Kratom Addiction Facts

Image of a kratom plant - kratom addiction - hired power breakawayKratom addiction is an addiction to ingredients found in the leaves of the tropical “Kratom” tree (Mitragyna speciosa). The tree is found primarily throughout Thailand. The leaves can be chewed then spit out, made into a tea, smoked or put into gel caps. Kratom is legal in the U.S. and can be bought online and in some stores. Kratom does not show up on drug tests but its byproducts do.

Effects of Kratom

Kratom is used in the Thailand region to treat chronic pain, diarrhea, opioid and sometimes alcohol dependence. Kratom users report feeling happy or euphoric, calm, strong and energized within five minutes of ingesting the substance. They sometimes become more talkative and social. It has a stimulating effect at low doses and a sedating effect at higher doses. Kratom has properties that are similar to morphine and has the propensity for abuse and addiction.

There are many reports that claim Kratom is a harmless drug. However, there are a few documented cases of psychotic behavior in individuals who used Kratom before the episode. In some of the cases, Kratom was used in conjunction with other drugs such as amphetamines, benzodiazepines, dextromethorphan, and other prescription drugs that are abused.

Kratom Addiction and Withdraw

Kratom addiction can occur when large doses are taken every day or multiple times per day. After about 30 days of daily use, a psychological dependence will be experienced. Physical dependence will be experienced after about six months of daily use. Kratom addiction brings with it negative effects. Nausea, itching, dry mouth, frequent urination, loss of appetite/anorexia, insomnia and a darkening of the facial skin typically occur with continued use. Withdrawal symptoms will be experienced if usage is lowered or stopped completely.

Kratom addiction warning signs include:

  • Increasing the quantity being used in order to achieve the same effect
  • Experiencing chronic constipation
  • Hiding or minimizing the use
  • Obsessing over the substance and craving it
  • Using every day or even multiple times per day
  • Ensuring “stash” does not get too low
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the use is lowered or stopped

Kratom addiction withdrawal usually produces mild, cold-like symptoms. Other symptoms will include apathy, depression, hostility, diarrhea, insomnia, crying, restless legs or jerky limbs and body aches.