The Reality of Kratom Addiction

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

There is a considerable amount of misinformation about kratom on the Internet. Knowing the facts about this substance, including the signs of kratom addiction, can help you stay safe or get help if you need it.

What is Kratom?

Kratom is the common name of the tree Mitragyna speciosa. It is also the name of a drug that is derived from the leaves of this tree. 

In the Southeast Asian nations where the kratom tree is indigenous, people have been using kratom (the drug) for centuries. Workers commonly chew the leaves to elevate their mood, ease pain, and boost their energy level. Practitioners of traditional medicine in these areas also use the substance for a variety of healing purposes.

Kratom’s effects can be similar to those of both stimulants and opioids. Its stimulant-like effects can include an energy boost, increased motivation, and greater talkativeness. The drug’s opioid-like effects can include improved mood, alleviation of pain, and sense of sedate relaxation.

Some sources suggest that the effects a person feels are related to how much kratom they have taken, but that has not been conclusively proved.

Why Do People Use Kratom?

Among people in the United States who use kratom, their reasons for doing so are similar to the traditional uses of the substance:

  • To relieve pain
  • To improve their mood
  • To increase their energy
  • To achieve a recreational high
  • To ease the distress of opioid withdrawal

Kratom did not begin to become popular in the U.S. until relatively recently. In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced that it intended to add kratom to its list of Schedule I controlled substances. However, in March 2017, the agency revealed that it would not be moving forward with that decision. 

This leaves kratom in somewhat of a legal grey area in the U.S. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved kratom for any medical purpose, but there are also no federal laws restricting its sale, use, or possession. Some states have banned it or established age minimums to purchase the substance, while others have placed no limits on it.

Is Kratom Addictive?

Yes, contrary to what some people believe, it is possible to develop kratom addiction. 

Health experts have linked kratom use with a variety of physical and mental health dangers, including:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Elevated heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Breathing problems
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Addiction

When someone develops kratom addiction, they can lose the ability to control how much of the drug they use or how often they use it. This can increase their risk for serious, potentially irreversible harm.

What Does Kratom Addiction Look Like?

If you suspect that someone in your life has developed an addiction to kratom, keep a lookout for warning signs such as:

  • They seem to need kratom in order to experience joy or deal with stress.
  • When they can’t use kratom, they become irritated, agitated, or even angry.
  • They have started to use kratom in ways that are particularly dangerous, such as by combining it with alcohol or other substances.
  • They have stopped participating in hobbies or other important activities due to their kratom use.
  • Their performance at work or in school has taken a downturn as a result of their kratom use.
  • They have incurred some type of harm (such as health problems, difficulties at work, or the end of a relationship) due to their kratom use, yet they continue to use the drug.
  • They need to use larger amounts of kratom to achieve the effects they are seeking.
  • They want to stop using kratom, but when they try to do so, they develop withdrawal symptoms that quickly push them back into active use.

Someone who exhibits these or other signs of kratom addiction should consult with their primary physician or another qualified healthcare provider. Completing an assessment and receiving an accurate diagnosis can be vital steps on the path to improved health.

Kratom addiction is a treatable condition, but people who don’t get proper care may find it difficult to end their compulsive use of this drug.

Kratom Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms can be a significant obstacle on the path to recovery from kratom addiction. 

Kratom withdrawal isn’t usually as painful as opioid withdrawal, nor does it pose the health risks that are associated with alcohol withdrawal. But that doesn’t mean it is easy to get through, especially if you try to withdraw on your own, without professional help.

Common kratom withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills and hot flashes
  • Excessive sweating
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Tics and tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Depression

These types of symptoms can quickly overwhelm your desire to stop using kratom, which is why entering a detoxification program can be such a beneficial step. 

When you’re in detox, you will be in a safe, drug-free environment, under the care of professionals who can help you manage your drug cravings and deal with other withdrawal symptoms.

How Can Kratom Addiction be Treated?

Kratom addiction treatment can take many forms, depending on your unique needs and goals. One of the first decisions usually involves determining which of the following levels of care are right for you:

Within these various levels, you may take part in a range of therapies and support services, such as:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Neurofeedback therapy
  • EMDR therapy
  • Holistic therapy

It’s important to remember that kratom addiction isn’t simply a physical or biological concern. To achieve lasting recovery, you also need to address the emotional, psychological, behavioral, and social aspects of this disease.

The post-detox phases of treatment are designed to help you develop the skills and strategies that will support your successful, long-term recovery.

Contact Renewal Health Group About Kratom Addiction Treatment

Renewal Health Group offers a full continuum of personalized care for adults who have become addicted to kratom and other dangerous substances.

At our center, you can work in close collaboration with a team of highly skilled experts. These compassionate professionals will help you identify the root causes of your addiction struggles. They will then provide the customized services that will empower you to build a healthier future for yourself, free from compulsive kratom abuse.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact page or call us today.