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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

February 16, 2024

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Struggling with kratom addiction? You’re not alone.

While the opioid epidemic has received widespread attention, kratom addiction is also a growing concern. The FDA even issued a public health advisory in 2017 due to potential risks associated with kratom use.Kratom’s potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction can be worrisome.

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Need help getting addiction treatment?

But the good news is, help is available.  Fortunately, treatment facilities like our California drug rehab are dedicated to helping those who are addicted to kratom and want to stop using the substance.

Today, you will discover:

  • Is kratom addictive?
  • How addictive is kratom?
  • How to quit kratom as safely as possible.
  • How to connect with treatment for opioid use disorder in California.

How Addictive is Kratom?

Kratom is a legal herbal substance that can create an opioid- or stimulant-like effect in those who use it. While the drug has been widely marketed as safe and mild, there have been some concerns arise with kratom withdrawal symptoms when people stop using the drug.

More and more people are reporting their experiences with kratom causing physical dependence and leading to misuse, with the DEA calling it a “drug of concern” in the US.

Side effects like physical and psychological dependence can be especially difficult to deal with for individuals who take kratom as an addiction management tool, trying to replace stronger opioids and other illicit drug use with the “milder” drug.

There is no current research showing that kratom is addictive, and some studies do show that the drug can help manage symptoms of traditional opioid addiction. However, issues arise when individuals decide to take their addiction recovery into their own hands with kratom, rather than seeking help from a recovery program or counselor.

In many cases, the kratom can just serve as a replacement substance for them to become dependent on.

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How to Quit Kratom

If you’re someone who has become dependent on this drug, you may be wondering how to quit kratom.

Quitting kratom can pose a significant challenge, but with the right approach and support, it is possible to move beyond substance use disorder (addiction).

Kratom leaves are obtained from a tropical tree – Mitragyna speciosa – that grows abundantly in Southeast Asia. These leaves contain psychoactive properties, meaning that kratom is a substance capable of altering the mind. When consumed in small doses, kratom acts as a stimulant, while higher doses yield effects of pain relief similar to those of opioids.

The effects of kratom manifest rapidly, with a sense of calm and happiness induced in less than ten minutes. That said, regular use of kratom is also associated with various side effects, including nausea, constipation, sweating, itching, disrupted sleep patterns, and erectile dysfunction.

Some studies suggest that regular kratom use, whether recreational or to manage chronic pain, may increase the risk of dependence. Dependence occurs because the body naturally adjusts to the continuous presence of kratom. The risk of developing dependence appears to be greatest among those who frequently consume large amounts of kratom, as they try to figure out how to wean off kratom.

If you are trying to quit kratom use, here are a few tips on how to taper off kratom:

  • Set a quit date: Choose a specific date to stop kratom use. This will give you a clear goal and help you mentally prepare for the quitting process.
  • Create a support system: Reach out to friends, family, or support groups who can provide encouragement and understanding during your journey. Consider joining a support group specifically for kratom addiction.
  • Gradually taper off: Rather than quitting cold turkey, gradually reduce your kratom intake over time. This can help minimize kratom withdrawal and make the process more manageable.
  • Seek professional help: Consider consulting a healthcare professional like a doctor or addiction specialist. They can guide you through the quitting process and provide appropriate support and resources.
  • Develop healthy coping mechanisms: Identify alternative ways to cope with stress, anxiety, or pain that may have led to kratom use.
  • Stay accountable and motivated: Keep a journal to track your progress and remind yourself of the reasons why you want to quit kratom. Celebrate each milestone and stay focused on your long-term goals.

If quitting kratom has been a struggle for you, getting treatment from an addiction counselor or recovery program may be the right decision for you. Finding the support you need for quitting kratom may be the difference in you being able to put down the drug for good.

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Kratom Addiction FAQs

How addictive is kratom?

Kratom can be addictive, but the level of addiction varies among individuals. Some people may develop a dependence on kratom. Regular and prolonged use increases the risk of addiction.

Does kratom affect dopamine or serotonin?

Yes, kratom affects both dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. As well as interacting with opioid receptors, kratom also has an affinity to receptors of dopamine and serotonin, which can contribute to its mood-enhancing effects.

Can kratom make you feel depressed?

While kratom is often used for its mood-enhancing properties, excessive or prolonged use can lead to a variety of effects, including depressive symptoms. That said, individual responses may vary, and some people may experience mood improvement with kratom use.

Does kratom damage dopamine?

Long-term and excessive use of kratom has been associated with potential changes in dopamine function. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of kratom on dopamine and its long-term implications.

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Get Treatment for Kratom Addiction at Renaissance Recovery

At Renaissance Recovery Center in Southern California, we are dedicated to addressing the pressing issue of kratom addiction through our specialized outpatient treatment programs.

Discover the tailored support and comprehensive structure that suits your needs by exploring our range of outpatient treatment options:

  • PHP (partial hospitalization program): Our PHP provides intensive treatment during the day while allowing you to return home in the evenings.
  • IOP (intensive outpatient program): With our IOP, you can receive intensive therapy and support while maintaining your daily responsibilities and commitments.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment program: This program is specifically designed for individuals who are facing co-occurring disorders alongside their kratom addiction, ensuring that all aspects of their mental health are addressed.

At Renaissance, we believe in a holistic and evidence-based approach to addiction treatment. Our programs incorporate a variety of individualized interventions, including:

  • Psychotherapy: Explore the psychological factors contributing to your addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms through evidence-based therapeutic techniques.
  • Individual counseling: Receive one-on-one counseling sessions with our experienced therapists, allowing for personalized guidance and exploration of underlying issues.
  • Group therapy: Engage in therapeutic sessions with a community of individuals who share similar experiences, providing mutual support, understanding, and encouragement.
  • Family therapy: Involve your loved ones in the recovery process, fostering understanding, communication, and healing within your familial relationships.
  • Holistic therapies: Supplement your treatment with alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, art therapy, and more, promoting overall well-being and balance.
  • Aftercare: We provide ongoing support and resources to ensure a smooth transition back into your daily life, reducing the risk of relapse and promoting long-term recovery.

We understand the importance of taking that crucial first step towards reclaiming your life from kratom addiction. Reach out to our admissions team at 866.330.9449 and embark on your journey to a healthier, happier future.

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At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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