Kratom For Opiate Withdrawal: Works? 

Deveshi Dhaka  - Content Editor At The Island Now
Kratom for opiate withdrawal the island now

Perhaps you’ve been shopping at a local health food or supplement store and saw kratom. Or, you were browsing the internet and came across information about this leaf. Or you came across some information on kratom for opiate withdrawal.

There’s no doubt that this leaf is becoming a hot topic, and more and more people are trying it out every day.

For some people, kratom is becoming a widely-known natural leaf that could help treat opioid dependency.

But what is this leaf, and why are opioid-addicted people wondering about this leaf? Before we start, let’s learn what kratom is all about.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom comes from the tropical climate of Southeast Asia. There, the leaf is revered as a sedative and stimulant. At small doses, the leaf is stimulating, and in larger quantities, it helps you relax and provides natural pain relief. Users will brew the leaves into tea, chew the leaves, or sometimes smoke them.

There are several kratom strains out there, each with its own effects—for example, green maeng da kratom. “Maeng da” translates to “pimp grade,” referring to the strength of the leaf.

Green maeng da is a potent strain of kratom and offers users energy-boosting effects that promote greater productivity and a sense of physical and mental well-being.

The effects are known to be initially energizing but slowly devolve into relaxing effects. The strain is known for promoting relaxation and calm and helping the user get through the day.

The user may consume kratom in many ways. One may use water or fruit juice to help mask the bitter taste. Users may also take teas and smoothies. Some websites sell the leaf in capsule format.

Red maeng da is another popular form of maeng da kratom. This strain is revered for its potent effects. It is known among users to improve one’s mood, fight pain, and provide an energy boost. The veins of this strain are known for their rich red color, which indicates high alkaloids. Such alkaloids are thought to be responsible for boosting the effects of this leaf.

It is also known for its earthy and sweet smell. This strain is especially sought after because of its ability to produce more significant side effects if used for pain mitigation and its energy-boosting properties. Some people use it to manage stress and anxiety.

White maeng da kratom is also a strain users are most familiar with. The strain is purported to be energizing but also promotes a sense of relaxation.

It is sought by those hoping to improve their mood, find natural pain relief, and fight off stress. Others use this particular strain to increase concentration and focus, along with fighting fatigue.

Remember that these are the three most popular strains of kratom. Websites offer specialized strains or even create custom blends, personalizing orders for clients.

Such websites do a great job selling kratom and increasing awareness of opiate withdrawal to their customers on kratom, sometimes offering loyalty rewards for repeat business. However, some of these websites have been mentioned by the FDA as dangerous.

For example, the FDA sent a letter to the brand Klarity Kratom for marketing products that were not generally recognized as effective and safe for the uses described on the website, such as opioid withdrawal and addiction.

If we’re talking about the leaf’s molecular structure, kratom is different than its opioid counterparts. It produces similar effects by acting on the same pain receptors as the drugs. Unsurprisingly, it creates opioid-style effects. For these users, it may lower the desire for harmful opioids and the withdrawal symptoms of opioids like heroin.

The extensive usage (or misusage) of prescription opioids in the USA has created the need for quality treatment in opioid addiction recovery and withdrawal. Kratom is an all-natural plant that could help to treat people. But more research is needed.

Consider this article, which addresses the safety of kratom.

The opioid epidemic is a national emergency, so we must explore kratom further. Currently, the USA needs safe methods to stop this epidemic.

Can Kratom Assist in Drug Addiction Treatment?

Some anecdotal evidence indicates that kratom could help people with opioid addiction overcome withdrawal symptoms. Kratom provides the sensations of sedation, mild euphoric feelings, lessened anxiety, and relief from aches and pains.

The effects render it a powerful item for fighting opioid dependence. Kratom works on the same receptors as opioids, so it fights withdrawal symptoms from quitting opioids.

Kratom kickstarts a different set of receptors than prescription painkillers or heroin. Thus, the high is different from that of such drugs.

Does Kratom Have Risks?

Benefits of kratom the island now

Despite the many “pros” of using kratom for opioid withdrawal symptoms, several concerns exist about the plant’s addictive traits. Some may state that kratom is an ideal solution for harm reduction, but some experts feel that kratom is rife for abuse and addiction if used for a prolonged period.

And because kratom lacks governmental regulation and is not administered by trained medical staff, folks who use it to fight addiction are on their own and essentially self-medicating, not understanding how long they need to use it or how much.

The lack of regulation can be concerning as users may consume contaminants or other unwanted substances. Some side effects like hallucinations, paranoia, vomiting, nausea, and liver damage may also result from using kratom.

The legal consequences are another aspect to consider. It is a federally legal substance currently banned in Wisconsin, Vermont, Washington, DC, Tennessee, Indiana, Arkansas, and Alabama. Even the FDA has warned people against using the leaf since it is not regulated for medical use.

Is Kratom Overdose Possible?

Yes, it is possible to overdose on kratom.

According to the CDC, kratom was discovered to be the cause of death in 91 cases of overdose from July 2016 to December 2017.

For seven of the deaths, kratom was the only substance found on the toxicology test. Other substances couldn’t be ruled out, said the CDC.

Kratom has been part of the DEA’s drugs of concern list for many years. The leaf has the potential for overdose and toxicity. Thanks to the fatalities associated with the usage of kratom, the USA may schedule kratom under illicit drugs.

One study performed on kratom usage and overdose by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) utilized reports drawn from National Poison Data to learn about the use of kratom based on the quantity of kratom-related events that led to calls to the local poison control hotline.

Between the years 2010 and 2015, the number of phone calls made to poison control centers for kratom usage shot up from 26 in 2010 to 263 once 2015 arrived. More than 40% of these telephone calls were due to life-threatening or highly serious incidents.

Persons who dialed the poison control hotline reported these symptoms and signs of a kratom overdose:

    • Coma
    • Drowsiness
    • Seizure
    • Irritability /agitation
    • Hypertension
    • Tachycardia
    • Nausea

There are risk factors associated with kratom use. The leaf’s prevalence is increasing in the USA, and thanks to its adverse side effects, users and medical professionals should be knowledgeable about its side effects.

For low doses, the following may occur: 

    • Social behaviors/easier time in social situations
    • Talking a lot
    • A heightened state of alertness
    • Higher energy

For long-term kratom use, the following may happen: 

    • Weight loss
    • Anorexia
    • Constipation
    • Frequent urination
    • Dry mouth
    • Insomnia

Taking large doses of kratom poses serious health risks: 

    • Psychotic symptoms like confusion, delusion, hallucination
    • Seizures
    • Psychosis
    • Overdose

Overdosing on kratom alone presents a huge concern, but its risk for OD may increase when used in conjunction with drugs or alcohol.

One case involved an individual who found themselves in the emergency room for a coma and seizure after using kratom and was found positive for additional drugs such as oxycodone, antidepressants, and cannabis.

Similar to dose-dependent use, kratom shows sedative and stimulant effects. It has an unusual variety of results, and using the leaf makes it highly unpredictable and heightens the dangers of using it with other drugs like narcotics or benzodiazepines.

It should be noted that the signals of kratom overdose aren’t as evident as those of alcohol, opioid, and benzodiazepine overdose. But OD’ing on it carries a serious risk and is dangerous. If someone nearby seems to be overdosing on kratom, attempt to stop them from using any more of it and dial 911 without hesitation.

Remain calm as you help this individual, and keep them calm as well. As you wait for first responders to reach you, please do the following: 

    1. Check the individual’s airway to ensure they’re breathing and pulse. If this individual isn’t breathing, perform CPR if trained in it. If the individual is unconscious but breathing, get them into a recovery position by rolling that individual to the side and bending that person’s top leg over the bottom leg. Then, tilt their head back. You can view a video of the recovery position here.
    2. If the individual you’re helping is having a seizure, the primary goal is to keep them from being harmed. Help the person lie down safely away from pointed/sharp objects. Keep their head cushioned. Turn them onto their side. Stay with them until help arrives.

Knowing if a person is overdosing is difficult, especially if you are not trained to recognize the signs. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you dial emergency services, listen carefully to the dispatcher and follow their instructions best to help the first responders and the overdosing individual.

Should I Use Kratom For Opiate Withdrawal?

How addictive is kratom vs. opioids the island now

At first, you see kratom, and you think of the possibilities. It might be a great way to fight the agonizing pains of opioid withdrawal and addiction. But, with further research, you realize that all that glitters isn’t gold.

No two drug users are alike, especially with opioids. So, kratom could work great for one person but be a terrible idea for another person.

One thing we can count on? Opioid usage isn’t something you develop inside a vacuum. There are many reasons behind addiction, and the factors are environmental, biological, and family-related.

Persons actively involved in addiction treatment recognize this. Most professionals believe that addiction treatment that doesn’t holistically help – meaning, it doesn’t help the addicted person with the underlying causes of their addiction- is a total failure.

So, thinking about kratom as a low-level detox method isn’t strange.

Opioid Addiction Treatment At Harmony Recovery

As the United States grapples with an opioid epidemic, the people at Harmony Recovery Center are well-informed with current info about what could make treating opioid addiction a comfortable, safe, and successful venture.

Despite anecdotal evidence indicating promise for kratom’s ability to treat opioid addiction, there is a severe lack of evidence to back it up. So, we don’t recommend using kratom for opiate withdrawal to treat this disease.

Instead, you’ll want to get involved with long-term, intense treatment using different medications prescribed by licensed and trained doctors. Medicines like naltrexone and Suboxone are some examples.

We provide extensive programs that provide both outpatient treatment and partial hospitalization. The services are evidence-based and necessary for your recovery journey.

Our services include but aren’t limited to the following: 

    • Aftercare help and planning
    • Adventure therapy
    • Music and Art therapy
    • Medication-assisted treatment
    • Treatment of co-occurring conditions
    • Education about substance abuse
    • Wellness and Health Education
    • Peer Group Support
    • Family and Individual counseling
    • Behavioral Therapy

Please get in touch with us immediately if somebody you care about is fighting opioid addiction. We ensure all clients get the support and tools needed to take back their lives without alcohol or drugs consuming them.

FAQs Regarding Kratom For Opiate Withdrawal 

What Medication Is Best For Withdrawal?

According to an article published in Clinical Guidelines For Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings, Buprenorphine is the best medicine for opioid withdrawal management.

It is ideal for managing moderate to severe withdrawals. It fights off withdrawal symptoms and helps patients lower their cravings for the drug of dependence.

According to the article, buprenorphine should be given after the individual being treated starts to undergo withdrawal symptoms (for example, 8 hours after the last heroin use). This feature is due to the medicine’s pharmacological action- a partial opiate agonist.

Patients with diabetes, urethral obstruction, and respiratory deficiency must use caution with this supplement.

What Kind Of Kratom Do I Need For Withdrawal?

We do not advise using kratom for opiate withdrawal. More research is needed, and the FDA advises against it. Moreover, the respected medical organization Mayo Clinic also advises against its usage.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a study showed that people who used kratom for longer than six months underwent withdrawal symptoms like those occurring after using opioids.

As time passes, people using kratom may develop the need for it and require the same medicines used for treating addiction, like Narcan or Buprenex.

If a pregnant woman uses kratom, the child may experience withdrawal symptoms when they are born.

Does Kratom Help With Severe Pain?

Anecdotally, kratom users report finding pain relief with the mitragyna speciosa leaf.

Kratom for opiate withdrawal could be an effective mitigation tool for chronic pain thanks to its attachment to opioid receptors. A compound of kratom known as 7-hydroxy mitragynine has 13 times the power of morphine.

Despite kratom targeting the opioid receptors, akin to codeine and morphine, it is known as an atypical opioid. Kratom inactivates specific signals, which explains its milder side effects. However, it is not FDA regulated.

 What Is A Replacement For Opioids?

Some viable alternatives for opioids are physical therapy, physical education, and exercise. TENS, or transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, may also be helpful. This therapy uses low-volt electricity currents.

Non-opioid medicines are also viable options. NSAIDs, steroids, antidepressants, and topical medicines may help. Acetaminophen may also help, which is commonly known as Tylenol.

Other solutions may be joint injections, in which corticosteroids are injected into the joints to relieve inflammation-related pain.

Other solutions include dorsal root ganglion and peripheral nerve stimulation, spinal cord stimulation, sympathetic nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablations, trigger point injections, and peripheral nerve blocks.

A licensed treatment facility can help connect you to a physician that can best help you.

Conclusion: Is Kratom A Partial Opioid Agonist?

So, can kratom help with opiate withdrawal? At this time, more research is needed. Given that the FDA advises people not to use the leaf, it’s best to stay away from it until it becomes regulated.

If you need help with opiate withdrawal or addiction, seek the help of Harmony Recovery Centers. The staff is caring and understanding. They don’t judge. Most of all, they are knowledgeable about what it takes to help you safely detox.

The journey to recovery will be difficult, but you can overcome it with the right help. Trust Harmony Recovery Center to help you stay the course.

About the author

Deveshi Dhaka

Editing and proofreading professional Deveshi Dhaka has been in the field for a year, and their work reflects in capacity and efficiency. Editorial experience is a strength of Deveshi Dhaka's. They have excelled as an editor at their own speed,...
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