Josh Chandler | December 1, 2023

The Challenges of Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms

Kratom and its Rising Popularity

Over the recent years, the herbal supplement, Kratom, has gained significant popularity among substance users. This herbal supplement comes from a tropical tree that originated from Southeast Asia and has since started to migrate to the Western world where it has been referred to and acknowledged for its potential therapeutic effects. Kratom is often considered to be a natural remedy for treating symptoms such as pain, and anxiety, or supporting in minimizing the severity of opiate withdrawal. While there has been an increase in the use of Kratom and public belief that it is a safe, helpful substance to use, there is a significant risk when it comes to withdrawal symptoms. 


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Understanding Kratom: From Herbal Supplement to Controversial Substance

Kratom has traditionally been used in the Southeastern Asia regions as a medicinal product that offers herbal remedies to target and treat symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety, reduce feelings of pain, and alleviate the onset of severe opiate withdrawal symptoms. As the popularity of Kratom continues to increase across the globe, there has become a debate regarding the safety of using this herbal supplement as a treatment method or if there is a risk of it becoming an addictive substance to those who use it. As this product is new to the Western world, there still needs to be testing completed through clinical trials to gain an understanding of the efficacy of this supplement for natural remedies and treatments while also testing to understand the potential long-term effects of Kratom. 

As the world continues to experience the ongoing opioid epidemic, there are rising concerns about the efficacy of this supplement for supporting opioid withdrawal and questions about the risks associated with this supplement. Due to the opioid-like effects that can occur when taking Kratom, the controversy lies in the debate on whether this is a proactive treatment or if it is leading individuals down a path to substance dependence and addiction. There are several factors to consider when determining the effectiveness of this substance and safety for its users resulting in a sparked debate and need for further investigation and clinical trials to gain a further understanding of the historical and cultural use of this substance, the benefits it offers, and the potential risk factors associated with using Kratom. 

withdrawal symptoms of kratom


Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms: What to Expect

One of the key findings that has come from understanding the effects and impacts of Kratom use is the onset of withdrawal symptoms that occur after consuming this supplement. Although there have been some reported cases that have concluded that Kratom has improved the symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal, there are other opposing views and experiences that point toward users developing a physical and psychological dependence on Kratom. As the risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms after using Kratom, it is important to have a clear understanding of what to expect should you decide to use Kratom. 

Common withdrawal symptoms from Kratom can include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Insomnia or changes in sleep patterns 
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Sadness or feelings of depression 
  • Anger 
  • Nervousness 
  • Tension 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Hot flashes 
  • Runny nose 
  • Restlessness 
  • Onset of severe cravings
  • Watery eyes 
  • Abdominal cramping or stomach pains 
  • Jerky movements or loss of control for limb movements 

The length of time that someone will be undergoing Kratom withdrawal will depend on the specific contributing factors for each person. Factors that can influence the length of time in withdrawal include the length of time you were using Kratom, the amount in which you used at one time, the frequency of your usage, any pre-existing medical concerns, genetic factors, and history of substance use disorders. For most people experiencing kratom withdrawal, the initial withdrawal symptoms will occur within 12 to 48 hours of the last use of kratom. Withdrawal symptoms will typically occur for a period of 1 to 3 days, however, there are some instances where people experience withdrawal symptoms for up to a week. 


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Utilizing Kratom for Opiate Withdrawal: A Double-Edged Sword?

The current opioid epidemic has had medical professionals and Americans searching for ways to support substance users in safely overcoming the strong physical dependency of opioids. Kratom has been reported to mitigate and provide relief from the severe withdrawal symptoms from opioid addiction without having the same level of dependence that other, mainstream opioids have. There are concerns though that using kratom as a method for treating opiate withdrawal can be a double-edged sword due to the potential of switching one opioid dependence to another. Exploring the benefits and risks of using kratom for opioid withdrawal symptoms is key to determining if this is the right approach to addiction treatment. 

The Suboxone Clinic: A Potential Lifeline for Those Struggling

 For anyone who is battling with opioid dependency including kratom dependency, the need for safe detox practices is imperative for your recovery process. Detox is the first step in any recovery process and, for most people, this can be the most challenging time in recovery. That is why it’s critical to have access to professional help that gives you the support of leading medical treatments and evidence-based therapy methods. For anyone who is living with a moderate to severe dependence on opioids, there is help offered through suboxone clinics that provide you with effective medications to effectively move through withdrawal symptoms while maintaining your safety and comfortability. Suboxone clinics offer comprehensive treatment support including medication-assisted treatment along with counseling that supports patients in addressing the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. 

Detox Methods: Safely Navigating Withdrawal from Kratom and Opiates

A detox program for kratom and other opiates requires careful consideration of each patient’s individual needs. Every person living with a substance use disorder has their own unique experiences, level of dependency, and potential risk factors that need to be considered when developing a detox plan. There are several options to choose from for detox plans that utilize both traditional and holistic approaches. Patients may be offered traditional methods such as medically supervised detox processes, tapering off schedules that allow your body to ease off of opioids while minimizing potential risks, and supportive behavioral therapies that address the emotional responses that may occur during withdrawal. Holistic therapies offer an alternative approach to treatment that targets whole-body integrated healing and can include mindfulness practices, yoga, breathing exercises, nutrition therapy, physical exercise, and more. At Muse, we tailor our detox programs to meet the individual needs of each person in detox to ensure that your time in detox is safe and comfortable. 

Seeking Comprehensive Support in the Face of Kratom Challenges

As kratom continues to grow in popularity and the challenges associated with kratom use continue to present themselves, it is important for addiction treatment programs to offer comprehensive, holistic approaches to healing. Addiction and substance dependency a multifaceted concerns that cannot be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach. To understand the complexity of substance use disorders and effectively move through withdrawal symptoms, it is imperative to have access to a variety of treatment methods and healing approaches that will offer appropriate medical interventions, addiction therapy, and support in developing necessary life skills and coping strategies to maintain long-lasting recovery.

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Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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