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Kratom is a botanical substance originating from Thailand and other regions of Southeast Asia. It first showed up in the United States as a dietary and nutritional supplement, often touting weight loss as a result of use. However, after a high number of reported health concerns, the FDA prohibited the importation of Kratom to the United States in 2014. However, it is not technically illegal in most states, and is therefore still widely available, often under different labels such as “incense” or “ketum.”

Part of the danger of using Kratom lies in the fact that it is not regulated or standardized. This means that there are no official, medically-sanctioned guidelines for what a safe dosage is, and no guarantee that the product you buy is pure or safe to ingest. Further studies are needed to fully determine its benefits, if any, as well as its many risks—however, we do know that it harbors a high addictive potential.

If you are taking Kratom regularly, your body may already be dependent on it. If you have experienced Kratom withdrawal symptoms when missing doses or trying to quit, it may be time to seek the help of trained addiction specialists to ensure a safe detox and recovery process.

What are the Risks of Using Kratom?

In small doses, it seems that Kratom gives a person feelings similar to a moderate dose of caffeine, producing mild stimulation. However, large doses of Kratom can result in much more intense effects. High doses put users at risk of the following side effects:

The effects of Kratom are reported to begin within 5-15 minutes of ingestion. The drug stays effective for 2-5 hours after taking it and stays in your system for about 24 hours.

The long-term effects of Kratom are relatively unknown at this point. However, it appears that liver damage, liver failure, loss of libido, and skin discoloration are all possible long-term effects.

Why Self-Medicating with Kratom Doesn’t Work

Since Kratom is not considered an illegal drug and has fewer known negative side effects than substances like opioids, some people try to use it as a home remedy for overcoming an addiction to other drugs. The thinking here is that this “lesser” drug will help them cope with the withdrawal symptoms of other drugs.

However, since Kratom itself is addictive, using it as a substitute is simply replacing one addiction with another. Moreover, detoxing at home can be dangerous—even more so when a secondary substance like Kratom is added to the mix.

Even if you are able to wean off of one drug using this method, you will still likely find yourself facing the prospect of working through a slew of Kratom withdrawal symptoms in order to truly begin your recovery.

What are the Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms?

Kratom functions similarly to opioid drugs, which bind to opioid receptors, creating changes in mood and influencing decision making. Both drugs change the natural chemistry of the brain, making it impossible for one to stop using without consequences. As with other drugs, the severity and intensity of withdrawal symptoms vary based on how long you’ve been taking Kratom and the dosages that you’ve become accustomed to.

Known withdrawal symptoms of Kratom are similar to those experienced when a person stops taking opiates. These include:

All of these symptoms can be risky to face alone, which is why medically supervised detox and professional addiction treatment are strongly recommended. 

Coping with Kratom Withdrawal Safely is Just the Beginning

Coming off of Kratom in the safe, secure environment of a drug and alcohol detox center is vital for your health and wellbeing as you move forward past physical and mental dependence—but detox is only the first step in your recovery journey.

Addiction affects the body as well as the mind, and the wellness of both must be thoroughly addressed in order for you to keep moving forward without falling back into the trap of addiction. Detox alone cannot solve the problems that you took Kratom to cope within the first place. A comprehensive addiction treatment program, however, can help you find healthier options for addressing those concerns as well as coping with any new challenges that may crop up in the future.

Just because Kratom is not an illegal substance does not mean it can’t be addictive, or that quitting it should not be taken seriously as a medical matter. The sooner you reach out for help, the sooner you can get past Kratom withdrawal and begin making new choices that will ultimately serve you, and your family, far better in the long run.

For help in detoxing from Kratom safely and moving past withdrawal and addiction, reach out to New Choices Treatment Centers today—or call us at (726) 888-7003. Our addiction specialists will work with you to craft a treatment plan uniquely tailored to your personal history and goals for sustainable long-term recovery.