Kratom is a substance marketed as an herbal supplement that produces opiate-like effects. Often used as a medicinal substitute for opiates, many people use Kratom to treat pain, fatigue and mental health issues. While legal in many states, its addictive properties are becoming more evident as more people use Kratom today.
If you think you might be struggling with Kratom addiction, several treatment options can help. Medically-assisted treatment and psychotherapy can provide the care you need, while inpatient or outpatient drug addiction treatment programs offer support and motivation to achieve a successful recovery. Learn the symptoms, causes and treatment options for Kratom addiction so you or your loved one can get much-needed help.
“Kratom” refers to the evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia and the products derived from its leaves. These products are marketed as herbal supplements and have been used as a traditional medicinal opiate substitute for decades. By ingesting the leaves, laborers and farmers once used kratom to increase their energy, while others used it to substitute for opium.
The effects of kratom vary depending on the individual. In low doses, kratom appears to cause stimulant effects. In high doses, individuals often experience sedative, opioid-like symptoms. Kratom has become prevalent in the United States, though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved kratom for use. People reportedly use kratom to self-treat the following symptoms:
The psychoactive ingredient found in kratom leaves is often crushed and smoked, brewed in tea or placed into gel capsules to get the desired effects. Many have reported weakened withdrawal symptoms and cravings while taking kratom, especially for opioid addiction. Others have taken kratom to manage their chronic pain or for recreational purposes. Effects usually appear within five to ten minutes of taking kratom and last for two to five hours.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists kratom as a “drug of concern” in their 2017 Drugs of Abuse guide, alongside salvia and DXM, due to its potentially adverse effects. At the same time, the FDA discourages consumers from using kratom and has not approved it for medicinal use. While kratom is not a scheduled substance under the Controlled Substances Act, it can be illegal to have it or use it in some states. Kratom can lead to symptoms similar to opioid use disorder when taken long-term.
Some research supports the notion that people can develop dependence and eventual withdrawal symptoms when they quit taking kratom. This may be due to the chemical compounds in kratom that bind to and activate opioid receptors in the brain, similar to addictive drugs like heroin and prescription pain relievers.
When the body stops getting kratom, symptoms can be painful and sometimes lethal. Unsurprisingly, many people have reported becoming addicted to kratom. Drug addiction tends to develop gradually and may appear in stages:
While addiction is a chronic and complex disease, it’s highly treatable. If you’re unsure whether you or a loved one is addicted to kratom, watch for signs and symptoms to determine whether they need help. Those addicted to opioid drugs or kratom will often display specific physical, mental and behavioral changes:
The effects of kratom can appear within minutes of ingestion. While some may initially experience euphoria, increased alertness and improved energy, these effects can quickly turn negative the longer kratom is taken.
Kratom withdrawal symptoms can be very similar to withdrawal from opioid use disorder. If you’re worried that someone you know may be struggling from kratom use, watch for signs like trembling, sweating and drug cravings. These symptoms can often continue for weeks after the last dose of kratom.
Due to how uncomfortable and painful withdrawal symptoms can be, many might continue to take the drug to avoid them. This can quickly spiral into a substance use disorder characterized by a compulsive urge to obtain and use kratom.
Other physical signs of Kratom addiction might include:
Those who have taken kratom have also experienced a loss of appetite, weight loss or even anorexia. Examine your loved one’s physical appearance to see if the physical effects of addiction have taken hold. If their clothes appear baggier or they’re losing hair due to nutritional deficiency, these may be signs of an addiction.
While many have used kratom to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety, studies are inconclusive as to how beneficial kratom is for mental illness. While initial symptoms can include increased sociability and talkativeness, addiction can reverse these effects and worsen anxiety.
Watch for psychological symptoms of kratom addiction to determine whether you or someone you know is struggling:
In rare cases, kratom has also caused psychosis or a mental condition where the person may lose contact with reality. Symptoms might include hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.
As the body develops a tolerance to kratom, it can be challenging to stop taking it without experiencing withdrawal. Due to the painful symptoms that often accompany withdrawal, many will continue taking kratom and develop an addiction. When a person develops dependence, they’ll experience a physical and psychological urge to seek kratom and continue using it, resulting in several behavioral changes.
The physical effects of long-term kratom use can cause changes to a person’s daily routines and sleep habits, particularly when attempting to quit the drug. You may notice that the addicted individual has no energy to attend work or hit the gym. They may appear sluggish or tired, affecting their physical hygiene, work or school performance and causing them to withdraw from social activities.
Since excessive kratom use is also associated with irritability and agitation, you may notice your loved one avoiding friends and family members. They may find it difficult to control their moods and find it challenging to be around loved ones, leading to social isolation and sinking further into addiction.
Kratom addiction destroys lives. Get the support you need to help yourself or your loved one break free from Kratom misuse.
Overcoming a substance misuse disorder is hard, but you don’t have to struggle alone. Find supportive, evidence-based treatment at Gateway Foundation.
While you may notice kratom sold at vitamin stores or promoted in health news to improve mood, boost energy, relieve pain and solve opioid withdrawal symptoms, the truth about kratom is much more complicated. The long-term health effects of this drug are quite concerning and can contribute to addiction, overdose and even death.
Substance use disorder affects millions of people in the U.S. and can cause several adverse health effects. The mental and social impact of addiction can significantly affect individuals and the people in their lives. Often, those with substance use disorder also struggle with other mental health conditions, thereby worsening symptoms of both diseases. It’s essential to recognize the following short and long-term effects of kratom addiction to prevent these unwanted outcomes:
The short-term effects of kratom vary depending on the dosage. Some may take a higher dose to achieve opioid-like results, like sedation and decreased pain. At the same time, a smaller amount often produces stimulant effects such as sociability, increased energy and awareness.
Symptoms will usually come on quite quickly. Behavioral effects can include talkativeness and increased social behavior. At the same time, kratom can enhance your mood and lead to calmness, a sense of well-being and euphoria or extreme happiness. Physically, kratom is thought to provide pain relief, increased libido and increased energy.
While these initial pleasurable feelings may make a person likely to continue taking kratom, when physical dependence takes hold, initial symptoms will often diminish and be replaced by uncomfortable mental and physical side effects.
While kratom is natural, studies have shown that it may not be particularly safe. Dependence and addiction are some of the most dangerous effects of long-term kratom use. The physical dependence on kratom can occur gradually over time, sometimes without the user even realizing it. And similar to other drugs, withdrawal can occur when a physically dependent person doesn’t have enough of the substance in their body. These symptoms include:
These symptoms can cause a person to spiral back into kratom use and lead to an addiction. While many people have taken kratom to manage opioid withdrawal, research suggests that it may cause more problems than it solves. In fact, one study investigated the effects of kratom on a group of people when they took the drug for six months and found that subjects’ withdrawal symptoms were the same as opioid withdrawal after treatment.
Many patients even needed additional medication to ease their symptoms, including achy muscles, jerky limb movements and aggression. Medicines used to treat these symptoms were the same used for opioid withdrawal, such as naloxone, or Narcan, and buprenorphine, or Buprenex.
This study suggests long-term use of kratom can be highly unsafe and addictive, similar to other opioid drugs like heroin and morphine.
The long-term symptoms of kratom addiction can be quite uncomfortable and lead to severe mental and physical health issues. While short-term symptoms can invoke feelings of happiness and relief, the long-term symptoms can be damaging.
Two of the most common side effects of large doses of kratom are nausea and constipation. If left untreated, this can cause bowel issues and complications for those dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or other gastrointestinal conditions. While not a severe symptom, the effects can be highly uncomfortable and worsen over time.
Long-term use can also cause a loss of appetite and even anorexia, an eating disorder that involves restricted caloric intake. Anorexia results in rapid and dangerous weight loss that can become hazardous to one’s health and even lead to death.
Insomnia and hyperpigmentation of the cheeks are other symptoms of long-term kratom addiction. The person using kratom may have issues sleeping, which can cause adverse health reactions such as irritability, stress, poor concentration and loss of motivation. Additionally, kratom has been linked to severe physical health problems, such as:
Kratom has also been reported to cause abnormal brain function when combining the substance with prescription medicines. When this happens, you might lose your ability to communicate, become confused and suffer from severe headaches.
Though rare, many have overdosed on kratom, mainly when taking it with other substances like fentanyl, cocaine and prescription opioids. An overdose can cause severe physical and mental health risks for the person affected. Signs and symptoms that might indicate a kratom overdose include:
If you suspect someone is overdosing on kratom, it’s essential to seek emergency medical services immediately.
Substance use disorder is a complex disease that can develop gradually without the person even realizing it. Some may continue taking kratom as long as they aren’t experiencing adverse effects. Others might believe they have control over their substance use and not realize the emotional toll it has on their friends and family members.
If you’re unsure whether you have a substance use disorder, medical professionals can diagnose you and help you find treatment methods. If you have a loved one you suspect is suffering from this disease, consider the following general signs to determine whether they need treatment:
If you struggle with any of the above problems, it’s essential that you know you are not alone. Drug rehabilitation centers are designed to help you reach sobriety and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Don’t let your substance use disorder continue to wreak havoc on your life. Start your recovery today.
Wondering if Gateway Foundation’s kratom drug rehab center in Illinois is the right place for your recovery? Our team of specialists is here to help you regain your health and reclaim your freedom one day at a time. With more than 50 years of experience in the Illinois area, we’ve walked countless patients through recovery. Our highly qualified medical and certified counseling staff brings deep care and compassion to every interaction, providing the support you need to thrive.
At Gateway Foundation, you can count on medically-assisted treatment combined with evidence-based therapy practices. We personalize our treatment plans for each client to ensure you get the care that’s best for you. Our continuum of care approach helps to mitigate the physical, mental and emotional effects of addiction treatment. At the same time, our combination of cognitive and behavioral therapies address the underlying issues of addiction and empower you to make long-term changes. We’re not just here for your stay. We’re with you for life.
Substance use disorder can severely impact a person emotionally, mentally, socially and physically. While it’s never too late to seek treatment, the sooner your addiction is addressed both medically and professionally, the higher your chances of beating this disease.
Generally, substance use disorder treatment follows three phases — physical stabilization, therapy and recovery. Most people will need to follow a comprehensive treatment plan personalized to their unique needs. That’s why rehabilitation programs can be the optimal choice to help someone recover from substance use disorder.
Individuals who use kratom long-term can become tolerant to the drug and need larger doses to achieve the same effects. Over time, this can be detrimental to the body and cause severe withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit. That’s why it’s essential to get treatment under the supervision of health professionals. Kratom addiction treatment centers can help individuals fully address their addiction, quit kratom and maintain sobriety.
Addiction treatment might involve the following components:
In a residential treatment center, clients can live and interact with others struggling with substance use disorder and benefit from around-the-clock supervision to avoid triggers and stay sober. Clients will usually attend individual therapy to understand the potential causes of their addiction and follow a plan designed to help them overcome them. At the same time, they’ll attend group therapy with people struggling with substance use disorder to discuss their issues and support their peers through the recovery process.
Inpatient or partial hospitalization programs provides both addiction treatment and health care services for those with severe medical issues. Like residential care, hospitalization programs might offer counseling services and customized plans to help patients achieve sobriety. Physicians can also medically treat co-existing addictions or mental health conditions like depression and anxiety in hospitals or clinics.
Group therapy or individual counseling can help clients adjust their thoughts and behaviors surrounding kratom addiction. They might learn about underlying conditions that may impact their substance use disorder and gain resources to overcome triggers. Therapists can also help clients build healthy coping mechanisms and hobbies to take with them post-treatment. Group counseling provides a judgment-free environment to set goals, learn from others and feel understood as you make your way through recovery.
Therapies used to treat substance use disorder include:
Medically-assisted treatment (MAT) is often vital for a smooth recovery process. Certain medicines can alleviate withdrawal symptoms associated with the kratom addiction recovery process. You might receive a medical detox at inpatient, outpatient or hospital care programs.
Physicians will supervise your detox by gradually eliminating kratom from your body while reducing the harmful and painful symptoms accompanying withdrawal. Medical detox can help you begin and get through the recovery process safely and comfortably.
Unlike residential treatment, outpatient care allows clients to live at home while receiving addiction treatment. Individuals might attend outpatient care after residential treatment to stay on a healthy path or use it as primary addiction care if they have other life obligations. While less intensive than inpatient programs, outpatient care tends to be more affordable.
In addition to outpatient treatment, individuals might use specific therapies and support groups as ongoing treatment. After all, substance use disorder is a chronic condition that often requires long-term care. In 12-step groups, for instance, clients are encouraged to set goals and maintain sobriety while meeting with others addicted to substances.
Treating kratom addiction is similar to other substance use disorder treatment programs. And whether you choose an inpatient or outpatient program, both types of care are designed to help you stay sober and improve your quality of life. In a kratom addiction treatment center, you’ll be welcomed by a compassionate team of physicians and counselors excited to work with you and help you achieve a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Both medically-assisted treatment and psychotherapy have shown to be effective methods for treating addiction. The path to kratom addiction recovery typically involves:
Drug addiction of any kind can feel defeating and isolating. While some aren’t fortunate to have a solid support system, addiction treatment centers provide a community of counselors, physicians and fellow peers eager to work with you through recovery.
When you seek Kratom addiction treatment in Chicago, health experts can provide the resources you need to overcome addiction and take back your life. You’ll recover physically and mentally while gaining the necessary tools to continue your newfound healthy lifestyle.
Let’s check out some of the critical benefits of seeking treatment for kratom addiction in Chicago, Illinois:
While undergoing residential treatment, medical professionals will provide around-the-clock supervision to help you overcome your addiction and stay sober. You’ll appreciate a calm, safe environment away from addiction triggers where you can focus solely on getting better. Therapists and fellow peers can also hold you accountable to reach your recovery goals as you attend therapy sessions and group meetings.
One of the first steps of recovery is creating a healthy routine and medical professionals at treatment centers will work with you to create a plan specific to your needs. The structure of these programs can provide much-needed stability in a time when your life may seem chaotic and unpredictable. Generally, treatment centers emphasize healthy hobbies, attending therapies and supporting peers. The organization and supervision of these programs may be just what you need to continue down a healthy life path when treatment ends.
More than just recovering from addiction, treatment centers focus on your mind and body’s overall health. Substance use disorder can cause your body to lose essential nutrients, making you feel weak and lose sleep. When you stop taking substances and your body gets to this state, you’re more likely to continue taking them if you don’t focus on the other parts of your health.
Treatment centers provide healthy, balanced meals to recover these necessary nutrients in the body. You’ll notice an overall improved mood and healthy physical changes as you continue treatment. While working on your mind and body, you’ll also curb drug cravings and find it easier to beat addiction. Treatment centers also encourage exercise through health and fitness classes and fun group activities. You’ll grow physically and mentally stronger while building healthy habits you can continue post-treatment.
Recovery is a courageous undertaking, but you don’t need to go through it alone. One of the most incredible benefits of treatment centers is the sense of community they provide for those struggling with addiction. You’ll be welcomed by a compassionate team of medical professionals who can help you through recovery and give you the tools you need for successful sobriety.
Not only will you work with physicians, but you’ll also have the opportunity to recover alongside fellow peers struggling with substance use disorder. Genuine relationships can provide understanding, friendship and hope at a time when you need it the most. With the bonds of community, recovery is possible.
Don’t let your addiction continue to poison your life. Start your recovery journey today.
Our answers to some of the questions we receive about kratom addiction treatment include:
Medical professionals at kratom addiction treatment near you might safely administer Suboxone or Vivitrol to treat kratom withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone, a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine, is an FDA-approved medication to treat opioid use disorder. These medicines can relieve withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings by leveling out the drug’s effects on the brain.
Since research is still developing types of treatment for kratom withdrawal, clients will need to first undergo a medical evaluation to determine when it’s appropriate to take this medication, if at all, to treat withdrawal symptoms.
Kratom has been used in Southeast Asia for hundreds of years to boost energy in smaller doses and gain a sense of relaxation in higher doses. These effects are similar to opioid drugs and stimulants, depending on the amount taken.
In recent years, research has found that people use kratom to self-treat withdrawal symptoms, depression, anxiety and chronic pain. While experts are still investigating the effectiveness of kratom in treating these conditions, many studies report worsened depression, pain and dependence symptoms when taking it long-term.
Research is still growing on the potential therapeutic uses of kratom for opioid addiction. So far, no significant findings have confirmed the drug is safe or effective for medical use. Long-term use of kratom has been associated with adverse side effects similar to opioid withdrawal.
Very little research is available on kratom use before, during and after pregnancy. People who are pregnant may believe kratom could ease symptoms of illness or fatigue throughout pregnancy. However, the harmful side effects can suppress breathing and lead to coma and even death. Additionally, a 2019 study showed that infants born to women who used kratom required medication to treat symptoms of opioid withdrawal, suggesting potential harm in using kratom when pregnant.
If you’re pregnant or become pregnant while taking kratom, it’s essential to speak with your physician about ways to safely stop taking it to avoid potential health risks to you and your baby.
Substance use disorder can feel like an unpredictable battle. At times, it may feel isolating as well. If you or a loved one is suffering from kratom addiction, Gateway Foundation can help you heal and recover from this complicated disease. Treatment centers can help you discover underlying conditions and break the cycle of addiction so you can return to the people and activities you care about the most.
Our treatment center fosters an environment of compassion and professionalism to help you get to the way your life was before substance use. Programs are personalized and comprehensive to provide a high level of care for your unique needs and you’ll discover the essential tools needed to maintain sobriety and improve your quality of life.
To learn more about our kratom addiction treatment programs, get in touch with us today.
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