Kratom, a plant-based substance, is well-known for its effects similar to opioids. Although many people would consider kratom a ‘milder version’ of opioids, there are still side effects related to the frequent use of this plant. Can kratom be addictive? How can you treat a kratom addiction? Read to learn more.
Is Kratom Addictive?
Many people are wondering, “Is kratom a drug, and is it addictive?”. Kratom is a tree, of which its leaves are used as a form of recreational drug and medicine. Kratom contains a substance called mitragynine, which has components similar to opioids. Although a milder version, kratom may also be addictive and may be unsafe when used regularly.
If you are asking, “Can you get addicted to kratom?” the short answer is yes. The properties of kratom medication bring pain-relieving effects similar to opioids such as codeine and morphine. Some people may use kratom as a form of withdrawal drug to battle heroin addiction, but this may lead to a kratom drug addiction instead.
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.
How Addictive Is Kratom?
Many are under the impression that kratom is not as addictive as other drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Thus, they use kratom as a withdrawal drug to stop addictions from other stronger substances. This strategy may be counter-effective because kratom also contains properties similar to opioids, which could indicate that the substance may be habit-forming.
Additionally, there are several factors that put a person at risk for addiction to kratom:
- Sensitivity to substances: People have varying sensitivity to drugs. A highly sensitive person may achieve a great effect with a small dosage, while those who are less sensitive may need to take in more to get the same effect.
- Age: Teenagers who use substances early on are more likely to suffer from heavy drug use later in life.
- Gender: More men can be addicted to kratom, but women can develop a kratom dependence than their male counterparts.
- Frequency of use: People who use kratom more often have a higher chance of developing a kratom addiction compared to those who use them sparingly.
How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To Kratom?
The answer depends on the factors mentioned above. It is a case-to-case basis, and there is no single answer for all kratom users. The length of time that it takes to get addicted to kratom depends on your:
- Body type,
- External influences,
- Mode of administration,
- Other medical conditions, and
- Amount of the drug you are taking.
Some people will get addicted to kratom after taking their first dose. Others will develop a slowly-creeping substance abuse problem after years of use, only to realize that they’re already dependent on the drug. The question is not a matter of how long before you develop an addiction, but what you would do about it.
If you are worried about getting addicted to kratom, this post will serve as your guide to understand its effects, signs that you have an addiction, and how you can get help.
Just like any other substance, kratom can be addictive when used regularly. There are varying levels of drug abuse, which start from tolerance, moving to dependence, and ending in a full-blown addiction.
The earliest signs of an impending addiction is kratom tolerance. At this stage, the person may start taking increasing doses of kratom in order to achieve the same effect. This phenomenon happens because the body is getting used to having mitragynine in its system. Thus, it sends signals that the person needs to take in more dosages to experience similar results.
If you are having concerns about developing a kratom tolerance, try to take note or remember how much kratom you used initially. If you notice an increasing dosage over time, this may indicate that you have developed a kratom tolerance.
The second stage of developing an addiction to kratom is dependence. At this point, you may be experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms which can prevent you from quitting kratom use.
Wondering about the specific withdrawal symptoms related to kratom? To better understand kratom withdrawal, here are some signs and symptoms you need to look out for:
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
- Muscle pain: Kratom is an analgesic, which means a part of its withdrawal symptoms include experiencing the initial pain you have been experiencing before taking the drug.
- Insomnia: This drug is also known as a relaxant. Without its function in the body, the person may suffer from sleeplessness as well.
- Fatigue: Muscle pains and other types of discomfort can also cause fatigue.
- Nausea and vomiting: As the body is used to having kratom in its system, its way of sensing a sudden change is through nausea and vomiting.
- Anxiety and depression: Kratom is also used by some people to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression. You may find yourself slipping through your previous mental state or worse if you stop taking the drug.
Other related withdrawal symptoms of kratom abuse are watery eyes, hot flashes, restless legs, and muscle tremors. If you experience any of these physical and emotional symptoms when you stop taking the drug, it is possible that you have a kratom dependence.
Kratom Abuse Symptoms
At this point, you may find yourself unable to stop using kratom on your own will. You will also notice these signs and symptoms of kratom abuse:
- The need to use the drug regularly: You always have the urge or cravings to use kratom regularly or even more than you intended to.
- Wanting to maintain a supply of kratom: You may want to keep a regular supply of kratom. Worry fills your mind if you don’t get the supply you need.
- Loss of interest in daily activities: Your mind is filled with thoughts about getting or using kratom, that you lose track of your daily tasks or other responsibilities.
- Increase in risky behaviors: You may also find yourself engaging in dangerous activities such as being a reckless driver, mixing drugs and alcohol, or committing crimes in relation to kratom use.
- Changes in appearance: Kratom abuse leads to changes in lifestyle. Thus, you find yourself doing less self-care tasks or consume unhealthy food. You might have drastic weight changes, have dry skin, sunken eyes, and other bodily issues you haven’t experienced prior to drug use.
- Changes in personality: Kratom can cause hallucinations and delusions when taken in large amounts. You may also have a sudden change in personality such as being easily agitated, anxious, or depressed.
- Having withdrawal symptoms: If you attempt to quit using kratom, you experience varying withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea, flu-like sensations, vomiting or muscle tremors.
When kratom addiction is not treated, it is possible to suffer potentially life-threatening consequences of a drug overdose. There is no strong scientific evidence that kratom is an effective drug for long-term pain relief, or for anxiety and depression. It may also be unsafe to use kratom with other drugs and alcohol.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a kratom addiction, know that you can get help. At Sunshine Behavioral Health, our centers offer top-notch rehabilitation procedures that can help you get rid of a kratom addiction safely and effectively.
What Can I Expect From A Kratom Addiction Treatment?
Kratom addiction treatment consists of several steps. Whether you are recommended to have an inpatient service within a rehabilitation center or have an outpatient program, here are some of the things you can expect when you seek for help:
The first step in kratom addiction treatment is having detox sessions. The main purpose of detox is to rid the body’s dependence on mitragynine, the active component responsible for kratom addiction.
You can expect to be admitted within the rehabilitation facility as you gradually stop taking kratom. Medical staff is present to ensure that your vitals are within normal range and you are not experiencing any life-threatening effects of withdrawal.
It is normal to experience some discomfort during kratom detox. The body is readjusting and coping without your use of the drug. Once you are stable even without kratom, the detox session will end and the treatment proper begins.
At this stage, inpatients and outpatients will follow a combination of programs that are custom-fit to their needs. These can include sessions of therapy, recreational activities, sports, support groups and holistic treatments that are available within the confines of the rehabilitation center. In Sunshine Behavioral Health centers, we offer a wide range of treatment programs that the patient can choose from:
- 12-Step Treatment
- Non-12-Step Treatment
- Faith Treatment
- Holistic Treatment
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Dual Diagnosis
These programs can be taken simultaneously depending on the needs of the patient. If you choose certain types of treatments, you will be oriented on what they are, how long you will be taking them, and what you can expect by undergoing the program.
Aftercare programs are created to ensure the success of recovery. There are studies that show that continuing care produces positive treatment results compared to intensive treatment programs with no follow-up.
Some of the aftercare programs that Sunshine Behavioral Health center offers are:
- Installation in support groups
- One-on-one or group counseling
- Continued psychotherapies
- Nutritional and fitness plans
The goal of aftercare is to lessen the chances of kratom relapse while increasing the likelihood of long-term recovery.
Kratom Addiction Recovery? Yes, It Is Possible!
If you’ve come to realize that Kratom addiction has taken control of your life, know that you are not alone. There are others like you who have struggled, persevered, and overcame. It may feel like a long road to recovery, but it is possible to win this battle.
Talk With One Of Our Treatment Specialists . Call 24/7: 949-276-2886
- WebMD – Kratom: Uses, Side Effects. Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens – Your Environment May Influence Drug Use.
- Arthritis Foundation – About Analgesics, Acetaminophen, Opioids.
- Mayo Clinic – Kratom: Unsafe and Ineffective.
- US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health – Continuing Care Research: What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Going.