Kratom is a substance that you may notice at some herbal stores and smoke shops. It derives from the leaves of a Southeast Asian tree that is often turned into a powder. While many drink it as an herbal tea, it can be injested in other ways. Many people enjoy the feeling that kratom gives them, but the truth is that it is an opioid, and it will likely become an illegal substance.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, kratom is chemically similar to stimulants and opioids. The leaves contain two compounds that naturally interact with the brain’s opioid receptors. These compounds are 7-a-hydroxy mitragynine and mitragynine.
As such, many people find that they experience overall relaxation, reduction in pain, increase in alertness, and less anxiety. They report feeling happy and euphoric just 10 minutes after ingesting. Most people find that the effects last for about 90 minutes, but the length depends on how much you consume, your metabolism, your body size, and many other factors.
This is why people enjoy using kratom, but there are many potential side effects that are concerning.
Kratom Side Effects
Like many other substances, kratom may cause side effects if you use it. Many of the side effects are mild to moderate, but some can be more severe. If you feel any of these side effects, then you should consult your doctor, stop using the substance, and consider medical detox. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.
According to the NIDA, the most common side effects of using kratom include:
- Dry mouth
- Itching and sweating
- Loss of appetite
- Increased urination
These are the most common side effects of kratom. If you feel any side effects not listed above, then you should still consult your doctor and consider discontinuing use.
Overdosing on Kratom
Since many consider kratom an opioid, you might be wondering if you can overdose on kratom the way you can overdose on opioids. According to the NIDA, there have been fatal overdoses for those who use kratom, but it’s currently unknown whether kratom itself was involved in the overdose. Many of those people examined for kratom overdoses were also using other substances. The overdose potential of kratom is still under investigation.
Kratom Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms
Much like the overdose potential, kratom is still being investigated to discover how addictive it is. According to the NIDA, some people are reporting addiction whereas others are not. There is also a high chance of facing withdrawal symptoms that are similar to coming off other opioids.
The NIDA says that the most common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Hostility and irritability
- Mood swings
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches
- Uncoordinated movements
If you are attempting to discontinue kratom and you are facing withdrawal symptoms, then consider seeking medical detox.
Legality of Kratom
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, there are movements to classify kratom as an illegal substance. According to the DEA, there is evidence that kratom has the ability to become addictive. Due to this, many of the legal loopholes are closing. Depending on your area and current legal proceedings, kratom may either already be illegal or might be soon.
Unknown Medical Benefits
Kratom is sometimes marketed as a safer alternative to opioids. Some people will use kratom to experience opioid-like effects under the thought that it is safer for them. Others use kratom to mitigate the withdrawal effects of heroin and other opioid substances, believing that kratom helps with opioid addiction.
There are currently no known medical or health benefits for kratom. Medical professionals do not use it for medication-assisted treatment (MAT). It is also not used for any other reason in the medical field due to the chance of addiction, the side effects, and the withdrawal effects. While these possibilities may change in the future, kratom is currently not considered safe for use and is not approved for any medical reason.
As a natural opioid, it can be difficult to stop using kratom without cravings or withdrawal symptoms occurring. A medical detox means that your symptoms will be managed by a medical professional as you come off the substance. Medical detox is highly recommended if you were using kratom to discontinue use of heroin or another opioid substance.
Normally a medical detox involves using medications to help your body wean off the substance with minimal or no withdrawal symptoms. This method more comfortable since the symptoms are being managed, and tends to reduce overall cravings as your mood usually won’t be as affected as compared to stopping cold turkey.
If you are attempting to discontinue kratom, opioids, or any other substance, then you should consider our medical detox service. This ensures that your symptoms are monitored and that you come off the substance with the least amount of discomfort.
Remember that medical detox is only part of the program. This ensures that the substance is no longer in your body, but it doesn’t necessarily stop cravings, triggers, or the mental aspects of use. It is highly recommended that you seek therapy in order to manage substance use.
Intensive outpatient, or IOP, therapy is very commonly used when it comes to opioid use disorder. This type of therapy ensures that you meet with like-minded peers who are seeking recovery as well. This group therapy gives you enough time to explore your triggers and cravings while finding suitable coping skills to aid in your recovery.
IOP group therapy typically meets three times a week, and each session is three hours long. A licensed clinician guides the group so that every member gains something from the session. Along with sharing and learning about yourself, you will also learn from your peers and the information that they share.
While IOP therapy is considered one of the most common and effective types of therapy for kratom and opioid use disorder, there are other levels of care depending on your needs.
Residential and Partial Hospitalization Treatment
If IOP has either proven unsuccessful or if you feel that it’s not enough to care for your needs, then you may want to consider partial hospitalization or residential treatment. Both of these allow you to live at our facilities as you recover from the use of opioids or any other substances.
Partial hospitalization allows you to spend the day at our facilities as you attend group therapy, meet with your counselor, and do activities that are aimed at bolstering your recovery. You will spend the day in treatment, but you can go home during the night.
There is also residential treatment. This is a higher level of care where you live at the facilities both day and night. Much like with partial hospitalization, you will be attending therapy sessions and doing activities that help you recover. These opportunities give you the ability to explore yourself further so that you better understand your cravings and triggers. Not only that, but you will be away from common stressors that may have compelled you towards substance use.
If your symptoms are very mild or if you are stepping down from IOP or another higher level of care, then you may want to consider outpatient treatment. This level of care allows you to live your life, work, and sleep at home as you do everything you normally do each day. Outpatient treatment involves meeting your therapist once or sometimes twice a week for an individual session. Your therapist will support you while teaching you coping skills for stress management. This gives you a place to discuss challenges while ensuring you have the treatment you need in order to maintain your abstinence.
If you have only ever had kratom and no other substances, then outpatient therapy might be enough for your needs. This could be adequate for mild cravings, but anything more intense might require a higher level of care
Granite Recovery Centers
We have been helping people just like you recover from substance use for over 10 years. Our treatment programs aid you in recovering from numerous substances, and we offer almost every level of care that you can think of. From weekly individual sessions to inpatient programs that allow you to get away from your stressors, we have the resources you need to effectively recover.
We are here to help you get back to your life without substances. Contact us, and we will see which level of care is best for you. Your input is very important, and we will create a treatment plan that puts your needs first.
Along with assisting with numerous substances, our treatment programs also treat those with a dual diagnosis. Dealing with more than one condition is quite common and has become more recognized. Dual diagnosis clients are those who suffer both from substance use disorder and a mental disorder, such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, and PTSD. Our skilled clinicians will help you properly recover from both conditions so that you can better live your life.
Our treatment programs also work in conjunction with our 12-step programs. We commonly connect our clients with local 12-step groups in order to bolster recovery and to ensure that you have a sober support network. The most common 12-step groups are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, but there are many other groups, and we can help you find the right one.
Kratom is under intense scrutiny because it is a natural opioid that seems to have a high addiction potential and possible overdose potential, and it is thought to cause withdrawal symptoms. While some people use kratom either as a safer opioid compared to heroin or to mitigate the withdrawal symptoms from opioids, kratom is not considered safe or medically appropriate. If you are attempting to stop using kratom, opioids, or any other substances, then contact Granite Recovery Centers, and we can help you.
No matter what your needs are, we urge you to contact us and to discuss your needs. We will lend an empathetic ear and connect you with the treatment services you need to properly recover.