Kratom Capsules: Side-Effects, Withdrawal Symptoms & Addiction Treatment Options
September 25, 2021
September 25, 2021
Derived from the leaves of the tropical Mitragyna Speciosa, Kratom is both grown and cultivated throughout Southeast Asia. Containing several powerful alkaloids, it can give mood-altering, pain-relieving, and stimulating effects on the brain.
As a natural supplement, many people think this is a safe way to manage the symptoms of many conditions, but those that try it often realize how dangerous Kratom capsules really are. Not only are there unpleasant side effects, but there is also a fairly high likelihood of becoming dependent or addicted. Long-term use and the build-up of a tolerance to the drug can make it exceptionally hard to quit.
The unfortunate truth is that Kratom’s popularity is growing, especially amongst younger people. The good news is that if you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction or dependence on Kratom, you are not alone. Getting clean and staying clean is attainable with a good support system.
Kratom, also known as krypton, thang, Kakuam, Ketum, and Thom, is made from a Southeast Asian tropical evergreen tree from the Rubiaceae family. The plant is turned into Kratom capsules that can be sold in most states throughout the U.S.
The rate of Kratom use has steadily risen in the United States over the past few years. While it is a relatively new drug here in the Western hemisphere, Kratom has been utilized in Asia for centuries. There are several positive and enjoyable effects, such as increased energy, relaxation, pain relief, and improved mood. It is a very appealing drug because of these effects. The downside is that, while it is natural, there are negatives such as dependence, addiction, and eventually withdrawals.
According to the FDA, Kratom capsules activate the same area of the brain that is activated by opioids such as heroin or prescription painkillers. It contains more than 20 alkaloids, many of which have pain-relieving properties. One of the main ones is alkaloid mitragynine, which is a kappa-opioid receptor that is about 13 times more potent than morphine.
Because it acts as an opiate, Kratom capsules are commonly used to ease the symptoms of opioid withdrawals, as well as treating pain. As with other opiates, there is a high likelihood of becoming dependent. Luckily, there are many treatment centers that are experienced with helping people through their detox and withdrawals.
The side effects that each individual will feel varies greatly. Kratom is one of the unusual drugs that have both a depressant and stimulant effects, depending on the dosage consumed. Stimulant effects are common with smaller doses and include boosted physical energy, more social behavior, increased alertness, and talkativeness. In larger doses, depressant effects are more likely.
The most common side effects include:
It is commonly reported that consumers experience lessened anxiety and fatigue, sharpened focus, pain relief, and relief of withdrawal symptoms. Other users utilize kratom as a fever reducer, anti-inflammatory, local anesthetic, antidiarrheal, and lower blood sugar. There are even individuals that reported enhanced sexual function. These are all anecdotal and have not been clinically proven.
Many opioid addicts avoid harsh withdrawals by using kratom capsules to get through detox. Unfortunately, the FDA has noted several deaths directly linked to kratom use. Many of these deaths are due to kratom being mixed with other drugs, but one was in an individual that has no history of opioid use, aside from kratom.
Mixing drugs is never a smart plan. The way drugs interact with each other is unpredictable. What was “safe” for you one day, may be the exact combination that lands you in the hospital, or worse. It’s best to avoid kratom capsules and to never mix them with anything, even over-the-counter medications.
When kratom capsules are taken in larger amounts and for a long time, the withdrawal symptoms will be much more severe. Out of all users that reported withdrawal symptoms, 65% of people experienced mild withdrawal symptoms, while only 35% had severe symptoms.
Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms are:
The withdrawal symptoms generally appear within 12 to 48 hours following your last dose of kratom capsules. Most people go through withdrawals for about 3 days. Many heavy users have a more challenging detox. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) can happen to anyone that is detoxing. The symptoms include insomnia, depression, and anxiety that come in waves. Some folks feel back to normal after a few weeks, others experience PAWS for months before they’re back to their old selves.
When you realize that you have a problem and that it’s time to stop taking kratom capsules, there are a couple of routes you can take. Some people choose to quit cold turkey, while others wean themselves off of it. Either way, it never hurts to reach out and talk to local addiction specialists in your area to help you through this tough time.
Weaning or tapering is a process that involves cutting down your dosage over a few weeks until you are finally going without kratom capsules. This gentle strategy works for many individuals, while other people prefer to quit cold turkey so they can be done and over with the withdrawals. However, this is generally not the most effective way to ensure long-term recovery, as it can be hard to avoid using other drugs without a support system in place.
If you or a loved one are addicted to kratom capsules, you can get clean. There are many ways to get through the withdrawals and detox. First, you can talk to your doctor. Your doctor wants you to be healthy, so reaching out and asking for help to get through detox can make things much easier. Next, it may be most beneficial to long-term recovery success to get help at a professional rehab facility, that can ease the transition from using drugs to sobriety. Detoxing this way is proven to be most beneficial for someone seeking lifelong recovery.