Have you heard of kratom? It’s an herbal supplement that some people use to self-medicate or improve their mood. The leaves of the kratom plant contain compounds that act on the opioid receptors in your brain, so while kratom is legal and natural, it can be addictive.
If you’ve been using kratom regularly and want to quit, you’ll likely experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that can last for several days. The good news is that there are drug addiction rehab centers in Illinois that can provide support and assistance for individuals looking to overcome kratom addiction.
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What is Kratom?
Kratom contains active compounds, the most prominent being mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids interact with the opioid receptors in the brain, producing effects that can range from stimulant-like at lower doses to sedative and euphoric at higher doses. The plant has been used in traditional medicine for its pain-relieving, mood-enhancing, and energizing properties.
In Western countries, kratom has gained popularity as an herbal supplement, with some people using it for self-medication or to alleviate conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. It is commonly available in various forms, including dried leaves, powder, capsules, and extracts.
However, it’s important to note that kratom’s safety and potential for dependence and addiction have been subjects of concern. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has raised awareness about the risks associated with kratom use, including adverse effects on health and the potential for abuse.
Individual responses to kratom can vary, and its legality also varies by jurisdiction. While some places have regulated or banned its use, in others, it remains legal. If you’re considering using kratom or have concerns about its use, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance based on your health and medical history.
What is a Kratom Withdrawal?
Once you stop using kratom, your body needs time to adjust to functioning without it. This adjustment period is known as withdrawal, and it can be quite unpleasant. The severity and timeline of kratom withdrawal depend on factors like:
- How much and how often do you use kratom: Higher doses and long-term use lead to more severe withdrawal.
- Your method of use: Withdrawal may come on faster with intravenous use compared to oral ingestion.
- Your physiological makeup: Age, health issues, and genetics can impact how your body responds to withdrawing from kratom.
Seeking assistance from healthcare professionals or addiction specialists can provide tailored guidance and strategies for coping with body aches and pain during drug withdrawal symptoms and increase the likelihood of a successful transition to a kratom-free lifestyle.
What are the Common Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms?
Going through kratom withdrawal is not easy, but knowing what to expect can help you prepare.
You might encounter some of the typical symptoms, such as:
As kratom leaves your system, you may feel increasingly agitated, restless, and irritable. Your mood and emotions may feel out of control or unbalanced. These psychological symptoms are very common and can last for several days up to a couple weeks. Exercise, meditation, and staying hydrated can help ease these symptoms.
You may struggle with falling asleep, staying asleep, or feeling very tired during the day. Your body has to adjust to functioning without the effects of kratom, and this can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. Try to stick to a routine, limit screen time before bed, and ask your doctor about safe over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids.
Kratom acts as an analgesic, so without it, your body may experience more discomfort. You may notice joint or muscle pains, headaches, and general feelings of unease. Ibuprofen, heating pads, and gentle massage can provide some relief from these physical withdrawal symptoms.
As your body detoxes from kratom, you may experience distress and discomfort. Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea are not uncommon. Staying hydrated, eating bland foods, and taking over-the-counter anti-nausea or anti-diarrheal medications may help reduce symptoms. Seek medical attention if symptoms become severe or last more than a couple of days.
While the symptoms may be unpleasant, kratom withdrawal is typically not dangerous. With time and patience, your body and mind will heal. Maintain your focus on recovery and seek assistance and support whenever necessary.
Kratom Withdrawal Timeline
The kratom withdrawal timeline can vary among individuals based on several factors, including the frequency and amount of kratom use, individual physiology, and whether the use was abruptly stopped or gradually tapered. Generally, kratom withdrawal follows a timeline with distinct phases:
Days 1-2 mark the onset of kratom withdrawal symptoms, presenting an array of physical and psychological challenges. During this phase, individuals commonly encounter heightened anxiety, restlessness, and muscle aches. Additionally, flu-like symptoms, including a runny nose and increased sweating, may manifest, contributing to the overall discomfort experienced in the early stages of withdrawal. The combined impact of these symptoms underscores the challenging nature of the initial kratom withdrawal period. It is during this time that individuals may seek support and interventions to navigate the evolving symptoms effectively.
The most challenging phase of quitting kratom typically occurs between Days 3 and 5. At this time, the discomfort you feel is at its highest. You might feel more anxious and sad during these days. Sleeping becomes difficult, and there may be a strong desire to resume kratom use. These strong feelings make it crucial to get support during this challenging period. Professional assistance can significantly aid in overcoming the challenges of discontinuing kratom.
Between Days 6 and 14, there’s a gradual lessening of withdrawal symptoms. While some challenges like anxiety, depression, and cravings might stick around, their strength should start to diminish. During this time, you may begin to sense relief and improvements in how you feel overall. This phase marks a positive shift as your body adjusts, and seeking ongoing support can aid in managing any remaining difficulties.
Beyond Day 15, many people will feel a lot better, and most withdrawal symptoms will be much less or even gone. But, for some, things like feeling anxious or sad might stick around for a few more weeks or even months. Getting continued support and treatment can really help in dealing with these feelings and making sure you stay on the right track
It’s crucial to note that the kratom withdrawal experience is subjective, and not everyone will follow this exact timeline. Factors such as the presence of co-occurring mental health issues, the use of other substances, and individual resilience can influence the duration and intensity of withdrawal symptoms. If you or someone you know is considering quitting kratom, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to create a personalized plan based on individual circumstances.
What is the Process of Detoxing From Kratom?
Kratom withdrawal can be difficult to go through, but the good news is that there are treatment options available to help you detox comfortably.
At Northern Illinois Recovery Center, we offer medically supervised detox programs for kratom withdrawal. These provide a safe, controlled environment where you can detox under the care of doctors and nurses. They will administer medications as needed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and provide IV fluids if you experience dehydration. Some programs also offer counseling and therapy during detox.
Certain medications may be used to treat specific withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Clonidine: Helps reduce anxiety, agitation, and restlessness. It can also help lower blood pressure.
- Buprenorphine: Used to curb opioid cravings and withdrawal. It activates the same receptors in the brain as kratom to relieve withdrawal symptoms.
- Antidepressants: These may be prescribed for depression or insomnia.
- Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: Can relieve body aches and pains.
Detox with Compassionate Support at Northern Illinois Recovery
Licensed Physician and Surgeon
Dr. Beth Dunlap, a board-certified addiction medicine and family medicine physician, and is the medical director at Northern Illinois Recovery Center. She is responsible for overseeing all the integrated medical services at both campuses. Beth completed medical school, residency, and fellowship at Northwestern University, where she continues to serve on the faculty as a member of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She has extensive experience in addiction medicine at all levels of care, and her clinical interests include integrated primary care and addiction medicine, harm reduction, and medication-assisted treatment.