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Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms & Kratom Withdrawal Timeline

If you use kratom or have a loved one who you suspect or know is using it, you may wonder how kratom affects people and the potential kratom withdrawal symptoms that can develop if they stop using the substance. Kratom’s effects, the timeframe for kratom withdrawal, and withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person.1

If you are ready to stop using kratom, you can seek help from a professional detox program to help you safely and comfortably manage withdrawal symptoms of kratom so you can start the path to recovery.


Find Out If Your Insurance Plan Covers Kratom Addiction Rehab

American Addiction Centers can help you navigate treatment for those in recovery for kratom misuse and substance use disorder. To find out if your insurance covers treatment at an American Addiction Centers facility, click here, or fill out the form below. Your information is kept 100% confidential. You can also click here to find a rehab near me.


What is Kratom?

Kratom is a tree native to Southeast Asia, but it’s more commonly known from the products derived from its leaves that are marketed as herbal supplements.1 Its effects appear to be dose-dependent, with low doses causing stimulant-like effects, and large doses resulting in opioid-like and stimulant-like effects.2

Though it has no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved uses, people may use kratom for various purposes including to self-treat pain, fatigue, and to manage symptoms of mental health problems.1 Additionally, it may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings, specifically those caused by opioids.1 Kratom can be swallowed as a capsule or tablet, mixed into drinks, brewed, or taken in liquid form.3

Kratom is a subject of ongoing research for its potential medicinal and therapeutic effects and to better understand its safety risks. The FDA and international authorities have concerns about kratom’s safety because it is not yet well-understood, and its effects vary widely. There have been reports of adverse effects ranging from mild to severe, reports of contaminated products, a small number of reported deaths associated with kratom, and concerns about potential drug interactions.1 For these reasons, the FDA has advised consumers to avoid kratom products.1


Kratom Dependence

While kratom’s potential to cause dependence is not fully understood, reports have indicated that some people experience withdrawal symptoms from kratom if they stop using it.1 So what is dependence? Dependence can occur due to repeated use of a substance. It means that your body has adapted to the sustained presence of a substance and that your body needs it to feel and to function normally. If you stop using or greatly reduce the amount of the substance, you will experience withdrawal symptoms.4


What is Kratom Withdrawal?

Research suggests that mild to moderate symptoms of withdrawal may develop when people suddenly stop or cut down their regular use of kratom.1 Reports suggest that a minority of people experience kratom withdrawal, and symptoms generally tend to be mild to moderate in severity.1

If you are wondering what kratom withdrawal symptoms are, it is important to note that the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that withdrawal from kratom has not been extensively studied.1 Scientists believe that kratom withdrawal resembles opioid withdrawal, which can be uncomfortable and distressing, though not typically dangerous.5,6


Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms

The phenomenon of kratom withdrawal has yet to be exhaustively covered in the scientific literature, although evidence from case reports suggests a withdrawal syndrome similar in nature to opioid withdrawal.2 Research also suggests that the intensity of withdrawal symptoms correlates to the daily amount consumed, as well as the duration and frequency of use.2 This is similar to withdrawal syndromes associated with other substances, which can also vary in terms of their character and severity based on other factors, too, such as  use of other substances, your overall health, and whether you have any co-occurring psychological or medical disorders.6

Withdrawal symptoms associated with kratom dependence may include:5

  • Pupil dilation (large pupils).
  • Chills.
  • Restlessness.
  • Insomnia.
  • Eye tearing.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Irritability/hostility.
  • Fatigue.
  • Nausea.
  • Sweating.
  • Muscle and body aches.
  • Tremors and twitches.
  • Runny nose.
  • Anxiety.
  • Hallucinations.

How Long Will Withdrawal Symptoms Last from Kratom?

Research suggests that symptoms usually start 12–24 hours after a person’s last use and can last up to seven days.5


Getting Help for Kratom Withdrawal

A setting of medical detox can provide the supervision and care to make someone more comfortable and, potentially, any interventions needed to address unforeseen issues and complications that could develop as a result of kratom dependency. Withdrawal symptoms may be affected by polysubstance use, which means that you use two or more substances at the same time or within a short time frame of each other.6 It’s not always possible to know how different substances interact or how withdrawal will affect you, and polysubstance users may benefit from a medical detox setting.6

Detox is often just the first step in the addiction recovery process; it helps stabilize your body as it withdraws from a substance and can prepare you for further treatment.8 Psychotherapy, including behavioral therapy and counseling can help address the underlying issues that led or contributed to substance use and addiction. Rehab can help promote long-term recovery and teach you the skills you’ll need to avoid unhealthy substance use.6

People often transition from detox to some form of professional treatment, which can take place in different settings, such as:6,8

  • Residential inpatient You live on-site at a treatment facility and receive 24/7 support and monitoring. You will also participate in different forms of individual and group therapy. Inpatient rehab can vary in intensity and level of support, depending on your individual needs.
  • Outpatient You live at home and travel on a fixed schedule to a rehab center. You also participate in individual and group therapy.8 The level of intensity can vary depending on your needs, with partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient being the highest levels of care.6 These programs offer a highly structured schedule and require that you attend treatment most days of the week.6

Many different forms of behavioral therapy and other interventions are available:2,9

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which teaches you healthier ways of thinking and behaving to help avoid substance use and prevent relapse.
  • Contingency management, which provides positive reinforcement for desired behavioral outcomes, such as negative drug tests.
  • Motivational interviewing, which involves helping you identify your reasons for change and increases your motivation to remain in treatment.
  • Mutual help or peer support programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), which provide support and encouragement from others who are also involved in the recovery process.

Sources

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Kratom.
  2. Stanciu, C. & Penders, T. (2020). Best practices in managing patients with kratom addiction.
  3. Schimmel, J., Amioka, E., Rockhill, K., Haynes, C. M., Black, J. C., Dart, R. C., & Iwanicki, J. L. (2021). Prevalence and description of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) use in the United States: a cross-sectional study. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 116(1), 176–181.
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide (third edition): Is there a difference between physical dependence and addiction?
  5. Stanciu, C. N., Gnanasegaram, S. A., Ahmed, S., & Penders, T. (2019). Kratom withdrawal: a systematic review with case series. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 51(1), 1–7.
  6. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2015). Detoxification and substance abuse treatment. Treatment improvement protocol (TIP) series, No. 45. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 15-4131. Rockville, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
  7. Gupta, M., Gokarakonda, S. & Attia, F. (2022). Withdrawal Syndromes. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing.
  8. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Treatment options: Types of treatment.
  9. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Treatment approaches for drug addiction drugfacts.

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