What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Kratom?
Kratom is a stimulant, which means it activates the central nervous system and speeds up breathing, heart rate, and energy. Meanwhile, alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down the body’s functions. When kratom and alcohol are taken together, they send mixed signals to the body, which can lead to irregular heart rate, weakness, confusion, and an increased risk of alcohol poisoning or overdose.
Can You Drink on Kratom?
Kratom is still under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as its potential risks and benefits are still unknown. Until further research is conducted, anyone taking kratom should avoid mixing it with alcohol.
Kratom is not a controlled substance, but that doesn’t mean it’s without risks. Kratom is derived from a tropical plant (mitragyna speciosa) that grows in Southeast Asia. The effects of kratom depend on the amount a user takes. At low doses, it acts as a stimulant. At higher doses, kratom can help relieve pain and produce a sense of euphoria.
In traditional Asian medicine, kratom is widely used as a substitute for opium and it is believed to interact with opioid receptors in the nervous system, similar to OxyContin and morphine. Drugs that interact with opioid receptors can change the brain’s chemistry and rapidly create dependency.
The NIH advises against combining opioids with alcohol due to the potential for serious interactions and complications. Additionally, we know that mixing stimulants with alcohol can also be dangerous. Given this, and the fact that little is known about kratom, it’s important to avoid taking it with alcohol.
How Long After Taking Kratom Can You Drink Alcohol?
Due to limited research, it is unknown exactly how long kratom stays in your system and it’s likely dependent on variables like dose, age, weight, height, and gender. To be safe, you should avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours after taking kratom in order to avoid interactions.
Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Kratom?
Because it is marketed alongside other therapies and home remedies for common issues like pain, “mental fog,” and low energy, people may attempt to self-medicate with kratom.
Like other drugs, people may try to misuse kratom by combining it with other substances, such as alcohol. In these situations, the effects of both the kratom and alcohol are amplified, leading to a “drugged” feeling. This feeling is much stronger than the effects of alcohol or kratom alone.
Most people don’t realize that the combination of kratom and alcohol greatly increases their risk of overdose.
Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Kratom with Alcohol?
When mixing alcohol with kratom, the risk of severe side effects and accidental overdose is multiplied. This is because kratom and alcohol are both considered depressants. When a person takes two depressants together, the impact of each is increased exponentially, putting intense strain on the body.
In the case of alcohol and kratom, the combination can lead to:
- Trouble breathing, even to the point of respiratory arrest
- Permanent organ damage or failure, including kidney failure
- Increased risk of a heart attack or coma
Combining alcohol and kratom can also have a negative impact on overall wellness and mental health. The depressant effects of both can worsen depression, anxiety, and insomnia. It can also contribute to other substance use disorders.
Contamination is also a concern with kratom. For example, some batches of kratom have been contaminated with salmonella. In particular, certain kratom products have been shown to contain dangerous levels of heavy metals, including lead and nickel.
This can result in heavy metal poisoning, which could cause the following:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney damage
- Damage to the central nervous system
All of these side effects are further exacerbated by alcohol consumption.
What Can Happen if You Drink on Kratom?
The biggest risk of drinking while taking kratom is that little is known about kratom’s toxicity, risks, long-term effects, and potential interactions. Especially in high doses, you may be at risk of a variety of side effects, including a potential for overdose.
Given that kratom is believed to behave similarly to opioids, we can assume that mixing it with alcohol can lead to:
- Extreme drowsiness and sedation
- Impaired judgment
- Memory problems
- Loss of consciousness
- Drug overdose
- Alcohol poisoning
- Opioid addiction
What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol with Kratom?
The effects of kratom depend on the amount a user takes. Taking kratom and alcohol together amplifies the adverse effects of both, such as drowsiness and impaired cognition.
Other side effects of mixing alcohol with kratom include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Central nervous system depression
- Increased blood pressure
- Slow, shallow, or irregular breathing
- Organ damage
How to Get Help For a Kratom Addiction
With routine use of any drug, tolerance will eventually develop. Drug tolerance is marked by the need to take more of the drug to experience the same effects.
Once tolerance develops, physical dependence is the next stage of addiction. Drug dependence is marked by changes in mood and behavior, and it makes stopping a drug more difficult (and even dangerous).
A person combining kratom and alcohol will have to go through the effects of both kratom withdrawal and alcohol withdrawal during addiction treatment.
- Professional intervention can minimize withdrawal symptoms and long-term effects when a person becomes physically and psychologically dependent on kratom
- Supplements and alternative therapies like massage and support groups guided by health professionals are often incorporated into treatment programs
- Both inpatient and outpatient treatment options exist that are flexible enough to conform to your lifestyle and preferences
- Your safety comes first and whatever healthcare provider you ultimately speak to, you can trust that the conversation will be confidential and judgment-free
At Zinnia Health, our team of professionals is dedicated to helping individuals find the right treatment options for their lifestyles. If you’re interested in learning more about the recovery process, contact Zinnia Health today on our website or by calling us at (855) 430-9439 to learn more.