Kratom Addiction and Detox

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Depending on who you ask, there have been many stories as to Kratom’s efficacy. Just like with any other substance, it can be debated whether it is effective because it is harvested from a natural source or it is too close to an opioid to be used in the medical realm. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years in Eastern medicine but is fairly new to the scene in the United States. With Kratom being surrounded by so much uncertainty and backed by an in adequate amount of research, the debate continues. However, the facts do support the fact that it can be addictive and cause withdrawal symptoms, resulting in the need for assistance when trying to detox.

What is Kratom and why should I stop using it?

While Kratom has no proven clinical use and is mainly utilized recreationally, it is still not regulated by the DEA (drug enforcement agency). It is, however, monitored and is listed as a drug of concern due to the deaths that have been realized because of it. It comes from a tree that is native to Southeast Asia and is consumed by chewing on the dried leaves, smoking it, or drinking it in tea form. It is a stimulant at fairly low doses but offers a euphoric high at higher strengths, much like opioids. It is often sold as a supplement and as an all-natural alternative to prescription medications to treat a variety of ailments, which include:

Despite the benefits that it may offer, it is an addictive substance and people do abuse it. On the streets, it can be especially dangerous because those who produce it may lace it with other drugs that are more potent, like hydrocodone. The potential for abuse and addiction is high, which is why many states have begun regulation it, limiting it to individuals who are either over 18 or 21. Only a few cities or states have banned it altogether. Some of the dangers involved in using Kratom include:

These are just the side effects that could occur from attempting to get high off of it not even the withdrawal from it. Since it has been shown to cause liver damage, taking it in conjunction with routine medications that are also processed by the liver can be especially problematic. Drinking alcohol while taking Kratom has been shown to increase the risk of suicide compared to those who were not chronic drinkers. Kratom has also been shown to worsen the mental state of those who already have psychological issues. 

Any substance has an addictive quality if it chemically changes the way your brain and body work. Anything can also cause a psychological addiction. When someone decides that taking Kratom just isn’t worth the negative effects, or family has decided for them, they must seek help for their Kratom withdrawal and detox.

I started using Kratom to come down from Heroin!

Calls to poison control centers from those who were concerned about their use of Kratom had seen an increase of 10 times from 2010 to 2015. Kratom acts on the opioid receptors in the central nervous system in the same manner that heroin does. Since it is essentially a natural opioid because it acts on the same receptors as prescription and illicit opioids do, there is the risk of dependence, addiction, and abuse. While it may seem like it is preferable to withdrawing from a more severe addiction, tapering down or going cold turkey are still uncomfortable. Those who have struggled with drug abuse in the past, especially if they replaced heroin with Kratom because they thought it was a better alternative, may need to talk to compassionate professionals to prevent relapse or satisfy cravings with more dangerous drugs. Treatment can help you learn to find healthy ways to replace any substance or behavior.

I was using Kratom for anxiety and depression

Perhaps you did not appreciate the idea of going to a mental health professional and found that Kratom could help. It relaxed you and improved your mood, but you started to notice unpleasant symptoms and wanted to quit. Everything went downhill from there. An outpatient drug addiction treatment program may be the best way of handling the detox and easing withdrawal that you are beginning to experience. In these programs, you will get the group and individual psychotherapy that can help you delve into past traumas or anxieties that may have led you to take it in the first place. There is always help if you look for it.

Is there medical help for Kratom withdrawal and detox?

Some people may fear that they will not be accepted into a drug addiction treatment center because Kratom is not on the scheduled drug list; however, the majority of programs do! So, what are the signs that I am going through withdrawal?

The process of eliminating Kratom from the body isn’t necessarily a life-threatening, but the discomfort that is experienced during withdrawal can lead users to relapse. Withdrawal typically starts within 12 to 48 hours of the last dose and is gone within three days. The discomfort is similar to opioid withdrawal but presents itself in a less severe fashion. When a person also has a dual diagnosis, the psychological symptoms can exacerbate the existing mental health issue. Coming down from the effects of any chemical substance is best done under the supervision of a medical professional.

Whether you tried using Kratom as a way to get yourself off of another opioid or you thought that it would help to alleviate the pain you live with every day, Kratom causes different reactions from everyone who tries it. While it might be an all-natural alternative to medications or a way to legally get high, its harmful effects have been noted through the testimonials of many users. Someone who is starting to feel the negative side effects of using Kratom or are feeling withdrawal symptoms when they try to detox themselves can benefit from the professionals at a treatment center. It is never too late to regain control and find healthier coping mechanisms than those that were offered in the use of Kratom.