Do you know what kratom withdrawal symptoms look like? Kratom is an herb taken from a tropical tree usually found in Southeast Asia. It gained popularity for its opioid-like effects and the fact that it’s easily available online.
The Food and Drug Administration cracked down on opioid prescriptions in the late 200s and all sorts of replacement substances found their way out. Kratom is one of these drugs. Heroin and fentanyl are extreme examples but some found solace in the ease of access to kratom.
What exactly is kratom and what does it do? What are kratom withdrawal symptoms like? If you want to learn more about this drug and its effects, continue reading.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is an herb extracted from the leaves of kratom trees in Southeast Asia. It usually comes in a powdered form either on its on or inside of capsules. You can mix the powder into tea, smoke it, or take the kratom capsules orally.
The herb has been in use for centuries mainly as a natural remedy for pain. It causes mildly stimulating effects in lower doses but taking it in higher doses causes more sedative effects. The sedative effects are similar to those produced by opioid drugs like painkillers, heroin, or fentanyl.
Kratom binds to opioid receptors in a similar manner. It provides pain relief as well as an overall sense of calm and mild euphoria. It grew in popularity for these pain-relieving and other opioid-like effects over the past decade. This makes the side effects and kratom withdrawal symptoms similar to opioids as well.
As the Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration stepped in to regulate the availability of opioid medications, kratom stepped in to take their place. Finding painkillers became more difficult in recent years leading people to find other alternatives.
Kratom is popular because you can easily purchase it online and have it delivered directly to your house. Does this make it legal or safe, though?
Is Kratom Legal? Is it Safe?
Kratom popped up on the DEA’s watchlist around 2015. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noticed a spike in calls related to poisonings due to kratom use. Despite only 7 percent of cases being potentially life-threatening, the overall increase in cases concerned them.
In late 2017, though, the FDA released a report documenting 44 reported deaths due to kratom use. Though the number seems small it still shows the potential dangers of kratom use, especially for those with addictive tendencies. When someone with a substance abuse problem feels the effects of one, they often want to know what taking another will do.
However, kratom is still legal despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration and a now pending investigation from the Drug Enforcement Administration. It’s on the DEA’s Drugs of Concern list meaning it isn’t illegal but they are aware of its effects.
You’re still allowed to purchase and possess kratom in the United States. Does this mean you should, though? With the potentially disastrous and deadly side effects, not to mention kratom withdrawal symptoms, it’s not really worth it.
What Are the Side Effects of Kratom Use?
Like all drugs, kratom comes with some side effects. Since the drug contains properties similar to opioids, the side effects of use are similar as well. Some are mild and some are more severe depending on how much you take, how long you take it for, and your overall reaction to substances in general. Kratom side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased appetite
- Urinating more often
The last two side effects are part of the possibility of experiencing psychosis. Some users report slipping into a state of psychosis, or detaching from reality. These effects are part of using the drug but what do kratom withdrawal symptoms look like?
What Do Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms Look Like?
Again, kratom creates effects similar to opiates. This makes both the side effects and kratom withdrawal effects along the same lines. Opioid withdrawals are notably one of the most difficult types of detoxes to experience.
The following kratom withdrawal symptoms are part of the detox process. If you’re getting clean from the drug, you can expect to experience at least a few of the following:
- Frustration, irritability, or anger
- Runny nose
- Insomnia or difficulties staying asleep
- Mood swings or other emotional changes
- Muscle aches
- Muscle spasms (jerks in arms or legs, also referred to as “kicking”)
Kratom withdrawal symptoms are most severe during the first few days and start to decline after the first week. After that time the majority of symptoms are psychological, including anxiety, irritability, and drug cravings.
Getting Help with Getting Clean
Going through a detox program at an addiction treatment center makes managing kratom withdrawal symptoms easier. Certified staff members monitor your detox then you can transfer into an extended 30-day inpatient treatment program.
Trying to get through early recovery alone is difficult. It’s best to have a tribe around you to hold you accountable and help you through challenging times!