Substance Use

Kratom and Alcohol Substance Abuse

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Mixing Alcohol With Kratom: What Are The Dangers?

A major misconception, especially among adolescents, is that a drug must be safe if it’s not a controlled substance. Kratom is one of the prime examples of a legal drug that can be dangerous, especially when taken in combination with alcohol. 

Kratom’s status as an herbal substance also adds to the assumption that kratom can’t be dangerous. However, it’s one of many drugs, both legal and illegal, that are derived from natural materials. This does not make it safe to consume. What’s more, kratom is often marketed as a cure-all for many conditions, including pain, low energy, mood conditions, and even panic attacks. 

On its own, kratom can produce a sense of euphoria, making it addictive. However, the real danger comes when users mix kratom with other substances, such as alcohol. If you or a loved one are suffering from drug abuse, it’s important to recognize the dangers. Contact Zinnia Healing today on our website or by calling us at (855) 430-9439 to learn more. 

What is Kratom?

Kratom is derived from a tropical plant (mitragyna speciosa) that grows in Southeast Asia. The leaves can be chewed or ground into a powder for tea or smoking. A leaf extract is also available, but regardless of how kratom is taken, no dose is considered safe.

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. At very high doses, kratom can have a sedative effect.

Kratom is dangerous because it is believed to interact with opioidreceptors in the nervous system, similar to OxyContin and morphine. Drugs that interact with opioidreceptors can change the brain’s chemistry and rapidly create dependency. 

In traditional Asian medicine, kratom is widely used as a substitute for opium. Because of its similar effects on the body, kratom is frequently used for individuals experiencing opioid withdrawal. However, in large doses, kratom can be as potent and addictive as other opioid drugs. It can even be dangerous, especially when paired with another substance like alcohol. 

The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Kratom

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 high blood pressure, kidney damage, anemia, and damage to the central nervous system, all of which are further exacerbated by alcohol consumption. 

If you’re interested in exploring your treatment options, contact Zinnia Healing today on our website or by calling us at (855) 430-9439 to learn more. 

Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Kratom?

The use of kratom is widespread amongst all age groups. Because it is marketed alongside other therapies and home remedies for common issues like “mental fog” and low energy, many people self-medicate with kratom. Self-medication can lead to addiction, but it’s less common.

Recreational use of kratom is generally marked by combining kratom with other substances, such as alcohol use. 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 alone. However, most people don’t realize that the combination of kratom and alcohol greatly increases their risk of overdose.

Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol With Kratom

The effects of kratom depend on the amount a user takes. At low doses, kratom may have the power to boost mood and support increased focus. At higher doses, kratom can help relieve pain and even induce a sense of euphoria. At very high doses, kratom can have a sedative effect, which can be dangerous.

Taking kratom and alcohol together amplifies the adverse effects of both, such as drowsiness. Other side effects of mixing alcohol with kratom include:

  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Central nervous systemdepression
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Slow, shallow, or irregular breathing
  • Organ damage

With routine use of a drug, tolerance eventually develops. Drug tolerance is marked by the need to take more of the drug to experience the same effects. However, drug tolerance develops more quickly when a drug is combined with alcohol. Because alcohol amplifies the effects of kratom, the combination can lead to alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction.

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.

Zinnia Healing Can Help

Recovering from kratom addiction is a complex process, especially if an individual is also dealing with alcohol addiction. Inpatient and outpatient programs exist to support individuals through the recovery process.

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.

At Zinnia Healing, 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 Healing today on our website or by calling us at (855) 430-9439 to learn more.  

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