Substance Use

What Are the Side Effects of Kratom Abuse?

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Side Effects of Kratom Abuse

Kratom abuse is increasing in the United States. Kratom users have been found to have more severe substance use disorder profiles than users of several other drugs. Substance abuse comes with a range of side effects. Kratom users will often take the drug to feel a high, but it can cause short-term and long-term effects.

Kratom abuse may lead to kratom addiction over time. You should seek substance use treatment if you believe you have a kratom addiction.

Call us at (855) 430-9439 to learn about our treatment options for substance use disorder.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom originates from a plant called Mitragyna speciosa. It can be found in Thailand and other areas of Southeast Asia. Kratom users consume the leaves to feel stimulant effects. Low doses typically produce these stimulant effects, while high doses produce sedative effects. Some people also take kratom for pain relief.

Kratom is taken in various forms. Kratom users may brew kratom leaves into a tea, smoke them, or take capsules containing the drug. The DEA does not currently class kratom as a controlled substance. However, the DEA fact sheet states that kratom is listed as a “Drug and Chemical of Concern.” This is likely due to the rising kratom abuse cases in recent years.

Kratom’s pain-relieving qualities are linked to its interaction with opioid receptors in the brain. Larger doses of kratom can affect the body similarly to larger doses of opioid drugs. In fact, some people use kratom to help with opioid withdrawal. Others may turn to kratom to feel a sense of euphoria due to its effects on serotonin receptors.

What Are Common Side Effects of Kratom?

Like most kinds of drug use, taking kratom can result in various side effects. These include short-term side effects relating to the euphoria felt with low doses. It also includes the pain relief and sedative effects felt with larger doses. Common side effects of taking kratom can include:

  • Constipation
  • A runny nose
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness

These are just some of the side effects relating to kratom use. In addition to these mild side effects, kratom users may experience more severe side effects, particularly with larger doses. These can include:

  • Slow breathing
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Drowsiness

There have been several deaths where kratom has been listed in toxicology reports. These case reports usually list deaths related to kratom use as overdoses from other substances where kratom was also present. However, as case reports and research on the effects of kratom are still lacking, it is difficult to determine the true toxic nature and side effects of kratom.

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Kratom?

Many kratom users take the drug for short-term euphoric effects. These are caused by the chemical compound mitragynine, which is found in kratom leaves. Mitragynine is digested and broken down by the body into a chemical called 7-hydroxymitragynine, which activates opioid receptors.

Short-term effects of kratom use may present as:

  • Alertness
  • Talkativeness
  • Increased energy
  • Sedative effects with larger doses
  • Pain relief

This short-term high is likely why the FDA considers the drug a substance with a high potential for drug abuse. The FDA also agrees that further research into the short-term and long-term side effects is needed.

What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Kratom Use?

The long-term negative consequences of taking kratom can be more severe. The most concerning long-term side effect is kratom addiction. This is a form of substance use disorder where someone may experience cravings for kratom, have a physical dependence, and feel withdrawal symptoms if they stop using it.

As well as kratom addiction, other long-term effects include anorexia, weight loss, and a loss of appetite.

Substance use disorders relating to drugs that activate opioid receptors can be highly difficult. Attending a treatment program is often needed to break free of an addiction like this. If you think you might have a kratom addiction, call our helpline today at (855) 430-9439 or send us a message.

Impact of Kratom on Mental Health

Long-term kratom abuse may result in a range of mental health problems, including anxiety and dysphoria. There have also been case reports of kratom causing psychosis, with individuals experiencing hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions.

Interactions Between Kratom and Other Substances

Sometimes kratom users may take other substances alongside kratom to enhance its effects. This can be fatal. Using alcohol, barbituates, opioids, and benzodiazepines can cause synergistic effects, which may be harmful.

There have also been reports of kratom interacting with SSRIs and resulting in serotonin syndrome.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to give medical advice. Always discuss any possible side effects relating to interactions with any other medication or substances you are taking with a medical professional.

Kratom Addiction Treatment

Kratom withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable. A substance use disorder relating to kratom can be challenging due to the opioid withdrawal-like symptoms a person may feel when discontinuing use.

Attending treatment programs offered by healthcare providers specializing in addiction is recommended. This is because they truly understand kratom addiction treatment and the complexities of drug addiction.

Someone with a kratom addiction may benefit from a range of treatment options. Once detox is completed, therapy such as CBT or DBT can be used to tackle any mental health problems caused by the addiction.

Get Help Today

If you think you might have a kratom addiction, remember it’s never too late to get help. Our drug addiction professionals are standing by, waiting to help people just like you.

At Zinnia Healing, we offer a range of treatment programs and support you every step of the way. We offer both inpatient and outpatient programs, ensuring you get the help and medical advice you need throughout recovery.

Kratom addiction recovery can be tough, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact Zinnia Healing today to learn more about our treatment programs for drug addiction.