Kratom Addiction: Definition, Common Signs & Options For Help


In today’s fast-paced world, many look for remedies like kratom to take the edge off. People are aware of the potential pitfalls of becoming addicted to drugs, yet they seek alternative substances.

Kratom, a herbal substance, mirrors the stimulating properties of an opioid. Yet, its label ‘herbal and natural’ cloak the harmful effects.

Mainstream stores sell this herbal derivative to “treat” common types of addictions. Nearly 21 million Americans struggle with gambling, drug, or alcohol dependency and seek help.

Are you suffering or know someone with a kratom dependency? Don’t despair, we can help.

What Is Kratom Addiction?

To understand kratom addiction, you need to understand the substance. Kratom hides behind the moniker herbal. Product derivatives like tea, liquid extract, tablets, or powder are readily available.

Kratom is a substance harvested from a Southeast Asian plant called mitragyna speciosa. Small amounts of kratom might help reduce opium addiction symptoms.

Government agencies like NIDA and FDA are at odds about a standardizing policy. The DEA lists it as a drug of concern.

Studies on this new substance are inconclusive. This early research stage has no bearing on whether or not genetics are a factor. Kratom addiction depends on several factors. The amount consumed, frequency, formulation, and health status influence the impact.

A rise in demand and insufficient data make many people vulnerable to its effects. Victims turn to kratom as a home remedy instead of addiction rehab. Other self-prescribed uses might ease these symptoms:

  • Withdrawal
  • Help with pain
  • Relieve anxiety and depression
  • Boost overall well-being

Several properties of kratom make individuals feel like the product is beneficial. They hope it’s helpful in treating their addiction. This false hope can have disastrous consequences.

Do Kratom Urges Go Away?

Many studies are digging into the benefits and side effects of kratom use. Kratom use helps with withdrawal symptoms. But, one study proved that addiction and withdrawal became evident with substance abusers.

Do kratom urges go away? The answer still needs further monitoring. To overcome addiction, for many people, therapy can help.

Forms of Kratom Addiction

Individuals who turn to kratom are looking for help. To cope with pain, depression, and anxiety, they reach for that feel-good substance.

The dangers of kratom are still uncharted. It might have the same potent pain relief as prescription opioids like morphine. There is no scientific data to verify its benefits.

People use kratom to:

  • To overcome withdrawal symptoms, users might feel temporary relief.
  • To help treat chronic pain, kratom has similar pain-relief effects as prescription opioids.
  • To stop chronic coughs, kratom might provide relief when other cough medications don’t.
  • To treat depression, kratom users report experiencing a feeling of euphoria.
  • To beat anxiety symptoms, many people believe kratom helps by producing a calming effect.
  • To experiment with narcotic-like substances, younger people turn to kratom for a high. It’s available across most states.

The biggest problem with kratom addiction is that there’s not enough data. However, that doesn’t mean kratom addiction isn’t problematic for users and their families.

Kratom Addiction Statistics

The American Journal of Preventative Medicine reports kratom addiction is still uncommon. It affects about 0.7 percent of Americans. The use of kratom is popular among drug and opioid users.

In a 2019 survey, the report studied kratom users. They examined the reason and whether they combined kratom with other substances.

Over 10.3% of opioid users with a clinical disorder also used kratom. Caucasians, males, and patients with depression and mental illness also relied on kratom more frequently. Teens and mature adults are more likely to deny kratom use.

What Are the Signs of Kratom Addiction?

What makes kratom addiction so dangerous is that very little data proves its effects. No studies exist on the substance and its impact on long or short-term use.

Individuals with a substance addiction disorder meet many parameters in standard guidelines and can become kratom addicts.

The danger of addiction might develop after long-term use, and users will struggle with withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Body aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea (though prolonged use causes constipation)
  • Aggressive and irritable behavior
  • Insomnia

Prolonged and Overindulgent Use

Kratom addiction affects individuals with little control over substance use. They may be aware of the dangers but show little concern over consuming the drug in high doses.

Failure to Overcome

Kratom is misleadingly sold as an aid to help overcome withdrawal symptoms. A person with signs of kratom addiction tries to stop but can’t. Some people might view failure to overcome addiction as a sign of weakness. Addiction is a disease and not a choice. It’s also a cycle of recovery and relapse.

Increase in Personal Despondency

Kratom use invades the personal life of users. It affects their emotional and mental well-being until they can no longer manage. Their daily responsibilities and relationships suffer, and some withdraw deeper into isolation.

Withdraw from Life

Kratom addicts lose interest in activities and social engagements. They either withdraw into themselves or seek the company of like-minded addicts.

Individuals will also show a lack of involvement with family, friends, or colleagues.

Poor Lifestyle Choices

Kratom users might make dangerous lifestyle choices. They might choose the wrong crowd and develop poor sanitary or unhealthy eating habits. They might develop bad habits that interfere with school or work.

Willful Neglect

Despite well-meaning advice, kratom addicts will go to great lengths to use the drug. They understand the damage but won’t stop.

Individuals might also develop a desire for more drugs. They crave to enhance the experience as the effects of tolerance develop.

Evidence of Withdrawl

For many using a plant-based drug seems harmless. But, individuals who continue kratom use and increase the doses will suffer. They’ll experience withdrawal after abstaining for a period. These victims of kratom use will benefit from an addiction treatment center.

Drug dependency is a complex matter. Experts who analyze kratom’s addictiveness fear the main compounds are dangerous. These chemicals affect the same addiction receptors that make people vulnerable to addiction. The positives of kratom indicate that it might be less addictive than opioids.

Several institutes are investigating and researching the use of kratom-derived medications. It has the potential to become a substitute for opioids and pain relief.

Types of Unhealthy Kratom Behavior

Kratom users enjoy the short-term sensation of euphoria that lasts about 90 minutes. They also report a feeling of awareness and interest in being active.

Users might increase consumption because users enjoy the euphoria phase and reduced pain. It’s natural to want to repeat the feeling and crave more.

The unhealthy behavior of users suggests that they overlook the side effects. These can have dangerous and uncomfortable consequences.

Reported unhealthy behavior includes:

  • Inability to sleep
  • Uncontrollable perspiration
  • Red cheeks (hyperpigmentation)
  • Itching after ingestion
  • Nausea after ingestion

What Is the Main Cause of Kratom Addiction?

Users with an opioid addiction disorder or those who suffer from chronic pain might mistakenly turn to kratom. They hope to cure their painful and uncomfortable symptoms. If you suffer from addiction or are turning to kratom to help you fight pain, help is available. You don’t need to struggle alone.

There isn’t enough data on kratom addiction to form an in-depth conclusion. But that doesn’t mean people suffering from kratom addiction don’t need intervention.

Kratom has similar properties to opioids. It might negatively affect the addictive response center, contrary to earlier beliefs. More research into kratom dependency is ongoing, but it’s problematic for many.

How Kratom Addiction Affects the Brain

Kratom uses two compounds in the brain to activate the opioid receptors. This reaction makes users feel calmer with a sense of well-being. Users also experienced less pain when they increased their plant substance intake.

Mitragynine stimulates and increases alertness, vitality, and sociability. Despite having potentially dangerous side effects, it makes users feel better.

Institutions like NYU, NIDA, and CDC are looking into kratom’s benefits and side effects. The CDC published a study that looked into the toxicology of kratom-positive deaths. They found that in 27,338 overdose deaths between 2016 and 2019, 156 deceased tested positive for kratom. The medical examiner found that 59.9% of the dead died due to kratom. This revelation also supports the theory that drug-dependent users will likely try kratom.

What Is the Personality of a Kratom Addict?

There is insufficient research on kratom addiction to form a conclusive answer. Yet, people who struggle with opioid use disorder might be more vulnerable to its charms.

Is Kratom Addiction a Mental Health Issue?

Addiction is a mental illness and can encompass many substances or habits. It means that a person cannot control the use or activity of something harmful to them.

Untreated kratom addiction can lead to deeper and longer dependency on other substances. It’s detrimental to the health of a person.

What Mental Illnesses Go Hand in Hand With Kratom?

Medical professionals, addiction clinics, and researchers are only beginning to understand kratom. Its long and short-term effects are undocumented. Potentially, anyone can become a victim of substance abuse.

Persons struggling with opioid dependency: Opioid users might try to experiment with kratom without medical supervision.

Persons suffering from depression and associated mental illnesses: Kratom addiction doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone trying to find an alternative solution to prescription medications.

Persons coping with anxiety disorder: Anxiety is a debilitating affliction. Kratom helps with symptoms temporarily and might tempt users into exploring its uses.

Persons suffering from any mental illness: Over one out of four people in America have a mental health issue. These victims also experience substance abuse problems. Depression and anxiety disorders make people vulnerable to drug use.

Teens:  Although not many teens experimenting with kratom have a mental illness, they turn to kratom to get high. Teens like the sensation of being calm and taking large doses of kratom to escape this potentially challenging phase of their teen experience.

It’s important to remember that teens suffer from trauma, are predisposed to drug use, and need support.

How Do I Stop My Kratom Addiction?

Kratom addiction can be mild or severe. It depends on the circumstances of the individual. Luckily, kratom addiction is treatable with the right help and advice.

The best way to battle a kratom addiction is with the help of a qualified therapist or rehab facility. There are many treatment options to alleviate the symptoms and abate behavioral issues.

Can Kratom Addicts Ever Be Cured?

There’s every reason to believe that kratom addicts can recover with the help of the right resources. It also depends on the person’s mental health status.

Drug addiction is a debilitating chronic issue. There is no cure. But with the right help, users can get beyond their dependence. One of the key realizations is that relapsing is part of the process.

Getting the right help early on in addiction is perhaps the best hope for recovery. If you think you’re addicted to kratom, reach out for help.

What Is the Most Common Treatment for Kratom Addiction?

The most significant danger of kratom addiction is that there’s not enough research. Finding the proper addiction treatment is crucial.

One of the most helpful approaches is to seek behavior therapy. Get support from a qualified treatment facility because you deserve to be well.

What Can I Replace Kratom With?

Only a qualified medical practitioner can prescribe a replacement drug or therapy.

Since kratom is stimulating and can cut pain like opioids, it’s dangerous. You should only use it with medical supervision.

The best replacement for kratom is treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Kratom is the new bad kid of drugs on the market. It’s a misleading herbal derivative that makes it seem harmless when causing severe problems for many users.

What is kratom powder?

Kratom comes in several formats, and kratom powder is used in capsule form or consumed as  tea. Low doses of kratom have a stimulating effect, while high quantities mimic opioids.

Is kratom safe?

The FDA disapproves kratom despite being sold at retail and online. Products sold as kratom might contain heavy metals and bacterial contaminants.

What is kratom classified as?

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not classify kratom as a regulated substance. Some states are looking into banning it. Street names for kratom are Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketum, and Biak.

Additional Addictions to Be Aware Of

Kratom addiction is seldom a single-use addiction, and users often supplement with other recreational and prescription drugs to enhance their experience.

If you know someone who is experimenting with kratom, they should be aware it can lead to other addictions like:

  • Marijuana Addiction: Marijuana is a popular recreational drug many people assume has a low addiction rate.
  • Heroin Addiction: Heroin is an opium derivative and a highly addictive drug causing a physical and mental dependency and an uncontrollable need to get a ‘fix.’
  • Opioid Addiction: Drugs like OxyContin are highly addictive prescription drugs used to treat pain or chronic medical illnesses

Wrapping Up

Kratom addiction is in its infancy, but consumption is growing. One of the most lethal aspects of kratom is that it’s a misleading, naturally occurring plant, making people overlook its dangers.

If you or someone you care about struggles with a kratom addiction, reach out for help. It’s not a problem that resolves on its own. We’re here to help you.


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