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Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Because kratom produces effects similar to opioids, the plant has traditionally been used to relieve pain. Used in higher doses, however, it can lead to liver damage, seizures, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, and even death. Continue reading for more vital information on kratom’s risks, withdrawal symptoms, and how our experts can help you find the right detox program for you or a loved one.

What Are Kratom’s Risks?

Kratom comes from the leaves of a tree which contains a chemical with dose-dependent, opioid-like effects. It is sold as a gum, extract, or green powder.Although kratom may have certain desirable effects, it can also cause a number of negative consequences. Some of the unwanted or dangerous short-term effects of kratom use include:6,7

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Constipation.
  • Sedation.
  • Itching.
  • Aggressive behavior.
  • Irritability.
  • Anxiety.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Seizures.

Kratom can also be dangerous because it is unregulated, which means you can never be fully sure what you are taking. Some kratom samples have tested positive for other opioids, such as hydrocodone or tramadol. Kratom can also be dangerous when taken in combination with other legal and illegal drugs (such as alcohol, sedatives, opioids, stimulants, or cannabinoids), but little research exists to show exactly what those dangers are.6,9

Kratom Addiction Potential

Long-term kratom use can lead to dependence, which means that you need the drug to function and avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Continued kratom use can also lead to addiction, which is a chronic, relapsing condition characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior. If you are addicted to a substance, you continue to use the drug despite the negative consequences.

What Is Kratom Withdrawal?

Kratom withdrawal happens when you are physically dependent on it and suddenly try to stop using or dramatically cut down your use. Many people find the withdrawal symptoms so uncomfortable that hey keep using kratom to prevent or ease these symptoms. One study found that half of regular kratom users developed severe dependence problems, while 45% showed a moderate dependence. The higher the dose used, the more likely the person was to develop a more severe dependence.5

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Kratom Withdrawal?

Going through the stages of kratom withdrawal can take some time. Though we still don’t know a lot about kratom addiction and withdrawal, the withdrawal timeline is fairly similar to the withdrawal timeline for other opioids. In general, symptoms:

  • May appear 6 to 12 hours after quitting.
  • Peak in intensity 72 hours after last dose.
  • Slowly get better after around 5 or 7 days.

These stages are not fixed in time, and depend on factors such as:

  • Your history of substance use.
  • How much and how often you use.
  • Personal medical history.
  • Age.
  • If you use other substances.

How Can I Deal with Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms?

If you’re dealing with kratom addiction or withdrawal symptoms, you may find relief and help in addressing your substance use. The first step for many patients is detoxification, or detox for short. Professional medical detox programs help care for acute symptoms of withdrawal, as well as sketch out a course for further recovery efforts. There are two main detox settings:

It’s important to note detox programs also differ in other respects, from location and pricing to visiting hours policy and level of care offered. If you or a loved one needs help understanding treatment options, call American Addiction Centers today at .

Sources

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Kratom.
  2. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2018). Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on the agency’s scientific evidence on the presence of opioid compounds in kratom, underscoring its potential for abuse.
  3. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2018). In the News: Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa).
  4. Post S., Spiller H., Chounthirath T., & Smith G. (2019). Kratom exposures reported to United States poison control centers: 2011–2017, Clinical Toxicology, DOI: 10.1080/15563650.2019.1569236
  5. Singh D., Müller C., Vicknasingam B. (2014). Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) dependence, withdrawal symptoms and craving in regular users, Drug and Alcohol Dependency, DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.03.017
  6. Prozialeck, W., Jivan, J. & Andurkar, S. (2012). Pharmacology of kratom: An emerging botanical agent with stimulant, analgesic and opioid-like effects. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 112 (12), 792-799.
  7. Drug Enforcement Administration. (2017). Drugs of abuse: Kratom. Springfield, VA: Drug Enforcement Administration & U.S. Department of Justice.
  8. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2015). Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) drug profile.
  9. Consumer Reports. (2018). The dangers of taking kratom.
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