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Kratom Misuse: Rehab and Treatment Options

Kratom refers to both the Mitragyna speciosa tree native to Southeast Asia and products made from the leaves.1 People from Southeast Asian countries used kratom for centuries for various purposes, such as to increase alertness and energy and as a multi-purpose remedy in traditional medicine.1 Within the last 20 years, its use spread to the U.S. and other Western counties for many reasons, such as to alleviate opioid cravings or withdrawal symptoms or to self-medicate certain mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.1

While kratom research is a relatively new area of study, and scientists don’t yet fully understand its effects, existing evidence suggests that kratom may have addictive potential and that use or overuse, which has yet to be defined, can lead to various health consequences.1, 2 There is no specific substance use disorder (SUD) involving kratom, but there is growing concern that kratom may be associated with SUD-related phenomena and problematic use, such as cravings, giving up social activities or work responsibilities because of use, spending a great deal of time obtaining and using the substance, taking larger amounts or over a longer time than was originally intended, tolerance, and withdrawal.1, 3

If you or a loved one are struggling with kratom misuse, you should know that help and treatment are available. This article will help you learn more about kratom misuse treatment options.

Effects of Kratom

The effects of kratom can vary by dose, but exact dosages have not been well-studied, and the effects can therefore be unpredictable.1 Kratom contains several compounds that affect the body; two are the opioid-like compounds mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which interact with opioid receptors in the brain, resulting in different effects.1

At low doses, kratom may have stimulant-like effects, while at high doses, kratom may have opioid-like effects.4 Additionally, kratom can vary in potency and quality, and products may contain contaminants that can cause additional, unpredictable effects.1, 5

Kratom is currently not listed as a controlled substance, although the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists it as a drug of concern.6 It is legal in some states and regional jurisdictions within states, while others may have specific regulations against kratom possession and use.6

Kratom Addiction Treatment & Rehab Options

As kratom research continues, scientists are increasingly interested in the potential for kratom to result in dependence and/or addiction, as well as possible interventions for treating kratom misuse.1 Some research suggests that management and treatment for opioid misuse and treatment for kratom misuse may be similar.7 However, the same research indicates that kratom may pose an even greater risk for toxicity and organ injury than traditional opioids, such as in cases of overdose, which may require additional interventions.7

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), effective treatment is individualized and considers any co-occurring medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems you have.8 While treatment approaches vary depending on your unique needs, there are 3 common treatment objectives, including:7

  1. Medical stabilization when necessary, such as during acute intoxication and/or overdose.
  2. Alleviation of symptoms during acute withdrawal.
  3. Long-term maintenance for behavioral addiction and recovery.

Finding a Rehab for Kratom Misuse

If you or a loved one are struggling, you can find kratom misuse help in different ways. You can schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your situation, get an evaluation, and ask for referrals. You can use the rehab directory to find a program near you.

When researching quality treatment programs, you might wish to consider the following questions:12

  • Is the program accredited?
  • Do they offer medication if necessary?
  • Do they use evidence-based treatments?
  • Do they include family members in the treatment process?
  • Do they offer ongoing support after treatment has been completed?

You may also wish to consider additional factors, such as:

  • Location.
  • Levels of care provided.
  • Amenities.
  • Insurance coverage.
  • Other payment options.
  • Reviews from previous patients.

If you’re interested in learning more about kratom misuse help, you can contact American Addiction Centers (AAC) at 24 hours a day to speak to a caring admissions navigator about your treatment and rehab options. To verify your insurance coverage for treatment at an American Addiction Centers facility, fill out the form below. Your information is kept 100% confidential.


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