Is Kratom Addictive?

Alternative medicine, herbal pain management and opioid withdrawal treatment concept theme with a pile of green kratom powder and capsules or pills isolated on white background

Kratom is often used as an alternative to prescription opiates to treat chronic pain. Given the state of the opioid epidemic in America, people are looking into this alternative as a safer option. But, is it safer? Is Kratom addictive? Kratom is absolutely a safer alternative option to taking prescription opiates. Additionally, it is not addictive in the way that opioids are. Rather, Kratom can be habit forming in the way that coffee or nicotine is.

Still, we urge our customers to learn about the possible risks before they decide to start taking Kratom. While Kratom is a wonderful natural alternative, we still want our customers to understand that Kratom is for those who can be responsible with it. Many customers use Kratom to treat chronic pain, or relieve opioid withdrawal. But, Kratom withdrawal is a possibility for people who abuse it.

Why are You Taking Kratom?

Let’s be real here for a minute. Why are you taking, or looking to take, Kratom? As said above, Kratom is massively helpful for those who need it. People with chronic pain, those recovering from opioid addiction responsibly, and people with severe anxiety and depression are some of the reasons for taking Kratom. For those who have legitimate medical needs that they might turn to prescription opiates or other harsh drugs for, Kratom is a much safer alternative.

However, there are people out there who have abused Kratom looking to find a “high.” These are the root of some Kratom horror stories about trips to the hospital and extensive withdrawals. These people take enormous amounts of Kratom chasing some sort of high, and they generally do not have a good time. Taking massive amounts of Kratom is not recommended, and we wholeheartedly discourage it. Actually, most users who have started on higher end doses found that Kratom was more effective for them when they lowered their regular dose.

Kratom is not addictive, but there is certainly an abuse potential to this natural substance. Which is why we urge you to do your research and evaluate your intentions regarding Kratom.

Kratom is Habit Forming

Let’s begin with the word “psychoactive.” All it means is a substance that affects the nervous system and produces a change in mood, perception, or behavior. Coffee is a psychoactive substance. Nicotine is a psychoactive substance. Chocolate has psychoactive properties. Don’t let the word scare you too much.

Kratom is a psychoactive substance. And, just like coffee, nicotine, or any other psychoactive substance, it can become habit forming. However, Kratom is not addictive like opioids are. Contrary to this fact, you can find reefer-madness style coverage everywhere of Kratom which would try and convince you otherwise. But, when used responsibly, Kratom simply does not cause addiction.

If you’re curious to read more about Kratom’s addiction potential, there is a lengthy scientific study you can refer to, which states “Kratom has a distinct user profile and presents with discrete effects from other stimulants or opioids. A substance-dependent opioid user does not prefer Kratom over another opioid but instead would utilize Kratom as a harm reduction or mitigation agent.”

Kratom Tolerance

As with any botanical, your body can start to develop a tolerance to Kratom. This means that the same dose you were taking isn’t giving you quite the same effect anymore. This is entirely normal; anyone who ingests THC or alcohol knows about tolerance levels. The problem becomes a slippery slope when trying to take more and more to achieve your desired effects, instead of managing your tolerance. Managing your tolerance is key to not developing a substance abuse issue.

There are a couple of methods for managing your tolerance to Kratom. The most straightforward: take a few days off. When you notice your tolerance getting a little high, take a break. This is the most natural and effective way to get your body to lower its Kratom tolerance. Another effective solution: strain rotation. Using one strain for an extended period of time can ramp up your body’s tolerance quickly. Rotating through different strains frequently can reduce the time it takes for your body to build up that tolerance.

Does Kratom Cause Withdrawals?

So, we’ve talked about using Kratom responsibly; as a safer, natural alternative to harsh prescription drugs, not as a drug to get you high. This is a big distinction. Because one of these uses will not cause serious withdrawals, and one will. If you are using Kratom responsibly, then the symptoms of withdrawal are very mild (especially when compared with opiate withdrawal symptoms). You could compare Kratom withdrawal to that of caffeine. Breaking the morning coffee habit can be hard, but it’s only mildly uncomfortable.

Survey data finds that only about 9% of Kratom users experience any form of withdrawal, a significantly lower rate than opioid users. Of those 9% of users, symptoms tend to disappear within about 3 days. Most users reported their symptoms at a level two, with five being the most severe. Commonly reported symptoms are cravings, muscle aches, and fatigue.

Is Kratom addictive?

Is Kratom Addictive Conclusion

So, the answer to the question: is Kratom addictive? Not in the way that opioids are. We want to urge all of our customers to take Kratom use seriously. We hope you do your research, set intentions for Kratom use, and track your dosage appropriately. Kratom does have abuse potential, but it is not addictive in the way that prescription opioids are.

Dependence on Kratom will vary person to person, though. Some people will be able to take heavy doses for a long time, and still experience mild and short-lived symptoms. Some people will take small doses for a shorter time and still experience withdrawals. Over use of Kratom can potentially cause serious side effects, but a monitored dose rarely has many withdrawal symptoms. Kratom withdrawal still pales in comparison to prescription strength opiates, and we urge our customers to use Kratom responsibly as a much healthier and safer alternative.


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