to substances such as opioids and caffeine. The effects are however less pronounced. Kratom consumption reportedly produces analgesic, euphoric and stimulating feelings among its users.
The active substances in kratom, 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine, which are contained in kratom, are thought to act as an agonist at the mu- and delta-opioid receptors as well as alpha-2 adrenergic and 5-HT2A receptors in the brain to create a strong analgesic effect. These are the same receptors impacted by opioids and some other drugs.
The pure alkaloid mitragynine increases the excitability of the craniosacral and sympathetic parts of the autonomic nervous system, as well as increasing the excitability of the medulla oblongata and motor centers of the CNS. A strong dose of kratom can create a pronounced analgesic and sedating effect, however if the required dosage is exceeded, then blurring of vision, nausea and vomiting are also possible. A weaker dose has slightly stimulating properties that resemble caffeine without certain effects such as rapid heartbeat. Reportedly, it relieves light pain, helps focus and increases physical endurance.
Things To Look For In A Kratom Detox Program
Three of the biggest challenges to recovery are:
- Many people struggling with addiction fear the pain and discomfort during the withdrawal period of a Kratom detox
- The anticipation of being judged or looked down upon keeps them from reaching out for help
- And the thought of repairing all the damage that has been donebruised relationships, damaged credit, tarnished public recordscan give people a sense of, This is impossible, so why bother.
It all comes down to confidence and comfort. If the person doesnt feel confident they can actually recover, theyre not likely to try to beat their addiction. And if they do try, if the person is feeling discomforteither from the aches and pains of the withdrawal or the perceived shame and guilt from their peerstheyre setting themselves up for failure. When choosing a Kratom detox program, here are the three important things to look for:
Recommended Reading: How To Get An Addict To Seek Help
Withdrawal Symptoms When Kratom Is Physically Addictive
When a person who is addicted to kratom stops taking it, they often experience withdrawal symptoms. Which ones and how long they last depend on the severity of the addiction, but common ones include:
- Runny nose
- Jerking arm and leg movements
- Cravings for the drug
The withdrawal symptoms that occur when a person stops taking kratom are similar to those experienced when detoxing from opioids but generally dont last as long. Withdrawal symptoms typically start within 12 to 48 hours of the last dosage of the drug and last from three to five days. The emotional symptoms and the cravings often last a week or more after the other symptoms have subsided.
What Influences How Long Kratom Stays In Your System
As with any substance, there are quite a few variables that would determine or influence how long kratom would stay in a persons system. Some of the factors that can determine the elimination time and, ultimately, how long it will stay in your system include:
- Age: Older people tend to have a longer elimination half-life than younger people. This is the case with kratom as well as with most orally-ingested substances. This is usually due to factors such as renal function, age-related physical changes and the use of other medications. Its safe to assume that if youre older, and particularly over the age of 65, kratom will stay in your system longer than it would in a younger person.
- Body fat: Another personal characteristic that can play a role in how long it takes kratom alkaloids to be eliminated is the persons percentage of body fat. The mitragynine in kratom is very fat-soluble, which means individuals with a high body fat percentage will likely retain the kratom metabolites longer than someone with a lower body fat percentage.
- Genetics: Certain genetic markers and enzymes may play a role in the speed at which kratom is eliminated from the users body.
- Food and water intake: If you were to take kratom with a high-fat meal, it could lead to faster absorption, which could also speed up how long it would take the substance to reach its peak concentration levels. If youre well-hydrated, it can also play a role in how long it takes for kratom to be excreted via urine.
Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Stop An Addiction
What Is Kratom Detox
The good news is that there is a safe way to recover and avoid relapses moving forward. A Kratom detox program backed by medical treatment, in a safe environment, supported by a caring community can help you get your life back on track. And with aftercare programs designed to mend relationships, rebuild finances, and feel whole again, it is possible to build a bright future. A full recovery is possible its never too soon to start a Kratom detox program.
Does Kratom Show Up In A Drug Test
One of the biggest reasons that many people decide to use kratom, especially as opposed to other opioids and substances, is that they believe it wont show up on drug tests. Kratom doesnt show up on many standard drug tests like the SAMHSA-5, but some kratom alkaloids can be detectable on certain drug tests, such as urine or blood tests. Because blood tests provide a shorter detection window for substances and are more invasive, its more likely that a urine test would be conducted. There is a specific kratom drug test called the kratom 10-panel drug test that can be given as well.
Suhaimi, Farah W et al. Neurobiology of Kratom and its main alkaloid mitragynine. Brain Research Bulletin, March 25, 2016. Accessed July 16, 2020.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.
Read Also: How To Get Off Pain Medication Addiction
What Are Some Of The Problems With Kratom
There is little to no control or reliable information on the growth, processing, packaging, or labeling of the kratom sold in the US, which adds to the already considerable uncertainty of its health risks. In 2018 the FDA instituted a mandatory recall over concerns about Salmonella contamination of kratom-containing products. The DEA has recently placed kratom on its Drugs and Chemicals of Concern list, but has not yet labeled it as a controlled substance.
Kratom can be addictive due to its opiate-like qualities, and a small minority of users end up requiring addiction treatment. The CDC claims that between 2016 and 2017, there were 91 deaths due to kratom, but this claim should be greeted with skepticism, as all but seven of these casualties had other drugs in their system at the time of death, making it impossible to uniquely implicate kratom.
Signs Someone Is Addicted To Kratom
Signs someone is on kratom and potentially addicted include:
- Someone who is addicted to kratom may start to withdraw from school or work, and their performance in these areas might start to decline.
- One of the biggest signs of kratom addiction is using the substance often. When someone uses high doses on a regular basis or uses kratom many times throughout the day, they are more than likely not only addicted, but also potentially dependent on it.
- People who are addicted to kratom and other drugs often stop associating with friends and family and may prefer to be alone, or may find new social groups, often who are also users of drugs or substances like kratom.
- With kratom abuse, the person who is addicted will often put a lot of their time, energy, money and overall focus toward obtaining more of the substance. They will become preoccupied with obtaining more kratom, to the detriment of other areas of their life.
- When people are addicted to kratom, they may feel like they cant function normally without it.
- A big sign of kratom addiction is being defensive, secretive, or evasive when asked about its use.
- People who are addicted to kratom tend to feel like they cant stop and are unsuccessful if they try, or they keep using it, even when there are adverse effects on their health and the rest of their life.
Seeking addiction treatment can feel overwhelming. We know the struggle, which is why we’re uniquely qualified to help.
Read Also: How Do You Know If You Have An Addiction
Kratom For Opiate Withdrawal
If youre using kratom for managing opiate withdrawal, you should space your doses out as far as you can while avoiding the most serious withdrawal symptoms. This could be a space of 6 hours or a space of just 4 hours. It varies from one person to the next and according to the severity of your opiate addiction. The goal here is to have the longest spacing you can stand before taking another dose.
Over time, the amount of time you can wait between doses will increase eventually bringing you to a point where you dont need kratom at all.
Enlisting the help of someone that you love and trust can help with this. Find a dose that you can remain stable at and ask your loved one to bring your next dose every 4-6 hours.
Why Bother Spacing Out Your Doses
There are two main reasons for intentionally spacing out your kratom doses to provide consistent effects all day long and to reduce issues with dependency and addiction with long-term use.
The half-life of mitragynine is roughly 24 hours, which means that 24 hours after the first dose, only half the mitragynine content has been metabolized. You can titrate the doses in a way that maintains consistent doses of the kratom alkaloids in your bloodstream by taking a new dose every 12 hours.
This is the same concept used by doctors prescribing antidepressants, which have a similar half-life of about 24 hours.
Related: Kratom Dosage Guidelines.
Recommended Reading: What Drugs Are The Most Addictive
Other Names For Kratom Include:
Kratom shares an alkaloid with opioids, which is known to interact with your brain chemistry. It is weaker than traditional opioids, approximately 1/10th as potent as morphine. Depending on the size of doses you take, kratom can have different effects.
In small doses , kratom functions as a stimulant, producing effects such as:
- Increased energy, libido, and alertness
- Calmness, euphoria, and a sense of well-being
- More talkative, or increased desire to be social
At higher doses , kratom functions more like the opioids we already know, with effects like:
- Relief from pain, depression, and/or anxiety
- Nausea, loss of appetite, and constipation
- Sensitivity to sunburn, itchiness, and sweating
- Insomnia, tremors, and hallucinations
Why Do People Take Kratom
People take kratom for the pleasant and stimulating effects it can produce. The drug produces a high that is similar to that associated with opioids or stimulants.
When large amounts of kratom are taken, opioid-like effects may occur:
- Feelings of pleasure
Smaller doses of kratom are known to produce more stimulant-like effects on the brain:
- Increased energy
- Increased sociability
Proponents of kratom believe the supplement is a natural way to increase energy, enhance mood, relieve pain, and even ease the discomfort of opioid withdrawal. When used by healthy individuals in small doses, these claims may be true. Medical and substance abuse professionals warn against experimenting with kratom, however, as it can be both unsafe and ineffective.
Read Also: How Do Meth Addicts Act
How Bad Is Kratom Withdrawal
The lack of kratom regulation or quality control makes it hard to determine the exact doses that someone is taking. Higher doses of kratom will produce more intense withdrawal symptoms. Similar to opioid withdrawal, the longer kratom is used and the larger the amounts used, the greater the withdrawal symptoms will be.
For a more exact look, a collaborative study performed by the Universiti Sains Malaysia and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany seems to be definitive on this matter. They surveyed 293 regular kratom users and found that of those who used kratom for more than 6 months, more than half developed severe dependence. The average amount of the active metabolite mitragynine in the kratom drinks these subjects were taking was 79mg per drink. Those that had 3 or more kratom drinks per day had a much higher chance of developing kratom addiction, withdrawal, and cravings. Finally, the withdrawal symptoms become more intense the longer the drug is used.
The intensity of kratom withdrawal symptoms is linked to the length of time it was used and the amounts used. Depending on the amounts used, kratom withdrawal can be expected to fall somewhere in the range of 4 to 7 days. The less kratom used, the less intense the withdrawals were and the shorter the symptoms persisted.