Kratom is a herb that comes from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa, a tree found in tropical countries. The leaves are crushed and made into a fine powder or supplements. Kratom is famous all over the world for its strong stimulating effects on the human body. It can even replace the need for morning coffee to energize their body. This unusual use of Kratom can lead to developing Kratom addiction which can prove to be dangerous in the later life. This is because it is tough to quit using Kratom after developing an addiction, and in doing so, there might be an occurrence of Kratom withdrawal. There are, however, some ways to ease the situation where Kratom withdrawal effects are dominant.
Does Kratom possess abuse liability?
Using Kratom and maintaining a low dose now and then decreases the chances to develop an addiction. However, this doesn’t exempt Kratom from the list of drugs which possess a risk of abuse liability.
Using Kratom frequently and at higher doses can increase cravings and it can further enhance the Kratom intake even though side effects begin to occur. Addiction comes at the expense of a loss of sexual desire, darkening of skin and loss of weight. The craving gets stronger with time, and it demands for a higher dose of Kratom every time. After an addiction, it becomes mandatory to suffer from withdrawal to get clean and be sober again.
Symptoms of Kratom withdrawal?
When Kratom enters the brain, it tends to alter the chemistry of the brain. It acts just like morphine on the respective opioid receptors present in the brain. Hence, the signs and symptoms of Kratom withdrawal can be similar to those of opiate withdrawal. The common symptoms include the following:
- Kratom craving
- Runny nose
- Emotional changes
- Muscle aches and pains
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Jerky bodily movements
- physical tremors
- Sleep disturbances, specifically insomnia
- Aggressive or hostile behavior
- Muscle aches and pains
The severity of symptoms experienced during Kratom withdrawal depends on the dose of Kratom that a user consumes. Massive dependence on Kratom can cause the symptoms to be severe.
Timeline of Kratom withdrawal
A specific timeline for the withdrawal symptoms to occur, express themselves and go away is not studied in detail. However, researchers assume that it resembles the timeline of withdrawal from opioids which lasts for about of 7 to 10 days.
- Medical supervisors suggest that the symptoms usually begin between six to twelve hours of consuming the last dose. It is the acute phase of Kratom withdrawal in which a person suffers from insomnia, runny nose, aggressiveness and pain in muscles.
- In 2-4 days, intensification of the symptoms starts. These symptoms reach their peak levels during this period. Pupils dilate, goose bumps occur, and diarrhea overcomes in this phase of Kratom withdrawal.
- During 7-10 days of Kratom withdrawal, symptoms start decreasing slowly and settle till the tenth day on average.
How to treat Kratom withdrawal?
There are some ways for those who are going through the misery of Kratom withdrawal to ease their pain. They can either subject themselves to a detox treatment or get medical help.
1) Detox center treatment
Detox means removing harmful substances from the body. It is a process that is carried out in specialized facility for patients with a drug abusive nature. It requires supervision all the time, and medical personnel, as well as mental health professionals, are always available to the suffering person. Detox treatment is the first line of treatment in the recovery session of Kratom withdrawal. Even if there are no fatal complications, enrolling in a detox program for Kratom might bear benefits.
In detox centers, use of medicine also occurs to manage the issue and treat the symptoms of Kratom withdrawal. It can also sometimes deal with an underlying cause of such condition, such as depression.
Detox centers cannot single-handedly treat the Kratom withdrawal. It must always follow other treatments. Detox can, however, reduce the chances of relapse. By using medical supervision and medicines, detox centers tend to reduce or completely abolish the effects of Kratom withdrawal.
2) Tapering treatment for Kratom withdrawal
Various psychoactive medicines including Kratom create a euphoric state of mind by enhancing the level of neurotransmitters in the brain. The capacity of the brain to absorb these drugs starts diminishing as the user consumes them in a large amount.
This means that the standard rate of absorption of Kratom is decreasing and this ultimately results in the development of tolerance or dependence. Hence, a person tends to use more and more Kratom to keep up and experience the desired effects. In this condition, stopping the use of Kratom can result in severe withdrawal symptoms in the patient. Therefore, medical professionals advise never to stop using Kratom cold turkey and instead, undergo a proper tapering.
Kratom withdrawal can be less severe if a user tends to lower down the dosage of Kratom gradually over a period. This process is known as tapering, and it decreases the suffering of a Kratom addict to a great extent. It is also known as “wearing off” the Kratom. The fundamental purpose of this tapering treatment is to give the brain adequate time to re-balance its chemistry instead of forcing it to work quickly by suddenly ceasing Kratom consumption.
When a user suddenly stops using Kratom after developing dependence, the brain is likely to suffer a type of rebound effect. The brain tries to restore his lost balance so quickly that it results in withdrawal symptoms. Tapering the dose in such a patient will aid in smoothing out the side effects of a Kratom withdrawal. This happens because the drug remains inactivated stage in the brain for a longer period and permits the brain chemistry to obtain a steady state slowly.
3) Medication-assisted treatment for Kratom withdrawal
Medication-assisted treatment for the troubles of Kratom withdrawal uses medicines in combination with a behavioral therapy to treat the cause. It not only decrease the uncomfortable symptoms of Kratom withdrawal but also lower the risk of developing a relapse during initial days.
Drug therapy addresses cravings during the early stage and facilitates a controlled tapering of Kratom. It becomes easy to adjust and life becomes rather comfortable even without using Kratom.
Different surveys suggest that Kratom withdrawal symptoms reduce with supportive care that includes medicinal use. Different drugs such as anti-inflammatory medicines, anxiolytic medicines and anti-depressants can encounter the withdrawal symptoms in a great way. Dihydrocodeine and lofexidine are especially suitable for reducing the intensity of Kratom removal in all users.
The length of medical assisted treatments is not definite. It can vary from person to person and depends upon the level of Kratom abuse. It can even be indefinite for individuals who are facing relapse attacks over and over again.
4) Mental counseling for Kratom withdrawal
It is a common misunderstanding that treating a patient of Kratom withdrawal is just medicinal. This is not true because Kratom addiction is also related to psychological health. It can involve mental issues as the addicted bodies try to fight off the withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, such cases can require counseling. They must be enrolled in a counseling session or support groups to relieve the mental stress. This will not only help with the body sufferings but will certainly provide motivation not to give up and keep fighting. It can also assist in reducing relapses sometimes.