Whether you’re new to kratom or have been using it for years, you’ve probably heard conflicting accounts about kratom addiction. Some people say it’s no worse than a caffeine addiction, while others liken it to opiate dependencies, making it hard to figure out the truth.
The truth of the matter is, every person’s experience with kratom is different. Some consumers use it for years without ever developing a tolerance or a physical dependency. Others find that ongoing use leads to kratom withdrawal symptoms when they take breaks. This difference in experiences makes it difficult to generalize about kratom’s potential for addiction.
Getting an unbiased view of kratom’s abuse potential requires some serious digging. You can find out what contemporary researchers, kratom advocates, and everyday users have to say about this below.
Before talking about kratom, in particular, let’s discuss addiction more generally. There’s an important distinction that not everyone is aware of between addiction and dependency. This distinction helps explain why not everyone feels that kratom is an addictive substance, so let’s start there.
Addiction vs. Dependency
The term “dependency” refers to a physical state occurring in your body. If you have a kratom dependency, you’ll develop tolerance and experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it. Not everyone who is physically dependent on kratom is addicted to it.
Addiction refers to a psychological state. If you’re addicted to a substance, your brain chemistry changes, and it becomes challenging to stop using it. Addicts, known in the medical field as patients with substance use disorders, use substances even when detrimental to them.
Physical dependency is a common feature of addiction, but it’s also possible to be addicted to something psychologically.
How to Tell If You’re Developing a Kratom Dependency
It’s usually easy to tell if you are developing a physical dependency on kratom, even in the earliest phases. The first thing you might notice is that your tolerance to kratom’s active alkaloids has gone up. You will need to use more kratom to attain the same results you used to see with less of the herb.
If you start increasing the amount of kratom you use in response, it could make the problem worse. You may need to continue taking more massive amounts. When you try to take a break, you could experience withdrawal symptoms.
Developing a physical dependency may make you more prone to experiencing real kratom addiction. Many factors can influence your risk of becoming addicted to kratom. They could include your environment, personal history, unique genetic makeup, and even when you tend to use kratom.
No matter what factors contributed to your dependency, it would be best if you take action now. Instead of using more kratom to combat your higher tolerance, try taking a break when you notice it begin to rise. That’s the best way to break this destructive cycle before it gets worse.
Kratom Addiction Symptoms
Since addiction is partially a psychological phenomenon, it’s possible to get addicted to almost anything. By definition, the symptoms of various addictions are all very similar.
If you are addicted to kratom, you could experience some or all of these symptoms:
- An extreme urge to use kratom, even when you shouldn’t.
- Using more kratom than you intended or using it more frequently than you intended
- Needing more kratom to achieve the same effects
- Fixating on having a constant supply of kratom
- Engaging in risky behaviors to get kratom
- Using kratom despite its causing you personal or professional problems
- Spending excessive time or money obtaining and using kratom or recovering from it
- Attempting to stop using kratom without success
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after stopping kratom
- How to Recognize Others’ Addiction Problems
If you have friends, family members, or loved ones who use kratom, it’s understandable that you’d want to check in on them. The best way to do so is to talk to the person directly. Try to maintain an attitude of compassion and understanding, not judgment.
You may be able to recognize potential problems in others by evaluating changes in their behavior. Addicts often experience mood swings or start acting differently. They may become aggressive or more secretive than usual. Many addicts also withdraw from their social relationships.
Since addiction is defined in part by its effect on the addict’s life, just about everyone who is genuinely addicted to kratom will also experience other problems. They could start having health issues or experiencing changes in physical appearance. School or work performance may also suffer.
Remember when you talk to your loved one that being confrontational won’t get you anywhere. Many of these problems could also be caused or exacerbated by other external factors like stress or underlying health conditions not related to drug use.
Even if you believe your loved one is suffering from a kratom abuse disorder, it’s more valuable to maintain social connections. A “tough love” approach could drive them away.
Kratom Addiction: What Reddit Users Have to Say
There are few scientifically rigorous studies concerned with kratom’s addiction potential. As a result, anyone who wants to get an accurate idea of the risks associated with kratom use must rely on anecdotal reports. Reddit’s kratom threads contain a wealth of anecdotal evidence about kratom dependency and addiction.
As with media accounts, Redditor user reports of going through kratom addiction may vary substantially. That’s very unsurprising since the supplement affects everyone differently. For some, quitting kratom is no harder than quitting caffeine, which is technically also an addictive substance. For others, it’s more like coming off of opiate drugs.
Based on a Reddit review, it seems there are some trends. Former drug users often report more significant problems with addiction and withdrawal. Those who have never experienced other habits seem to have less trouble controlling their kratom use. If you have experienced drug addiction problems in the past, you might want to learn from others’ mistakes.
Exercise some extra caution when using kratom to ensure you don’t wind up dealing with addiction again. While many former drug users report that their symptoms are shorter and easier to manage, there’s no reason to put yourself through withdrawal twice.
Kratom Addiction Withdrawal
If you’re addicted to or physically dependent on kratom, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. They usually start within 12 to 24 hours and could last anywhere between three and ten days.
The majority of people who experience kratom withdrawal get only mild symptoms, but they could be more severe for a statistically significant minority.
Common kratom withdrawal symptoms include:
- Kratom cravings
- Abdominal cramps
- Hot flashes
- Watery eyes and nose
- Cold sweats
- Muscle aches
Most of the time, you can detox from kratom at home with plenty of rest and self-care. You could try OTC pain relievers, anti-emetics, and antidiarrheals. If you prefer to use herbal teas, that’s also fine. Ginger, in some cases, could help with stomach aches, chamomile with insomnia, and peppermint with muscle tension.
Kratom Addiction Treatment
If you try to quit kratom and find that you can’t, you may want professional help. The withdrawal symptoms are rarely dangerous, but quitting cold-turkey is notoriously hard. That applies not just to kratom but to all substances with abuse potential.
The best way to learn about local addiction treatment options is to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Your health insurance could cover some or all of inpatient or outpatient addiction services. The fact that most people quit kratom at home shouldn’t dissuade you from seeking help if you feel that it’s necessary.
Every person is different, and there’s no shame in going to rehab for kratom.
Don’t Have an Addictive Personality?
Already know you don’t have an addictive personality and want to give kratom a try? It would still be best to use this powerful herbal supplement responsibly because no one is immune to physical dependency or addiction.
To avoid further health complications, make sure you buy your kratom from reputable vendors. At Kratom Krush, we lab test all our products to make sure they’re free from contaminants that could harm your health. Our representatives are also available to discuss any other questions or concerns you might have, and even the ugly truth before you place your order.