7 Kratom Withdrawal Important Facts (Timeline Included)
Kratom is an herbal supplement made from the leaves of a tropical tree. The scientific name of the tree is Mitragyna speciosa. The National Institutes of Health states that the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa contain two compounds that are at times used to market botanical products and substances containing Kratom extract. These compounds are 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine.
The compounds interact with opioid receptors in the brain and produce pleasure, sedation, and reduced pain. Long term use of Kratom can result in dependence. If you stop taking the herbal supplement, you can experience withdrawal symptoms. The following is a guide on Kratom withdrawal, the symptoms you may experience, and how you can do to deal with it.
Can you get addicted to Kratom?
Proponents of Kratom say that it is not possible to get addicted to it. However, data and the actions of authorities in different countries and some states in the U.S.A. suggest that continuing abuse of Kratom can lead to addiction. Some people develop severe Kratom dependence and cannot work or engage in other useful activities without taking the botanical substance first. Kratom can affect brain chemistry in a similar manner to the way opioids do, and this leads to addiction. The potential signs of being addicted to Kratom include:
- Lacking self-control on using Kratom or neglecting responsibilities in order to use it.
- Taking Kratom as a crutch to complete activities.
- Continuing to take Kratom despite experiencing psychological or physical side effects.
- Risky use of Kratom, such as when operating machinery or driving.
- Social withdrawal.
- Finding it necessary to increase the dosage to get the effects you desire.
What causes Kratom withdrawal?
Kratom withdrawal occurs when one gets dependent on the botanical substance and stops using it. Dependence usually develops as users build a tolerance to Kratom’s effects. At that point, users begin taking Kratom in higher doses and more often to achieve the same results. The body adapts to the presence of the herb over time and may not function normally without a certain amount in the system. The drive to continue abusing Kratom can lead to compulsive use or addiction despite the negative repercussions.
If you have developed a tolerance to Kratom and you stop using it abruptly, you can experience withdrawal symptoms because your body must adjust to functioning without the herb. If you have taken Kratom for many years and in high doses, the chances of experiencing withdrawal symptoms are higher. Most people find it challenging to quit opioids because they fear to go through withdrawal. They keep using the drugs in an attempt to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Kratom withdrawal symptoms and signs
Many people take Kratom to relieve pain and experience euphoria. Others use it to wean themselves off alcohol and opioid drugs. If you develop a dependence on Kratom, some of the withdrawal symptoms you may experience when you attempt to stop taking the herbal supplement include:
- Muscle aches
- Cravings for Kratom
- Physical tremors or jerky body movements
- Emotional changes
- Aggressive behavior
- Lacking the desire to eat food
- Dilated pupils
- Runny nose
These symptoms can be intense or mild, depending on how heavily and how long you have taken Kratom. Generally, Kratom users experience more severe withdrawal symptoms if they have used Kratom heavily.
Health risks and medical complications of opioid withdrawal
Researchers have not yet studied Kratom withdrawal symptoms thoroughly. However, the primary psychoactive alkaloid symptoms in Mitragyna speciosa are similar to those found in opioid drugs in both effects and structure. The symptoms of opioid withdrawal are not life-threatening. Nonetheless, opioid withdrawal can cause a few medical complications or health risks such as:
- Imbalanced electrolyte and fluid levels – Vomiting and diarrhea coupled with poor nutrition, can cause dehydration or disturbance in the body’s balance of electrolytes.
- Risks of relapse – You can choose to take Kratom to eliminate the discomfort you feel because of opioid withdrawal. Relapses can lead to overdose and even death.
- Aspiration risks – It is possible to experience gastrointestinal distress because of acute opioid withdrawal. If you happen to vomit and inhale the churned food and fluid in your stomach to your lungs, you may be at risk of developing pneumonia and lung inflammation.
The timeline for Kratom withdrawal
Researchers have not come up with a distinctive timeline for Kratom withdrawal symptoms. However, Kratom withdrawal is similar to withdrawal from other opioids. Typically, the opioid withdrawal timeline is about seven to ten days.
- Within the first 24 hours after taking Kratom – Withdrawal symptoms begin. You may experience increased cravings for Kratom and anxiety. Furthermore, you may experience other symptoms like muscle aches, agitation, insomnia, runny nose, and yawning.
- Two to four days – As you go through the Kratom withdrawal, the symptoms above can intensify and peak between the 2nd and 4th days. Other withdrawal symptoms that may occur during this stage include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, goosebumps, and dilated pupils.
- Seven to ten days – The symptoms of Kratom withdrawal begin subsiding after seven to ten days.
How long does Kratom withdrawal last?
It takes some time to go through the stages of Kratom withdrawal. Generally, the duration and severity of symptoms are related to your mental health, behavior, and biology. Research on Kratom effects and addiction is still going on because researchers have not yet discovered everything about Kratom. However, the timeline of Kratom withdrawal is similar to the withdrawal symptoms people feel after ceasing to take opioids. Generally, symptoms of Kratom withdrawal can appear in six to twelve hours after quitting cold turkey. The symptoms can become severe 72 hours after you took Kratom and subside after around five to seven days. Other factors that can determine how long Kratom withdrawal lasts include:
- Frequency of the use of Kratom.
- History of abusing substances.
- Individual psychology and age.
- Medical history, such as pre-existing conditions.
- If you mixed Kratom with another drug
Coping and Relief
Some people may find it hard to cope with Kratom withdrawal. You can quit Kratom by going cold turkey or by tapering your dose slowly. Tapering means consuming Kratom less frequently and in smaller doses progressively for some weeks. Some people opt for a moderate tapering strategy, while others want to cope with withdrawal within the shortest time possible. Regardless of what you choose, the following are tips to help you make the withdrawal more tolerable.
Speak to your doctor
Inform your doctor about the desire to stop taking Kratom and that you are experiencing symptoms similar to opioid withdrawal. Your physician can prescribe detox medicines that may help alleviate symptoms like nausea and anxiety.
Try over the counter medications
Over the counter medications can help you deal with some symptoms of Kratom withdrawal. They include sleep aids, antidiarrheals, and pain relievers.
Any form of exercise, including brief walks outside, can eliminate some discomforts associated with Kratom withdrawal. Walking is an excellent way of distracting yourself from cravings and eradicate excess tension.
Write down the reasons for quitting
It is advisable to write down the reasons for quitting Kratom. Keep the list handy and refer to it when the cravings hit.
What helps with Kratom Withdrawal?
The first step you need to take to stop abusing Kratom is detoxification. Your symptoms may not be life-threatening, but you can gain several benefits from joining a Kratom detox program. For instance, you can participate in a medically supervised detox program that uses medications to lessen or treat your symptoms and address any underlying problems like depression. Detox centers eliminate or minimize the effects of Kratom withdrawal through medicine and medical supervision. Generally, standalone detoxification centers do not offer treatment beyond detox but can help the participant transfer to a substance abuse treatment program.
Detox alone is insufficient to treat Kratom withdrawal. After detox, it is imperative to seek ongoing addiction treatment so that the chances of a relapse are minimal. Inpatient treatment is ideal. It usually incorporates detox as the initial part of the recovery program. Inpatient treatment also involves continuing support, treatment, and care after detoxification is complete. In such a program, you reside in a recovery center and participate in the program for 30 to 90 days. The treatment can also last longer than this, if necessary. During your stay at an in-patient treatment facility, you can participate in group therapy, individual counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and 12 step groups.
Partial hospitalization – This strategy of dealing with opioid withdrawal symptoms is also referred to as day treatment. It is an effective recovery option for people who gain from the intensity of an inpatient program but have to return home in the evening. The treatment options, structure, and support of a partial hospitalization program can be useful for you if you have completed an inpatient program, and you are starting the transition to living normally. Hospitalization is often reserved for the most severe cases and emergencies like overdoses.
Outpatient treatment – This treatment option is relatively less intensive than residential or inpatient treatment approaches, but it still helps people to deal with withdrawal symptoms or recover from an addiction. If you choose this method, you will live at home and continue with your daily activities while attending treatment one of a few times per week. You will participate in most of the same procedures that inpatient programs perform.
Medications – Some medications are useful for treating Kratom withdrawal and addiction. They include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, antidepressants, and antianxiety medications.
Is it possible to detox at home?
In most cases, Kratom withdrawal symptoms are mild, like a bad cold. You can deal with Kratom withdrawal at home unless you have special medical needs. If you are expectant, inform your OBGYN that you use Kratom as soon as possible.
If you have abused drugs in the past and found it hard to quit, speak with a doctor before you stopped Kratom. If you have been taking Kratom to help you quit taking opioids, the risk of a relapse is higher. Opioid relapses can be dangerous because of changing tolerance levels.
You can also use online resources when going through Kratom withdrawal and you are planning to quit. It is advantageous to communicate with other people who have experienced withdrawal symptoms. There are many active discussion boards on Reddit, which have helpful information for people going through Kratom withdrawal.
As with other opiate problems, request your doctor to provide you with a prescription for Narcan, which is an opioid overdose reversal drug. Some individuals attempt to use over-the-counter medications or going cold turkey to detoxify from Kratom at home. However, even though these drugs can help with some symptoms, especially if the withdrawal is not severe, the best way to detox from Kratom is by seeing a doctor. The primary concerns with detoxing at home are psychiatric or medical complications and relapse. When withdrawal becomes uncomfortable or painful, the urge to take Kratom to eliminate the symptoms becomes unbearable.
Some individuals can also be at risk of suicidal behaviors/thoughts, violent behaviors, and emotional disturbances. If you participate in a rehabilitation program, the risk of relapse is lower or nonexistent. Health practitioners in healthcare facilities can treat the symptoms and any mental/medical health problems. The most comfortable and safest way to detox from Kratom is to seek professional medical care. Healthcare professionals can monitor your symptoms, choose the right prescription medicines, and treat any complications which could arise.
Finding a detox center
It is advisable to seek help at a reputed detox center to deal with Kratom withdrawal. The professionals at such a facility can help you select a treatment program that can meet your needs. You need to have the following information handy.
- The area you live in
- History of drug use. This includes Kratom and other drugs, how much you use them, how often, and the dosage.
- Psychiatric/medical disorders or potential problems that require treatment.
- Information about insurance coverage.
- The type of program you prefer, such as inpatient or outpatient.
Getting long term treatment
If you use Kratom to treat a mental health disorder like anxiety, depression, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it is advisable to see a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist. The expert can combine prescription medication and therapy to help you manage the symptoms of mental health disorders better than Kratom.
Most people start using Kratom with great intentions. For instance, they consider Kratom as a safe and natural way to treat anxiety, pain, or increase energy. However, with regular use, Kratom can start to take over the lives of the users. When this happens, you need to quit. Quitting is challenging, but with help from your doctor, friends, and family, you can deal with the withdrawal symptoms and stop taking Kratom.