Kratom is a completely safe and effective herbal remedy for various conditions such as pain relief, insomnia, anxiety, depression and many more. The effect is similar to stimulants and opiates, and many people have turned to this wonderful herb as an alternative to addictive and harmful prescription drugs.
But similar to other substance, regular use of Kratom in large doses can lead to tolerance and dependence. In this article, we will discuss how a user can avoid withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit Kratom, including the possible symptoms that may arise from stopping Kratom use.
Why People Become Dependent with Kratom
Like any substance, tolerance is among the most significant concern when using Kratom for an extended period. It usually happens when you use Kratom in higher doses frequently.
While generally considered safe and non-addicting, Kratom can be harmful under certain circumstances. This is the reason why it is vital for users to follow the suggested dosage and avoid long-term use. Cycling Kratom use is advised, taking breaks every two weeks before resuming.
So why Kratom dependence develops? One of the reasons is the plant’s natural alkaloids called Mitragynine. The active alkaloids of Kratom affect brain receptor sites, and when taken at high doses on a frequent basis, the alkaloids build up in the brain, which elicits the stimulating and sedating effects.
If you suddenly stop using Kratom after having developed a dependence on it, the brain may experience a form of rebound effect as it tries to regain balance quickly. Unfortunately, this brain reaction causes withdrawal symptoms. Because the receptors are not being stimulated like they’re used to, a user may experience harsh withdrawal.
Further, Kratom can stimulate the brain’s dopamine release. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is critical for the brain’s reward system – the brain chemical that makes you feel motivated. For instance, dopamine is released when eating the food you’ve been craving for. The brain loves the feeling so much that it’ll allow you to do the same behavior that triggered the dopamine release.
In your case, taking more Kratom will provide all the euphoric, pleasurable feelings.
What happens when you suddenly stop that source of pleasure? This makes the process of quitting Kratom challenging as the person can experience strong cravings and different withdrawal symptoms.
Quitting Kratom Safely and Effectively
Is quitting Kratom very difficult? Many users have asked this question, and the answer is a big No.
Quitting Kratom can be smooth-sailing if you follow the procedure and watch out your progress. In the event that unpleasant side effects may manifest, it is important to see your doctor for proper guidance.
Some users try to quit Kratom in an abrupt and sudden manner. This is very risky and not advised because Kratom withdrawals can be similar to opioid withdrawal symptoms.
There are a number of ways to safely quit Kratom. The American Addiction Centers recommend detox and tapering. Detox refers to the removal of toxins from the body. Like other addictive substances such as alcohol and opioids, dosages can be reduced slowly over a period of time to lessen the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The goal of detox and tapering is to gradually work on restoring brain chemistry rather than shocking it by abruptly stopping the drug.
How to Taper Down Your Kratom Use
When you decide to quit Kratom, make sure you approach the situation with a positive mindset.
Firstly, prepare yourself physically and mentally. Expect to feel uncomfortable, with an intense craving for Kratom when progressing.
If you are used with 10grams of Kratom every day, reduce this dose by 500mg. Follow this for three days and then cut 500mg again.
This method helps your brain adjust gradually so you can take 9grams next time with no symptoms at all. When you slowly lower doses with a pattern, eventually you’ll need 3 grams or less or even nothing at all.
You may reduce with a different amount, but anywhere between 300 and 500mg tends to work well for most users.
Let’s say you haven’t used Kratom for two weeks straight and one day, you want to use it to help you sleep, don’t worry as your brain and your opioid receptors have already done rebalancing during the days you are not taking Kratom.
How to Do Kratom Detox at Home
For people who don’t want to enter a rehabilitation or detox facility, there are ways you can safely detoxify at home. Because Kratom exerts an opioid-like effect, the withdrawal is more likely similar to much opioid withdrawal.
With that said, here are some standard treatments from the American Addiction Centers to help manage cold and flu withdrawal symptoms.
A healthy diet and vitamin supplementation
During withdrawal from a substance, the body may experience several nutritional deficiencies.
Based on a study, people who have opiate addiction may be deficient in magnesium and calcium, which contribute to muscle spasms and pain. Potassium deficiency is also attributed to Restless Leg Syndrome.
Having a light, healthy meal may improve nutritional balance. Supplementing deficient areas or even taking a multivitamin may help ease the symptoms and speed up recovery.
Diarrhea and excessive sweating can make a person dehydrated. Drinking lots of fluids can prevent the discomfort associated with dehydration. Drinking a hydration beverage like sports drinks may help restore lost electrolytes.
Many people recover from substance abuse report that having a hot bath can improve some withdrawal symptoms. Muscle pains, back pain, and headaches can be alleviated by soaking in warm water, and the soothing experience can help a person sleep. Adding Epsom salt to the water may help soothe sore muscles. However, avoid hot baths during periods of fever. Instead, use a heating pad to help soothe achy muscles.
Take medications and supplements, if necessary
Some symptoms of withdrawal can be helped through over-the-counter medications. For instance, diarrhea can be used using non-prescription drugs such as Imodium (Loperamide).
For muscle aches and pains, you may use topical analgesics or NSAIDs such as naproxen or ibuprofen. If you have insomnia, there are natural sleep supplements such as Valerian root and melatonin.
Withdrawal symptoms can be overwhelming for some people. Distraction in the form of entertainment can be relief from the discomfort of the detox process. Laughter can also promote endorphins release. Read books, watch funny movies and spend time with friends as these activities can give the necessary distraction from your symptoms.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
A Kratom user may experience mild to severe symptoms if they suddenly stop Kratom use. None of the following symptoms are life-threatening.
Physiological withdrawal symptoms include:
- Body aches and pains
- Decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Hot flashes
- A runny nose
- A headache
- Muscle spasms
- Problems with sleep
- Watery eyes
Psychological withdrawal symptoms include:
- Sadness or depression
The severity of these Kratom withdrawal symptoms and the duration a user may experience these symptoms will depend on many factors, including:
- The amount of Kratom a person took
- The length a person used Kratom
- If a person has any history of psychiatric, medical or substance abuse issues
Avoiding Kratom Tolerance and Dependence
The best way to prevent Kratom tolerance or dependence is to reduce your doses slowly. If you want to lower your present Kratom dosage, you must taper down gradually so your brain can slowly adjust. You may have to use other methods of taking Kratom too.
This will ensure that the alkaloids from your last dose have completely left your system before taking in another dose. When it comes to Kratom, less is more, so if you are using Kratom every day, never take more than once per day.
Ideally, you should take Kratom every two days, limiting use up to four times per week for less. You can intermittently reduce the dosage, which is a gentle way to prevent addiction or even tolerance.
Another method is Kratom rotation. Switching different Kratom strains ensures that your brain receives varying levels of alkaloids rather than becoming dependent on a specific single strain. You may use a red vein today and then a green veined one the next day.
Take note that these recommendations are based on various user experiences and stories and not from clinical trials.
How Long Do Kratom Withdrawals Last?
Based on user experiences and reports, withdrawal symptoms of Kratom may last for 3 to 4 days, with the majority of users experiencing significant improvement at Day 2. In general, it takes an entire week before the symptoms diminish entirely. For people who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms and expecting a drug test, there’s no need to worry.
Kratom drug testing is entirely rare, and there are very few laboratories listing Mitragynine and other Kratom alkaloids they look for.
Regardless of the substance used, quitting a habit is difficult for anyone. People who have been relying on Kratom for their daily existence, using it in higher doses for months or years, it may take a while to go back to sober living.
There are so many things that can help you adjust to life after Kratom. Find a hobby and join in events that are not associated with Kratom use such as attending local fairs, going to musical events and joining social clubs. They are all good, helpful options to make yourself active and occupied.
If you are suffering from chronic pain and are relying on Kratom for relief, many Kratom alternatives are equally effective and less habit-forming.
When quitting Kratom, just carefully reduce the amount so your brain can gently heal. Combine all the strategy we shared above, and you’ll be on the right path to quitting kratom.