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Kratom Withdrawal

What Is Kratom?

“Kratom” commonly refers to an herbal substance that can produce opioid- and stimulant-like effects. Kratom and kratom-based products are currently legal and accessible in many areas, though U.S. and international agencies continue to review emerging evidence to inform kratom policy. [1] As with other substances with opioid-like effects, kratom use can lead to drug tolerance, cravings, and dependence. Eventually, this can lead to physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when people stop using it.

“Kratom” refers to both Mitragyna speciosa, a tree native to Southeast Asia, and to products derived from its leaves that are marketed as herbal supplements. Kratom leaves contain many chemical compounds (known as bioactive alkaloids) that can affect the body. The most well-studied compounds related to kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as kratom, a plant that grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. FDA is concerned that kratom, which affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine, appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, substance abuse, and dependence.

There are no FDA-approved uses for kratom, and the agency has received concerning reports about the safety of kratom. FDA is actively evaluating all available scientific information on this issue and continues to warn consumers not to use any products labeled as containing the botanical substance kratom or its psychoactive compounds, mitragynine, and 7-hydroxymitragynine. FDA encourages more research to better understand kratom’s safety profile, including the use of kratom combined with other drugs. [2]

Kratom Withdrawal
Kratom withdrawal produces many of the same symptoms as opiates and opioid withdrawal, though they aren’t always as severe.

How Is Kratom Used?

While there are no uses for kratom approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, people report using kratom to manage drug withdrawal symptoms and cravings (especially related to opioid use disorder), pain, fatigue, and mental health problems. [3] Much is still unknown about chemical compounds related to kratom, the short- and long-term health and safety impacts of kratom use, and kratom’s potential therapeutic uses.

The Effects Of Kratom Use

Like all drugs, kratom’s effects may depend on the amount taken, potency (concentration and strength), formulation of the product, the way it is ingested, other drugs in a person’s system, a person’s underlying medical conditions, and a person’s previous experience with the substance, among other factors. Importantly, kratom products vary, so effects are difficult to predict. Some kratom products have been found to contain contaminants that produce effects not associated with kratom or kratom compounds alone.

People who use kratom report both stimulant-like effects (increased energy, alertness, and rapid heart rate) and effects that are similar to opioids and sedatives (relaxation, pain relief, and confusion).

Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms

Studies suggest that individuals may experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms when they stop regular kratom use. Research shows that kratom withdrawal is different for everyone. In one study, individuals who had developed moderate to severe kratom dependence, commonly experienced withdrawal symptoms, including the following: [4]

  • Jerky movements of the limbs
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Cravings
  • Watery eyes
  • Tension
  • Sadness
  • Runny nose
  • Hot flashes
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Anger
  • Nervousness
  • Depressed mood

Death from kratom misuse is extremely rare. A 2019 report linked 11 U.S. deaths (between 2011 and 2017) to kratom. Only two of those were from kratom alone. Additionally, polysubstance misuse (other drugs or alcohol)—that also involves kratom—has been associated with severe adverse effects, including liver problems and death. [5]


Some people who use kratom have reported mild side effects, such as nausea, constipation, dizziness, and drowsiness. In case of reports, clinicians report seeing patients with a wide range of rare but serious adverse effects associated with kratom exposure—including mental and neurological symptoms (confusion, tremors, and seizures), heart and lung problems (high blood pressure and slow breathing), gastrointestinal problems (nausea and vomiting) and liver problems. A very small number of deaths have been linked to kratom products, and nearly all cases involved other drugs or contaminants. [6]

The long-term effects of kratom use are not well understood. There have been reports that long-term use of large doses of kratom may cause serious liver problems in some people. In addition, harmful contaminants such as heavy metals and disease-causing bacteria have been found in some kratom products. [7]

Kratom Withdrawal
If you take kratom, there’s a chance you’ll experience kratom withdrawal when you cut back or stop, especially if you take a lot or use it often.

Kratom Withdrawal Experience

People typically use kratom by swallowing raw plant matter in capsule or powder form, mixing kratom powder into food or drinks, brewing the leaves as tea, or taking liquid kratom extract. People who use kratom report both stimulant-like effects (increased energy, alertness, and rapid heart rate) and effects that are similar to opioids and sedatives (relaxation, pain relief, and confusion).

Although people may use kratom to try to overcome opioid addiction, kratom itself may have the potential to be addictive. Regular kratom users may experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using it. Fatal overdoses from kratom alone appear to be extremely rare. The use of kratom in combination with other drugs has been linked to deaths and severe adverse effects such as liver problems. More research is needed on drug interactions involving kratom.

According to Healthline, not everyone who regularly uses kratom becomes dependent on it or experiences withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it. The risk for dependence and potential withdrawal tends to increase when you take it in higher doses — usually 5 grams or more taken more than 3 times per day. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, though, and everyone is different. People who self-medicate with kratom for pain or take kratom to try to mitigate the withdrawal effects of other substances may be more likely to experience dependence and withdrawal. [8]

Kratom Withdrawal Timeline

Symptoms of withdrawal from kratom may vary depending on how long you were using kratom and how much of the drug you were taking. According to U.S. and Malaysian surveys, symptoms of kratom withdrawal typically appear within 12 to 48 hours of your last dose and usually disappear within 3 days. However, one study estimates that symptoms may last between 3 and 10 days. Symptoms may continue longer if you were taking a higher dose of kratom for a long period of time. [9]

How Long Does Kratom Withdrawal Last?

Anecdotal reports suggest that some people who use kratom heavily experience what is known as post acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). PAWS happens in some people after withdrawal from a variety of substances. People with PAWS tend to experience depression, anxiety, and insomnia that come and go in waves in the days or weeks following the discontinuation of a drug.

Kratom Withdrawal
How fast kratom withdrawal symptoms kick in and how long they last is dependent on how much you were using and for how long.

Inpatient Drug Rehab Texas Can Help

Clearing kratom from the body and overcoming withdrawal symptoms is the goal of kratom detox, which is the first step of treatment for addiction. [10] We Level Up TX has a comprehensive team prescribing medications that can alleviate your withdrawal pains while monitoring your health 24 hours during the detox. We prioritize your safety and comfort because this is a fragile and challenging time for you.

Once detox is complete, a new doorway in treatment opens up, which is referred to as a residential level of care. The residential care program slowly and effectively introduces the individual into an atmosphere of therapeutic growth, marked by master’s level therapists, clinicians, group counselors, psychiatrists, and a community of like-minded individuals with the same aim: to attain sobriety and live a great life.

Some of the many modalities applied and practiced within our residential treatment facility are:

How We Can Help? Searched for “Texas inpatient consultants or drug and alcohol treatment centers in Houston TX” or are you seeking a national inpatient rehab destination?

We Level Up TX treatment tailors the program to the individual and the individual to the program of recovery. We begin by assessing our client’s history of mental health, drugs, and alcohol-related past. The needs of each patient are specific and personalized because we aim to provide comprehensive support for mental health, addiction, and dual diagnosis treatment. The supportive environment is designed accordingly to give patients 24-hour care for sobriety. Most importantly, we hope to have our clients live comfortably within the facility during this crucial and fragile time.

We Level Up TX prioritizes removing temptations for relapse and applying an air of recovery into every component of the treatment timeline, including meth addiction treatment. We Level Up TX finds that when clients are living in a supportive community, especially during their early recovery process, they can truly focus on what matters most: their recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with kratom withdrawal, reach out to We Level Up TX because we may be able to help you explore treatment options.


[1,3,6] Kratom –
[2] FDA and Kratom –
[4] Kratom Withdrawal: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment Options –
[5] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.) Kratom.
[7] Kratom –
[8] What to Expect from Kratom Withdrawal –
[9] We Level Up » Rehab » Meth Addiction Treatment
[10] How Long Does Withdrawal From Kratom Last? –