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Kratom Addiction: Dangers, Side Effects, & How to Quit Kratom

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

February 16, 2024 (Originally Published)

May 23, 2024 (Last Updated)

Table of Contents

With the rising popularity of kratom, it comes as no surprise that more and more people are reporting an addiction to kratom ranging from mild to moderate.

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.

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

Many people struggle with quitting kratom once they’ve become dependent on it. However, treatment is available to help overcome dependence and addiction to kratom. Read on to learn more about the risks of this new drug, and how to deal with kratom withdrawal.

If you find you can’t quit kratom by yourself, treatment facilities like our California drug rehab are here to help.

How Addictive is Kratom?

Kratom is legal in the United States. It is a herbal substance that can create opioid-like stimulating effects in those who use it. People have raised concerns about the dangers of this drug even though it is marketed as safe.

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

Side effects can be especially difficult to deal with for individuals who take kratom products for addiction management. Trying to replace stronger opioids and other illicit drug use with the “milder” drug is a risky process.

There is no current research showing that kratom is addictive. And some studies do show that the drug can help manage symptoms of opioid use disorder or opioid withdrawal. However, issues arise when individuals decide to take their addiction recovery into their own hands with kratom. Seeking professional assistance is always your best bet when it comes to something like addiction.

In many cases, the kratom can just serve as a replacement substance for them. They become dependent on it, and many people are left wondering how to stop taking kratom.

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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).

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. They 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 healthy alternative ways to cope with stress.
  • Stay accountable and motivated: Keep a journal to track your progress. This will help remind you of the reasons why you want to quit kratom. Celebrate each milestone and stay focused on your long-term goals.

Quitting any substance is not easy. 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.

How to Taper Off Kratom

If you’re trying to figure out how to taper off kratom, follow this step-by-step guide to do so safely and effectively.

Weaning Off Kratom Guide

1. Consult a Healthcare Professional: It’s crucial to seek advice from a healthcare provider who can assess your situation and provide personalized guidance.

2. Gradual Reduction: Slowly decrease your kratom intake over several weeks. This gradual approach helps minimize withdrawal symptoms. Start by reducing your dose by 10-20% every 3-5 days.

3. Manage Withdrawal Symptoms: Common withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, anger, and muscle aches. Stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, and consider over-the-counter remedies. Besides this, going to a professional detox is always a recommended option.

4. Seek Support: Joining a support group or seeking counseling can provide emotional support.

5. Stay Active: Engaging in regular physical activity can boost your mood and reduce stress.

Remember, every individual’s experience with kratom withdrawal is unique. Tailoring the weaning process to your specific needs and circumstances is important.

What Helps With Kratom Withdrawal?

Kratom withdrawal can be challenging. However, there are several strategies to help alleviate the symptoms and make the process more manageable. Here are some tips to ease kratom withdrawal:

1. Hydration: Staying well-hydrated is essential during withdrawal. It helps flush toxins from your body and keeps you feeling better overall.

2. Nutritious Diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is vital. It can support your body’s recovery and boost your energy levels.

3. Over-the-Counter Remedies: OTC medicines can be beneficial for this stage. Withdrawal symptoms like headaches and nausea can be alleviated with medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

4. Exercise: Regular physical activity can be beneficial during withdrawal. It can help reduce stress, improve mood, and promote better sleep, which can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

5. Professional Help: Consulting with a healthcare professional or addiction specialist may be highly recommended. It can provide you with personalized advice and, if necessary, access to medication-assisted treatment options that can ease withdrawal symptoms.

6. Relaxation Techniques: Practices like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can help manage stress and anxiety associated with withdrawal.

To learn more about how to overcome kratom withdrawal, read our related blog post today.

A man sits with his hand on his head to represent kratom addiction and kratom withdrawal.

Kratom Addiction FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions people ask about kratom and kratom addiction:

Can you get addicted to 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.

Can kratom make you feel depressed?

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

How long does it take to get addicted to kratom?

kratom addiction potential and timelines are different for everyone. However, with continued, unmonitored use, an addiction will set in quickly.

Who can help me figure out how to get off kratom?

A healthcare professional can help you figure out how to safely and effectively learn how to taper off kratom. They can provide guidance, support, and possibly medication-assisted treatment to ease withdrawal symptoms and aid in recovery.

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Kratom Addiction Treatment at Renaissance Recovery

At Renaissance Recovery, we are dedicated to addressing the pressing issue of kratom addiction. Our specialized outpatient treatment programs can help set you up for long-term recovery.

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, allowing you the flexibility to return home in the evenings.
  • IOP (intensive outpatient program): With our IOP, you can receive support while maintaining your daily responsibilities and commitments.

At Renaissance, we believe in a holistic and evidence-based approach to addiction treatment. Programs like individual and group counseling, dual diagnosis, medication-assisted treatment, and more can all help treat kratom addiction. We also offer family therapy options to help family members better learn how to help their loved one.

If you are looking for kratom addiction help, reach out to our admissions team at 866.330.9449. We can help you embark on your journey to a healthier, happier future.

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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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