By: Zinnia Healing Editorial Staff | Edited By: Rebecca Hill
Getting Help for Kratom Addiction
Kratom use in the United States is rising — particularly among teenagers. Many assume that since the substance is legal and made from a plant, it is safe to use. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. To understand this substance abuse, you’ll want to take a closer look at kratom, the side effects of kratom and kratom withdrawal, and how to get help quitting this substance.
Are you or a loved one struggling with kratom abuse? Help is available. Contact Zinnia Healing today at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is an herbal supplement derived from the leaves of the tropical tree Mitragyna speciosa. The tree is native to Southeast Asia, where people chew the leaves or grind them into powder for tea. They use this substance to fight fatigue and improve productivity thanks to its opioid- and stimulant-like effects.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of kratom for Americans. However, the supplement is still sold at gas stations, convenience stores, smoke shops, online, and on the street. People report using this substance to help manage:
- Opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings
- Mental health problems
What Are the Side Effects of Kratom?
The most common side effects that kratom users experience are:
- Decreased appetite and weight loss
- Increased urination
- Dry mouth
- Itchy skin
- Darkened skin
- Rapid heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Stomach pain
- Muscle pain
- Liver damage
Symptoms of Kratom Withdrawal
Kratom withdrawal is similar to opioid withdrawal, with a few key differences. Studies find that withdrawing from kratom takes less time, and the symptoms are less intense than opioid withdrawal.
When a kratom dependence develops, kratom users may experience the following symptoms of withdrawal:
- Sleep disturbances
- Loss of appetite
- Jerky movements
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Abdominal cramping
- Cravings for the substance
- Hot flashes
Although the side effects of kratom and kratom withdrawal can be severe, the good news is that death from kratom abuse is rare. A 2019 report found 11 deaths in the United States between 2011 and 2017 — and only two were from kratom alone. Researchers believe this is because, unlike opiates, kratom does not cause users to stop breathing. This difference means that the substance is unlikely to cause a fatal overdose if taken on its own.
Psychological withdrawal symptoms of kratom include:
- Mood swings
Learn more about Zinnia Healing’s treatment options and how we can help you get the support you need to overcome kratom substance abuse.
Quitting Kratom: What’s the Best Way?
The best way to quit kratom depends on each individual’s kratom addiction — dosage and frequency of use, length of kratom use, history of addiction, and key biological factors.
Some of the options to quit kratom include:
Quit Kratom Cold Turkey
The quickest way to quit kratom is to stop cold turkey. But it’s also the most uncomfortable way to stop — and the most dangerous — because there’s no way to mitigate withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms could send the body into shock or push the kratom user to pick up kratom again to stop the uncomfortable effects.
Wean Yourself Off Kratom
Slowly reducing how much kratom you ingest, or weaning yourself off, is a popular way to quit kratom. However, people run into the same problems they do with quitting cold turkey. There’s no way to mitigate the side effects of withdrawal and no healthcare providers to supervise the withdrawal to keep people safe and lower their relapse risk.
Undergo Medical Detoxification
Kratom users who cannot quit on their own should seek professional addiction treatment. One of those options is medical detoxification.
Medically supervised detox prioritizes the patient’s well-being and comfort while slowly decreasing the amount of the substance they take. This detox method uses medication to help mitigate the worst withdrawal symptoms and provides around-the-clock supervision.
Attend Inpatient Rehab
The patient lives at the treatment center during inpatient rehab for a pre-determined amount of time. During the treatment process, a team of addiction specialists provides detox, medication-assisted treatment, drug-abuse counseling, and peer support to help the patient fight the kratom addiction.
Attend Outpatient Rehab
Outpatient rehab allows patients to meet personal and professional obligations and get the kratom treatment they need while residing at home or in a sober living environment.
Long-Term Kratom Treatment
People who use kratom to self-medicate mental health conditions should speak with a psychiatrist or other mental health provider before stopping the substance. The professional will likely recommend a combination of therapy and medication to help you manage your mental health symptoms more effectively and safely than with kratom.
Expert Tips To Quit Kratom
Keep the following tips in mind when trying to quit kratom:
- Get professional help. You don’t have to quit kratom alone. Find a program that fits your needs and stick to it. If rehab is not something you’re interested in, you can also join support groups to lean on peer support and professional counseling. Inpatient treatment creates the most successful outcomes. So, if counseling is unsuccessful, you may need to consider a higher level of care.
- Seek support. As we mentioned above, you are not alone in your recovery journey. Lean on your family members and loved ones for support and to help you stay motivated.
- Participate in the program. Finding or joining a recovery program is not enough: You must participate and be open to the activities assigned. Remember, therapy will only work if you give it your all.
- Set goals. Goals are an essential part of recovery. Think about your life before using kratom and what things you’d like to regain. Write down your goals — and don’t forget to note your progress — to help you stay the course and accomplish recovery.
Zinnia Healing Can Help
Our team of caring and compassionate addiction specialists is best-in-class at assisting patients with a wide range of substance use disorders at our facilities nationwide.
Zinnia Healing is here for you if you or a family member needs help to overcome kratom abuse or kratom withdrawal syndrome. Contact our helpline today to learn more about how we can assist you on the road to recovery.