Quick Tips for Quitting Kratom
- Seek professional help to get the physical and psychological support you need.
- Involve loved ones in helping you to quit and stay away from kratom.
- Set clear goals and aspirations for what you want to achieve by quitting kratom.
- Focus on other things. Taking up new hobbies is an excellent way of distracting yourself from your recovery.
- Avoid using other substances as a means to replace kratom.
- Seek out support in online forums or other communities to hear from people who have already gone through the process
How Dangerous is Kratom to My Health?
Kratom is widely considered to be a safe substance. The vast majority of users will never experience any significant health effects.
Its benefits far outweigh its potential drawbacks.
Some of the noted side effects of kratom use include:
- Dry mouth
- Increased heartbeat
- Stomach pain
There is limited research to show that acute liver injury could be a rare side effect. However, it should be noted that most people who experienced this side effect were also taking other substances together with kratom.
There’s a very low risk of overdose on kratom for one simple reason. If you take too much, you’ll feel nauseous long before you reach toxic levels.
When compared to the risk of overdose death from prescription opioids, the risk is 1,000 times less with kratom.
Overall, the threat to your health is limited, and the main risk associated with kratom is dependency.
How Addictive is Kratom?
The risk of kratom dependency and full-blown addiction is extremely low. Kratom is far weaker than prescription opioids. The vast majority of users never develop noticeable dependence on kratom.
If you do feel that you’re becoming dependent on the substance, such as if you’ve increased your dosage by more than 50% to get the same effects, consider taking a two-week break.
Also see: How to Taper Off of Kratom: A Complete Guide for Becoming Kratom-Free.
What is a Safe Dosage Level for Kratom?
The right kratom dosage depends entirely on who you are — your weight, height, and any pre-existing conditions you may have.
We recommend taking no more than 10 grams of kratom per day. Ideally, you will take kratom no more than four times per week.
You can also decrease your dosage by combining kratom with turmeric. Turmeric is a well-known kratom potentiator.
Studies have shown that turmeric inhibits P450 enzymes in your liver. This reduces how quickly the liver breaks down kratom, thus extending how long the effects of kratom last, as well as allowing you to take lower doses and experience the same effects as higher dosages.
How Do I Quit Kratom?
There are a few different actions you can take to quit kratom. Each one has its own set of pros and cons to consider.
1. Quit Kratom Cold-Turkey
This is the quickest way to quit but can be fairly uncomfortable compared to the slower, more deliberate methods.
When you quit cold turkey, it means you immediately stop using the substance completely. Dependency will gradually reverse over the course of 1–3 weeks, depending on the extent of the addiction.
This is the best option for people who had a minor addiction to kratom but may not be suitable for more severe addictions.
When you’re dependant on something, it means your body has made adaptations to maintain its balance with the drug in the system. When it’s no longer in the body, these adaptations cause you to become imbalanced — which leads to side effects of withdrawal.
2. Wean Yourself Off Kratom Gradually
The most common method of quitting kratom is to slowly reduce the dose over the course of a few weeks.
This could mean skipping doses completely or simply using a smaller dose each time than you normally would. You then continue reducing the dose until you’re no longer using any kratom.
This method significantly cuts back on the side effects of withdrawal, but not entirely. You will still feel the urge to take more kratom and can experience mild withdrawal symptoms with this method.
There’s no way around this. The point of reducing the dose is to condition your body to adapt to lower concentrations of the substance. Until this happens, it’s going to be slightly out of balance.
This method can take anywhere from 2–6 weeks — potentially even longer. It all depends on how quickly you reduce the dose.
Here’s what a typical schedule looks like for someone weaning themselves off kratom:
- Week 1: 80% of normal dose
- Week 2: 60% of normal dose
- Week 3: 50% of normal dose
- Week 4: 25% of normal dose
- Week 5: 10% of normal dose
- Week 6: No kratom
3. Visit a Detox Center or Rehab
This method is much less common because kratom addiction rarely reaches a level that requires this much medical intervention.
With that said, if you’ve been trying to quit kratom and just can’t seem to shake it, seeking medical help is the right thing to do. There’s nothing shameful about asking for help. These centers have all sorts of treatment options to help you curb your cravings and get off kratom for good.
This is also the best option if you’re combatting more than one addiction at a time.
Set up a meeting with your doctor to explore your options:
Your doctor may recommend various forms of addiction treatment, such as:
- 12-step programs
- Mobile-phone-based counseling
- Individual counseling
- Group counseling
- Formal outpatient treatment programs
What are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Kratom?
Kratom does come with mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. None of the withdrawal symptoms are life-threatening, which is why it isn’t usually necessary to quit under the strict supervision of a doctor.
However, there’s no getting around it — withdrawal symptoms are never comfortable, and they can persist for weeks at a time.
The severity and length of your withdrawal symptoms depend on a range of factors. Chiefly, these include the length of time you’ve been using kratom, how much kratom you were using, and whether there are any extenuating medical or psychiatric issues.
So, what are the main kratom withdrawal symptoms?
Physical symptoms may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle tension or pain
Most users report withdrawal symptoms dissipating within three days. It can take longer for habitual users.
The Key To Quitting Kratom For Good
Contrary to what the conventional medical industry might claim, addiction is not a disease. Nobody chooses to be addicted to something. It isn’t genetics, and it certainly isn’t your fault.
Start by taking a deep breath and forgiving yourself. Be compassionate. The shame and self-loathing that come with addiction are only going to make things worse.
Instead, it’s important to look at addiction as a symptom that something else is going on in your life. It could be that you’re using kratom (or other drugs) to escape from an uncomfortable reality or to suppress certain thought patterns in your mind.
Kratom is a euphoric and painkiller — so most people who are addicted to it have some degree of disconnection with their emotions (often due to past trauma) or a physical ailment that’s causing them intense pain. Sometimes emotional pain will manifest as physical pain as well — which is something substances like kratom can work to suppress.
The trick to escaping an addiction for good is to take the time to find out what’s causing you to seek out an escape. This can be uncomfortable and confronting, but you’re going to thank yourself for doing this in the long run.
Visiting a trauma-informed psychotherapist is going to be extremely valuable for uncovering what potential traumas or repressed emotions are causing your addiction.
What is Kratom?
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a medicinal herb grown throughout Southeast Asia.
Its popularity within the U.S. is relatively new, but in its native heartland, it’s been used for a variety of therapeutic applications for thousands of years.
Within the U.S., kratom has been used as a dietary supplement, a recreational substance, a painkiller, and as a means of combating the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Despite all this, the FDA has never approved kratom for use.
At the same time, kratom isn’t illegal and can be bought both online and through alternative health stores.
The traditional method of consuming kratom is by chewing the fresh leaves.
However, today, most people use dried, powdered kratom, which they mix into a strong tea. A minority of people also choose to take kratom capsules or to roll the leaves and smoke them.
Kratom is considered both a stimulant and a sedative.
Different kratom strains will lead to different effects. Even differences in the dose can alter the effects you can expect.
This is why users need to be aware of safe dosing guidelines and must educate themselves on the qualities of the different strains they’re using.
The main benefits of consuming kratom include:
- Boosts energy levels.
- Improves focus and concentration
- Alleviates fatigue
- Reduces insomnia
- Combats symptoms of anxiety
- Lessens depressive symptoms
Not every strain will do all this. Each type of kratom strain will offer specific effects. Educate yourself on the different effects before deciding which kratom strain is right for you.
What are the Different Types of Kratom?
There are three major types of kratom — red, green, and white vein kratom.
There’s also a fourth type of kratom, known as yellow kratom, but this is a hybrid rather than a distinct category of kratom all by itself.
The strains of kratom are denoted by the different colored veins in the leaves. Different colors arise from the alkaloid levels within each plant.
Red Vein Kratom
This is the most potent sedative class of kratom. Red vein kratom is known for its calming and pain-killing effects. These strains are most commonly used for the purposes of pain relief, muscle relaxation, and insomnia.
Popular strains include Red Sumatra and Red Borneo kratom.
White Vein Kratom
White vein kratom has potent stimulating and mood-boosting effects.
Popular brands include White Horn and White Sumatra.
Green Vein Kratom
Green vein kratom occupies the middle ground between the other two categories.
The effects are more subtle and can be used to get a quick boost before a workout session.
It’s also noted for its analgesic effects.
Popular options include Green Malay and Green Maeng Da kratom.
Final Thoughts: What’s the Best Way to Quit Kratom?
Despite some of the fear-mongering in the media, kratom dependency and addiction is a relatively low-risk outcome. The vast majority of people use kratom responsibly and find that the positive effects far outweigh any of the side effects.
It’s just a matter of agency and carefully monitoring your dosage.
If you do want to quit kratom, there will be withdrawal symptoms, but they are relatively mild and are not life-threatening.
For users who find it difficult to quit, we recommend seeking out professional help and support to get you through the worst of it.