Cheer up mate, you’re not the first person to get yourself into this pickle. Opium addiction has been a thing throughout history, across continents for hundreds of years.
How are these mates for company, check out these famous opioid addicts:
- Billie Holiday – jazz singer
- Carrie Fisher -actress and writer
- Charles Dickens – One of the most famous authors in all of history
- Elvis Presley -The King of Rock and Roll
- Florence Nightengale – Famous nurse
- Janis Joplin – rock singer
- John Belushi – beloved comedian
- Kurt Cobain – Rock star
- Marcus Aurelius – Roman Emperor
- River Phoenix – actor
- Rush Limbaugh – talk show host
The good news is that you’ve come to the right place. Did you know, some people are able to use kratom to get through opioid withdrawal with zero withdrawal symptoms? They go to work, school, they work out at the gym during the process. Nothing in life gets worse, everything gets better. So, get excited. If you do this right, you might get out of your opioid addiction scot-free, no withdrawal, no lingering side effects. While no one can promise you that, we hold up the possibility in order to inspire you. Some opioid users use kratom when they cannot get their opioid of choice to stave off withdrawal. Anytime they do that, they have the option of simply continuing to use kratom and never abusing opioids again. That’s how powerful an effect kratom has. It’s so powerful in stopping opioid withdrawal symptoms, even people with no intention so quitting their abuse of opioids use it during down times. It gives you the option to change your life without suffering debilitating withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms are not a punishment for you falling off the wagon morally, it’s just a biological side effect of mu opioid receptor manipulation. There’s no reason you should suffer through withdrawal when you don’t have to. Get excited, we are gonna tell you how to do it. But first, we should do a few disclaimers.
General Medical Disclaimer
NCSM does not give medical advice. Consult your doctor if you believe you need medical treatment for a DSM diagnosed the addictive disorder. This article is about non-medical addiction or bad habits of using substances for which you want to stop or decrease usage. Kratom is not a medication to treat a disease. It is an herb used for mood elevation, pain relief, and to break bad habits. We are not kratom vendors.
Kratom is not a medication regulated by the FDA. It is not used to treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease owned by the US FDA.
Drug Screening Disclaimer
Will kratom show up on a drug test?
Kratom is not regularly tested for in drug tests; however, because it often shows up in users of other opioids, some medical based drug tests will look for it and its presence can affect treatment. Especially tests at methadone clinics may look for kratom and there could be punitive actions taken if it is discovered.
Kratom is so effective, methadone clinics see it as a threat because it can get you off of opioids without making you addicted to one of the most difficult opioids to get off of, methadone. Few medical authorities will admit this, but methadone is one of the most addictive and hard to get off of opioids in existence. Using kratom instead to attenuate an opioid use habit can save you lots of money and years of trying to get off methadone or it can make you comfortable as you are detoxing off of methadone. Therefore, we should say you can use kratom as an aid for non-medical pain and anxiety associated with decreasing or stopping opioid use. So come on, let’s get right down to it brother.
What Is Kratom, doses, effects, signs, symptoms & how to use it?
Kratom tea effects
First off, you need to know what it is. Kratom is an herb from Southeast Asia, mostly associated with Thailand. Its formal taxonomical name is mitragyna speciosa. It has likely been in use for thousands of years in the traditional medicine of the region but appeared in the literature of botany as early as the beginning of the 1800s. It grows in the following countries:
- Papua New Guinea
It is traditionally used in the form of a tea. The best kratom strain for opioid withdrawal is the standard Green Maeng Da strain, the most widely available strain. Now, in the United States, kratom users very simply add the ground and dried leaf to a few ounces of water, say one teaspoon to 4 ounces of water. They drink it down, so if you read no further that’s all you really need to do, every two to four hours to stave off opioid withdrawal. However, traditional users may tell you that you should make more proper tea with it.
To make the traditional kratom tea, you need fresh leaves. If you’re in the United States, these might be hard to come by. If you live in a large city, you can just go to a kratom bar and order a fresh cup of kratom tea. If you get hold of some fresh leaves, all you need to do is boil some water, and seep the leaves in the water for about 20 minutes. The less water, the stronger the flavor and the stronger the tea. Now strain out the leaves and you got your tea. Now that can get expensive, that’s why Americans generally just put the powder in the boiling water or grapefruit juice if you need to mask the taste. Kratom has a bitter taste. If you can’t stand the taste, you can buy pill form, or you can buy empty gelatin capsules and put your kratom into the capsules.
That works fine for the purpose of staving off drug withdrawal symptoms.
Health benefits of kratom
Kratom is a relative of the coffee plant. Like coffee, it contains various phytonutrients and antioxidants. Some of these can help reduce inflammation in the body. But kratom is mostly sought out for its ability to relieve pain. Two alkaloids, mitragynine, and 7-hydroxymitragynine are known to target mu opioid receptors with affinity and effects many times that of morphine. However, unlike morphine, kratom works as a partial agonist and therefore does not cause dangerous sedation or respiratory depression. Therefore, it is difficult or impossible to overdose on kratom unless used in such a way where you would have overdosed on coffee. It may be possible but it’s no particular fought of the kratom or coffee plant if you manage to take so much that you overdose.
These are some of the effects of kratom:
- Stops fatigue
- Lifts mood
- Banishes pain
- Stops diarrhea
- Improves sexual experience
How much kratom do you take?
How to use kratom powder
Low dose: 1 to 4 grams. This is about 1 teaspoon of kratom. Kratom itself can be addictive and has a mild withdrawal syndrome which feels about like a cold for a day or two. Therefore, you want to take the lowest effective dose. Some people going through opioid withdrawal will be able to get on with about 1 teaspoon of the dried powder every two hours to four hours or so or when you would normally take an opioid.
Medium kratom extract dosage: By kratom extract, we refer here to the tea. It is not recommended by kratom users that you use premade 5x or other types of extract because the potency or side effects of concentrates are not known. It is known that the regular tea is fairly safe but the safety of concentrated extracts is unknown.
High dose: Higher doses of kratom come with more side effects like constipation and more addictive qualities. Higher doses can be up to 10 grams at a time or roughly 3 teaspoons. Doses higher than that tend to cause nausea and overdoses can cause vomiting. This is a symptom that generally makes overdosing on kratom even less likely because doses which are too high will cause vomiting. However, for those with very high dose of heroin or opioid problem may have to take high doses to stave off withdrawal. It is unlikely that one might take more than 20 grams in one day and obviously, few users would recommend doses this high. In any case, during withdrawal, you may need to dose as often as every two hours, but generally, you want to dose as infrequently as possible and still keep withdrawal symptoms at bay.
Users maintain a schedule of kratom use that mimics the schedule of drug use they had previously. After a week, they are able to reduce the frequency of their dosing, perhaps by dropping one to four grams per day.
A little known phenomenon that affects opioid users who detox with kratom is that after a week, acute withdrawal from the original opioid is generally over. However, for up to 2 years, you can have some of the withdrawal symptoms recur, or experience symptoms of pain, depression, and inflammation called Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. Also, if you try to stop using kratom too soon, you will have some of the symptoms of withdrawal from the original opioid because the brain has not fully adapted to kratom alone yet. Therefore, you want to use kratom alone for at least one month before weaning off completely if you’ve had an addiction for 6 months or more. After using kratom alone for about 3 months, you’re likely in the clear and can detox off kratom if needed or you can continue to use it. Kratom withdrawal mimics opioid withdrawal but is much milder and is generally a 3-day ordeal. It’s a piece of cake to anyone who has been through opioid withdrawal or alcohol withdrawal before.
Why Is It Being Used For Opiate Self-Detox? Why Do People Use Kratom?
Kratom is used for opiate self-detox because its alkaloids, mitragynine, and 7-hydroxymitragyinine affect the same mu opioid receptors that opioids like heroin effect. In doing so, it decreases pain, boosts mood, boosts work performance, and stops opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Could you get high using kratom?
Kratom will cause a mild mood boost, perhaps some feeling of positive vibes. It does not cause much of a high. It will have a mild stimulant effect at low doses, about like a cup of decaf coffee. At higher doses, it can cause some pain relief and sedation, slightly below that of a mild antihistamine like Benadryl. Most users will not have any problem with driving or coordination after using kratom.
Could kratom help in the opioid crisis?
In the United States, the FDA prohibits kratom vendors from claiming that kratom can be used to treat opioid addiction disorders. However, it is becoming well known by those affected by opioid addiction that kratom can be used for detox.
The opioid crisis in the United States started with a drug called Oxycontin. This drug was marketed for chronic pain as a non-addictive opioid. Prescriptions for the drug skyrocketed and diversion of the drug and addiction and abuse followed. Unlike the heroin addiction of the 70s and 80s, prescription pill addiction affected middle-class suburban America and the problem became recognized as a disease and punitive attitudes began to change.
As you can see from the chart provided by the CDC, opioid overdose rates have skyrocketed. After doctors started reigning in the Oxycontin opioid prescriptions, those who had become addicted moved on to heroin. As heroin became more profitable, dealers started mixing it with fentanyl and carfentanil, a powerful opioid used to tranquilize elephants.
Typical treatment for opioid addiction includes methadone and buprenorphine. These are themselves addictive opioids. Methadone is often said to be harder to get off than any other opioid as it’s a mechanism of effect lasts the longest so withdrawal can take far longer than with shorter-acting opioids. And of course, methadone clinics do not benefit from losing customers. Buprenorphine is said to be easier to get off of than methadone, but it is still not cake walk.
Kratom can decrease or eliminate opioid withdrawal symptoms and it is fairly easy to get off itself.
Kratom withdrawal and overdose
When you are ready to be free of kratom, you need simply to reduce the dose daily by one to four grams until you’re off. Or you can quit cold turkey. If you quit cold turkey, you will have mild opioid withdrawal symptoms. You may feel like you have a cold, runny nose, congestion, teary eyes, goosebumps. This may last for about two days. You may also have low mood and low energy. After two days, acute withdrawal is over and you will slowly get back to your normal. Now, normal for former addicts is often not an okay. This is because one has altered the neurotransmitters in the brain, but mostly it is because one was using drugs in the first place to affect mood and pain disorders. Therefore, one can continue to use kratom to help with mood and pain, or one can go to a doctor and get treatment for mood and pain disorders. However, beware. Doctors may try to put you on addictive medicines or medicines with lots of side effects. Many people prefer not to use medicine and instead to just use herbal kratom to take the edge off pain and anxiety.
Does kratom have value as a medicine?
Researchers are eager to test the kratom plant and its alkaloids to see if it has value as a medicine. However, medical claims cannot be made for the herb as the US FDA must look out for the interests of pharmaceutical companies and protect their profits. If medical claims are made for kratom, it cannot be sold as a medicine. It is therefore sometimes sold as “not for human consumption”. A few companies have been able to sell it as a supplement. It is therefore in a precarious situation and the government attempted to ban it and place it on Schedule I until public outcry and demonstrations made them reverse this decision. It was recognized that kratom has great potential to help with the opioid crisis. However, it is still in a precarious situation as drug companies do not want to lose profits to a non-addictive herb that might be used by people to treat pain and anxiety with few side effects.
Kratom side effects and health risks and complications
Kratom side effects on the liver:
Used traditionally, kratom is not known to have harsh side effects on the body. However, people have different abilities to metabolize plant alkaloids and it would be expected that a few people can have raised liver enzymes or in the case of long-term abuse of high doses of kratom, it is possible that it can have effects on the liver. If one is concerned about this, it may be a good idea to have a doctor run lab tests to evaluate your liver function and eventually to also have a test to get an idea of how tender or hard the liver has become. Those who use kratom are likely to use other medicines or supplements, so it is imperative to check on the liver every now and then. Doctors typically test liver enzymes during routine medical checkups.
Kratom overdose symptoms
Though it is not easy to overdose on kratom, some people manage to do it. The good news is that it does not generally cause a fatal respiratory depression like typical opioids. Symptoms of an overdose will generally include nausea and constipation. Poison control centers report that overdose resulted in mild medical signs, nausea, constipation, constricted pupils, vomiting, blood pressure fluctuations, and sedation. These tended to resolve quickly and result in no lasting medical disability. This indicates that the herb is comparatively safe, causing limited medical signs in overdose.
Conclusion: Is kratom safe to take every day?
This is the million dollar question. Many people who take kratom to help during withdrawal from opioids also have pain and mood symptoms that are inadequately addressed by their typical medicines. Kratom is not a medicine but can address everyday anxiety and pain and help lift the burden for these people. Since it has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia and even used for opium addiction, we can extrapolate that taking it in the form of a tea, not a concentrated extract, is gonna be fairly safe for most people. This plant has great potential to help in the fight with addiction to opioids. Used as a dried powder, it is not expensive, and its potential for addiction and abuse is fairly small. It simply does not cause the kind of high anyone would chase after. It provides pain relief, mild mood boost, and most importantly, stops opioid withdrawal symptoms. You will hear fear-mongers make outrageous claims about the plant. In the documentary, A Leaf of Faith, the documentarian is known for movies like Prescription Thugs and Bigger, Faster, Stronger explores the potential of kratom to improve the quality of life of those in chronic pain. He also shows the many opponents who don’t want people to have access to this herb and their motivations, be it moral or financial. Some pharmaceutical interests are afraid to lose market share of the pain of chronically ill persons off which they make their money by dangling expensive drugs with harsh addiction and side effects. Others have moral objections, they feel like should be hard and miserable and those who have chronic pain have lost some kinda competition and shouldn’t be sore losers by trying to treat their pain with few side effects. They should endure the pain or take addictive prescriptions which have been approved to treat addiction. Heroin was used to treat cocaine addiction, then methadone to treat heroin addiction. These attempts made the same mistake or replacing an addictive substance with a more addictive one. Kratom may hold the key to getting out of this destructive cycle. In any case, it can improve your quality of life as an individual. Be brave and heal.
- 1 General Medical Disclaimer
- 2 What Is Kratom, doses, effects, signs, symptoms & how to use it?
- 3 Health benefits of kratom
- 4 How much kratom do you take?
- 5 PAWS
- 6 Could you get high using kratom?
- 7 Could kratom help in the opioid crisis?
- 8 Kratom withdrawal and overdose
- 9 Does kratom have value as a medicine?
- 10 Kratom side effects and health risks and complications
- 11 Kratom overdose symptoms
- 12 Conclusion: Is kratom safe to take every day?