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Kratom Addiction Facts, Withdrawal Signs & Treatment Options

Kratom is a tropical plant prevalent in Southeast Asia, and it is used as a traditional remedy for symptomatic relief of various diseases. It has been labeled as an atypical opioid with narcotic-like properties. However, it is also capable of inducing kratom dependence among those who misuse or abuse it. The prevalence of kratom abuse has drastically increased worldwide, raising concerns among healthcare providers, particularly regarding the availability of effective treatment options for kratom dependency. Continue to read more about kratom addiction, kratom withdrawal symptoms, and treatment.

What is Kratom?

Kratom tropical tree is native to Southeast Asia with the scientific name Mitragyna speciosa. Its leaves contain chemicals that can have psychotropic (mind-altering) effects.

Kratom addiction has become very prevalent these days because it’s currently not illegal and has been easy to order on the internet. It is occasionally offered as a green powder in packages with the label “not for human consumption,” as well as as an extract or gum.

Most individuals use kratom as a tablet, capsule, or extract. However, some people eat its leaves or make tea from dried or powdered leaves. The leaves are sometimes smoked or consumed in meals.

Is Kratom Addictive?

Like other drugs with opioid-like effects, Mitragyna speciosa might cause dependency, which means kratom users will feel physical withdrawal symptoms when they discontinue taking the medication. However, some users have reported becoming dependent on kratom.

Kratom withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

  • Muscle aches.
  • Insomnia.
  • Irritability.
  • Hostility.
  • Aggression.
  • Emotional changes.
  • Runny nose.
  • Jerky movements.

Kratom Addiction Potential & Risk Factors

Kratom has the potential for addiction, although its addictive properties appear milder than traditional opioids. Several aspects can contribute to the development of kratom addiction:

  • Frequency and Duration of Use: Regular and prolonged use of kratom increases the risk of developing dependence and addiction. Using kratom daily or multiple times daily can make the body reliant on the substance.
  • Dosage: Higher doses of kratom may increase the risk of addiction. Taking more significant amounts of kratom can intensify its effects, making it more likely for individuals to seek continued use.
  • Individual Susceptibility: Each person’s susceptibility to addiction varies. Some kratom users may be more prone to developing addiction due to genetic, biological, or psychological factors.
  • Underlying Issues: Kratom use may be influenced by underlying psychological or emotional issues, such as anxiety, depression, or chronic pain. If these issues are not adequately addressed, there may be a higher risk of developing addiction as individuals may rely on kratom to self-medicate.
  • Polysubstance Use: Using kratom in combination with other substances, such as alcohol or opioids, can increase the risk of addiction and intensify the potential dangers.

It is crucial to approach kratom use with caution and moderation to minimize the risk of addiction. If you or someone you’re concerned with is struggling with kratom addiction, seeking professional help from healthcare providers or addiction specialists is advisable to receive appropriate support and guidance for recovery.

The regular and prolonged use of kratom can increase the risk of developing dependence, leading to kratom addiction and withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop or reduce use.
The regular and prolonged use of kratom can increase the risk of developing dependence, leading to kratom addiction and withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop or reduce use.

Can you get addicted to kratom? Yes, it’s possible. Kratom has been traditionally utilized in Southeast Asia for its stimulant and analgesic properties. In its traditional use, kratom is consumed in moderation and within cultural practices.

However, kratom can cause dependency and produce opioid-like effects, including euphoria. Kratom contains alkaloids that react with opioid receptors, resulting in pain relief, relaxation, and mood enhancement.

Kratom Legality

Is kratom legal? Kratom is not presently viewed and listed as a controlled chemical by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) but is considered a “drug of concern.” Because of this, it is not federally regulated. This means that it is technically permitted at the federal level. Various states have contrasting regulations on the possession and consumption of kratom.

Kratom Drug Facts

How Does Kratom Addiction Affect The Brain?

Kratom addiction can mimic the effects of both opioids and stimulants. Mitragynine and hydroxy mitragynine, two chemicals found in kratom leaves, interact with the brain’s opioid receptors, causing sleepiness, pleasure, and pain relief, especially when significant doses of the plant are consumed.

Mitragynine also stimulates the brain by interacting with other receptor systems. Mitragyna speciosa, on the other hand, might have unpleasant and occasionally severe side effects.

Kratom Side Effects

While kratom may have potential benefits according to traditional users, it is also associated with various side effects.

  • Nausea and Vomiting: Some individuals may experience feelings of nausea and may even vomit after using kratom.
  • Dry Mouth: Kratom can cause dryness in the mouth, leading to increased thirst and a thirsty feeling.
  • Constipation: Kratom use can reduce gastrointestinal motility, leading to constipation and difficulty passing stools.
  • Loss of Appetite: Some individuals may experience a decrease in appetite while using kratom.
  • Fatigue and Drowsiness: Kratom’s sedative effects may lead to feelings of fatigue and excessive drowsiness.
  • Sweating: Sweating or increased perspiration is a reported side effect of kratom use.
  • Increased Urination: Kratom can have a diuretic effect, causing individuals to urinate more frequently.
  • Elevated Heart Rate and Blood Pressure: Kratom may increase heart rate and blood pressure, particularly at higher doses.
  • Anxiety and Irritability: Kratom use can potentially trigger or exacerbate feelings of anxiety and irritability in some individuals.
  • Dependency and Withdrawal: Prolonged and regular use of kratom can lead to dependence, with individuals experiencing withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing or reducing their kratom intake. These symptoms may include irritability, anxiety, restlessness, muscle aches, insomnia, and cravings.

Kratom Street Names

Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, has a long history of traditional use in Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It has been used for its stimulant and analgesic properties, providing energy, pain relief, and relaxation. Below are some of the most common kratom names:

  • Thang.
  • Krypton.
  • Kakuam.
  • Kedemba.
  • Mitragynine extract.
  • Mitragyna speciosa.
  • Thom.
  • Ketum.
  • Biak-Biak (common name in Thailand).
  • Nauclea speciosa.
  • Cratom.
  • Gratom.
  • Ithang.
  • Katawn.
  • Kakuam.
  • Ketum.
  • Mambog.
  • Krathom.
  • Krton.
  • Madat.
  • Maeng da leaf.
The severity and prevalence of kratom addiction side effects can vary based on individual factors, such as dosage, frequency of use, and personal sensitivity.
The severity and prevalence of kratom addiction side effects can vary based on individual factors, such as dosage, frequency of use, and personal sensitivity.

Kratom Addiction Help

Professional assistance can provide guidance and support throughout the recovery process. Contact healthcare providers, addiction specialists, or helplines for appropriate kratom addiction treatment options. Treatment may involve a combination of behavioral therapies, counseling, support groups, and, in some cases, medication-assisted treatment. Remember, you don’t have to face addiction alone; seeking addiction treatment help is the first step toward recovery.

Download the below “Kratom Drug Fact Sheet” for more information. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) has made this file publicly available for download to help drug abuse awareness.

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Kratom Death Statistics

Kratom-related deaths are limited and controversial. The CDC has reported cases where kratom was detected in the systems of individuals who died from drug overdoses. However, in many of these cases, kratom was found in combination with other substances, making it difficult to determine the exact contribution of kratom to the fatalities.


In 2019, kratom was a reason for death in nearly 100 individuals over 17 months, a higher number than previously reported.

Source: CDC


The CDC investigated reports of more than 27,000 unintentional drug overdoses involving kratom across 32 states and Washington, D.C.

Source: CDC


About 80% of the individuals in the CDC study who had kratom in their system had a history of substance abuse. Almost all of them also had other drugs in their body.

Source: CDC

Is Kratom Overdose Possible?

Multiple reports of deaths have occurred in people who had ingested Mitragyna speciosa. Still, most have involved other substances. The FDA and the CDC reports indicate that many of the deaths associated with kratom appeared to have resulted from contaminated products or taking kratom with other potent substances. This includes illicit drugs, opioids, benzodiazepines, alcohol, gabapentin, and over-the-counter medications like cough syrup. People should consult their healthcare provider about the safety of mixing kratom with other medicines.

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Kratom Addiction Signs

Is kratom addicting? Yes. Although people who take Mitragyna speciosa believe in its value, researchers who have studied Mitragyna speciosa think its side effects and safety issues more than offset potential benefits. For example, poison control centers in the United States received about 1,800 reports involving Mitragyna speciosa from 2011 through 2019, including descriptions of death. Almost half of these exposures resulted in serious adverse outcomes such as seizures and high blood pressure.

Kratom has several known side effects, including the following:

  • Weight loss.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Chills, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Changes in urine and constipation.
  • Liver damage.
  • Muscle pain.

Kratom addiction also affects the mind and nervous system:

  • Dizziness.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Hallucinations and delusion.
  • Depression.
  • Breathing suppression.
  • Seizures, coma, and death.

Mitragyna speciosa takes effect after five to 10 minutes, lasting two to five hours. The results of kratom become more intense as the quantity taken heightens. In animals, kratom seems to be more potent than morphine. Many problems with pain medications occur when these chemicals are used at high doses or over a long period. It’s not known precisely what level of Mitragyna speciosa is toxic in people, but with pain drugs and recreational substances, it is possible to overdose on Mitragyna speciosa.

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The industry's lack of standardized production practices and regulations further complicates kratom addiction and safety.
The industry’s lack of standardized production practices and regulations further complicates kratom addiction and safety.

Is Kratom Safe?

The FDA says there are no FDA-approved uses for Mitragyna speciosa (kratom) and has serious concerns about it. In recent years, the FDA has cracked down on companies selling Mitragyna speciosa to treat withdrawal from opioids and other conditions.

They also warn that some Mitragyna speciosa products may be tainted with hazardous bacteria, such as salmonella.

The safety of kratom is a subject of debate and ongoing research. While some individuals claim benefits and use it responsibly, kratom is associated with potential health risks and adverse effects. These risks include addiction, dependency, withdrawal symptoms, gastrointestinal issues, increased heart rate, blood pressure, and the potential for interactions with other substances.

Kratom Addiction Treatment Options

There are several treatment options available for kratom addiction. The appropriate approach depends on individual needs and the severity of the addiction. Here are some standard treatment options:

  • Medically Assisted Detoxification: This involves supervised withdrawal from kratom, often using medications to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Medical professionals can provide 24/7 guidance and support during the detoxification process.
  • Behavioral Therapies: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management can help individuals identify triggers, develop coping skills, and modify addictive behaviors. These therapies focus on addressing underlying psychological factors contributing to addiction.
  • Support Groups: Joining recovery support groups, such as 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous (NA), can provide peer support, accountability, and a safe environment to share experiences with others facing similar challenges.
  • Counseling and Therapy: Individual or group counseling sessions with addiction specialists can offer a supportive and non-judgmental environment to address underlying issues related to kratom addiction and develop strategies for long-term recovery.
  • Evidence-Based Approaches: Complementary therapies like mindfulness meditation, yoga, acupuncture, or art therapy may be incorporated into treatment plans to support overall well-being and address the mental, physical, and emotional aspects of substance use disorders.

Working with healthcare professionals or addiction specialists who can provide personalized assessments and create a tailored treatment plan based on individual needs is vital. Recovery from kratom addiction is a journey, and ongoing support is crucial for long-term success.

Contact We Level Up rehab center for treatment information resources and free assessment. Each call is private and confidential, and our addiction specialists are ready to help 24/7.

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Top 3 Kratom Addiction Stories FAQs

  1. How addictive is kratom?

    The addictive potential of kratom is a subject of ongoing research and debate. While kratom does contain compounds that interact with opioid receptors and produce effects similar to opioids, its addictive potential appears to be relatively lower compared to traditional opioids. However, it is still possible to develop dependence and addiction with regular and prolonged use of kratom. Withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, anxiety, insomnia, muscle aches, and cravings, have been reported upon cessation of kratom use. It is critical to approach kratom use with caution and to seek professional help if struggling with dependence or substance use disorder.

  2. How long does it take to get addicted to kratom?

    Some individuals may develop dependence or addiction to kratom relatively quickly, primarily if they use high doses frequently. Others may use kratom for extended periods before experiencing significant addiction-related issues. There is no definitive duration for the development of kratom addiction, as it can vary from person to person.

  3. Is it possible to develop kava and kratom addiction?

    Developing an addiction to kava and kratom is possible, although the addictive properties and risks differ. Kava can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms when used excessively or for prolonged periods. Similarly, with its opioid-like effects, kratom can result in dependence and withdrawal symptoms with regular and long use. It is vital to use both substances in moderation and be aware of the potential kratom health risks. Seeking professional help is advisable if you have concerns about dependence or addiction to kava or kratom.

How Long Do Opiates Stay in Your System? How Long Do Opiates Stay in Urine, Blood, & Body?

Many individuals abuse kratom to experience its opioid-like effects. Kratom’s active compounds can interact with the brain’s opioid receptors, producing effects similar to opioids. However, kratom also acts on other receptors and has additional effects that can differ from traditional opioids.

But how long can someone feel the effects of opiates? To learn more about opioids, watch the below video.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with kratom addiction or other substance use disorder(s), call for a FREE consultation 24/7 at (561) 678-0917

How Long Do Opiates Stay in Your System? A Brief Video Transcript.

The length of time that opiates remain in your system varies depending on the type of opiate, the dosage, and the frequency of use. Generally, opiates can stay in your system for two to four days. However, heavier and chronic users may have residues for up to seven days.

Opiates can be detected in the blood test for up to 24 hours and the urine test for up to three days. Opiates can be detected in the hair follicles for up to 90 days. In chronic users, opiates can stay in the body for up to 30 days.

Opiates often have short half-lives, meaning their effects can linger for several hours even though they swiftly leave the body. However, Opioids can linger in a person’s bloodstream for several hours or days after the symptoms subside, depending on the substance used. Urine tests, one of the more common types of drug testing, can identify opioid usage for longer periods of time, often up to three to four days, and some tests can identify opioid use for up to three months.

Drugs in the opioid class are used to treat pain. Natural opioids, semi-synthetic opioids generated from natural opioids, and synthetic opioids produced in a lab are all referred to as opioids under the general term. A class of medications known as opioids have opiates, which are organic byproducts of the poppy plant.

The main difference is that “opiate” refers to the substances derived from the opium (poppy) plant. At the same time, “opioids” are all substances that interact with opioid receptors, including those created in the lab.

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Search We Level Up Kratom Addiction Detox, Mental Health Topics & Resources

[1] Bin Abdullah MFIL. Kratom Dependence and Treatment Options: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature. Curr Drug Targets. 2020;21(15):1566-1579. DOI: 10.2174/1389450121666200719011653. PMID: 32682371.

[2] Jentsch MJ, Pippin MM. Kratom. [Updated 2023 Jan 23]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:

[3] Settle AG, Yang C. A Case of Severe Kratom Addiction Contributing to a Suicide Attempt. Cureus. 2022 Sep 28;14(9):e29698. DOI: 10.7759/cureus.29698. PMID: 36321032; PMCID: PMC9616552.

[4] Eastlack SC, Cornett EM, Kaye AD. Kratom-Pharmacology, Clinical Implications, and Outlook: A Comprehensive Review. Pain Ther. 2020 Jun;9(1):55-69. DOI: 10.1007/s40122-020-00151-x. Epub 2020 Jan 28. PMID: 31994019; PMCID: PMC7203303.

[5] FDA and Kratom – Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

[6] Kratom – National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Available from:

[7] Drug Fact Sheet: Kratom – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

[8] Marijuana, Kratom, E-cigarettes – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

[9] KRATOM (Mitragyna speciosa Korth) (Street Names: Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketum, Biak) – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

[10] Kratom – Get Smart About Drugs Available from:

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