Kratom can have a stimulant effect when taken in low doses. It can increase energy levels and mitigate the effects of fatigue. In higher doses, kratom can produce effects similar to opioids, causing sedation and euphoria. When used on a regular basis, just like other substances that act on the brain’s opioid receptors, kratom can make the body become dependent on it.
When kratom is used for an extended period, the brain will compensate by forming more receptors for kratom alkaloids, reducing their overall effectiveness. Upon cessation, the blood concentration of the alkaloids drops and ultimately they disappear. This, combined with the increased number of receptor sites, leads to withdrawal symptoms. The brain will compensate by discarding the unnecessary receptor sites. Understanding the whole process will make it easier to realize why someone needs to seek help when withdrawing from kratom use.
Individuals addicted to kratom may experience constant cravings, weight loss and loss of sexual desire.
How Long Does Kratom Withdrawal Last
The duration and severity of withdrawal symptoms depend largely on how heavily the person used kratom. Heavier use typically results in more severe withdrawal symptoms. To date, there is no empirical proof of post-acute withdrawal symptoms after cessation of kratom use, but those who are dependent on other kinds of drugs like opioids may have to deal with continued withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, cravings, depression, fatigue, insomnia, memory loss, and trouble concentrating.
Withdrawal Timeline from Kratom Use
There is no comprehensive study relating to the distinct timeline for kratom withdrawal, but it can be compared to withdrawal from opioids. The average duration of kratom withdrawal is 7–10 days.
The symptoms normally start to appear within 24 hours of quitting. During the acute phase, you may experience increased anxiety and cravings, along with other symptoms like agitation, sweating, muscle aches, insomnia and runny nose.
After 2-4 days as you progress, the symptoms may further intensify and peak. The symptoms that you may experience during this withdrawal stage include goose bumps, abdominal cramps, dilated pupils and diarrhea. Most symptoms start to subside after 7-10 days.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
Dependence usually develops as users develop tolerance to the effects of kratom. At this stage, many will start to take it more often and in higher doses in order to obtain the same results. Over time, their bodies adapt to the presence of kratom and may have difficulty functioning adequately without a certain level in their system. This urge to continue using kratom may lead to a substance use disorder, in spite of the negative effects.
If an individual is kratom-dependent and suddenly quits using the drug, withdrawal symptoms may appear because his body has not yet adapted to functioning without it. The withdrawal symptoms are likely to manifest if the person has used kratom heavily or for an extended period.
A lot of people have difficulty quitting opioids and similar substances out of fear of experiencing withdrawal. Hence, the recurrence of use is basically an attempt to avoid withdrawal symptoms, which include depression, diarrhea, mood swings, panic attacks, muscle aches, tremors, restlessness, jerky motions, and insomnia.
Other withdrawal symptoms may include abdominal pain, sweating, general irritability and hypertension. If an individual is physically dependent on kratom or misusing it, the withdrawal symptoms can be as severe as with narcotics. This is precisely the reason why someone who is dependent on kratom must seek treatment through a professionally supervised detox program.
Aside from the need to manage the withdrawal symptoms, medically supervised detox is imperative because the risks can be similar to what occurs with opioid withdrawal. These include the risk of desire to take kratom anew due to extreme vomiting and the complications of dehydration and poor nutrition.
Kratom Detox Program
If a person is physically dependent on kratom, or has a problem using it, it can be crucial to have a good understanding of the withdrawal duration. Detoxing can be tough, but it is an important part of the recovery process. Many addiction experts believe that it is the most important aspect of the road to recovery from kratom addiction.
Detox refers to the medicinal or physiological elimination of toxic substances from the body, which is primarily carried out by the liver. With regard to kratom, it pertains to the stage in the recovery process wherein addicted individuals cease taking the drug so their bodies can start the elimination of toxins.
With kratom, opioids, and other drugs, a medically supervised detox program is ideal due to the potential severity of the withdrawal symptoms. In addition, it is not recommended that a person stops using kratom abruptly because it is very dangerous. It is important to note that drug detox in itself is not an actual treatment. In order to have the best chance at successful recovery, one must go through a comprehensive treatment program right after detox.
A kratom detox program offers multiple benefits, including the fact that symptoms can be managed, so the ‘patient’ can be more comfortable. It also provides a much better way to cease from using kratom and other potentially toxic substances.
Drug detox involves three primary stages:
- Evaluation – during this stage, the individual using kratom will commence working with medical practitioners for treatment planning. Evaluation may include blood tests, mental and physical screening for other conditions, an assessment of the patient’s psychological and medical history, and risk assessment for how severe the detox process could be.
- Stabilization – after a full evaluation is performed, the patient seeking treatment moves into the stabilization phase. At this point, the patient may be given medications, depending on the severity of symptoms. The patient may also be subjected to a particular diet to ensure proper nutrition. Education and counseling about treatment and recovery are also part of this stage.
- Treatment Transition – after a complete kratom detox, the patient will progress to the actual treatment for substance use disorder.
Agreeing or requesting to undergo treatment is a significant first step on the road to recovery. Most people don’t realize that the treatment and recovery process consist of multiple stages, and one of the most important is medical detox. Medical professionals can identify and treat underlying medical problems, both mental and physical.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reported that up to 53% of people suffering from substance use disorder have additional mental or behavioral issues like depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder. During medical detox, doctors can assess a patient psychologically, while a therapist is also assigned to each patient. A personalized treatment plan is created during and after medical detox in order to guide patients through rehab.