Going cold turkey on kratom can be horrible. I know that from experience two years ago. So I’m going to tell you how you can get away with not quitting kratom cold turkey, and learn how to taper off kratom using a couple of easy strategies.
I’m also going to explain to you why kratom can be addictive (when people say it’s not), the warning signs to watch out for, and the withdrawal symptoms you’ll have to deal with if you taper off too quickly, or you just suddenly stop and go cold turkey.
Plus, I’ll talk to you about how to create a kratom taper schedule that works for you, based on your dosage size, and the frequency you are using kratom so that you can get control without too much pain.
Why Kratom Can Be Addictive
You will read that kratom is not an opiate, although it has properties like opiates. That’s why people say that it’s a good thing to substitute things like heroin and opioid medications to get off them when you are addicted.
However, there is a growing suspicion that kratom actually is an opiate, but it’s far more dose dependent and complex than standard opiates like heroin and opiate-based prescription meds.
At lower doses, and less frequent doses, kratom is a partial agonist of two of the opioid receptors (mu and kappa). This is unlike full opiates which are full agonists of all four opioid receptors (usually).
But as the dose increases, the two predominant alkaloid in kratom obviously grow in volume. These alkaloids at higher doses do become full agonists, and potentially of all four opioid receptors.
So if you are taking high doses of kratom, and you are taking them frequently, then kratom can become a full agonist of the opioid receptors, leading to some of the dependency and withdrawal problems that full opioids have.
The great news is therefore that as long as you only use kratom at moderate doses (5 g is a mid-range dose of good quality kratom, and 7 g is a high dose), and you only taking kratom once every few days, or a couple of times per day and having three or four days break after that, then you shouldn’t usually have a problem.
But if you are starting to take kratom increasing doses (regularly above 5-6 grams), and more days of the week than not, then you could start to develop the dependency problem.
The Warning Signs To Look Out For That You Could Be Getting Addicted To Kratom
If you’re a regular user of kratom, and you suspect that you could be starting to get addicted to it, these are some of the key warning signs to look out for:
- Tolerance is something that can happen with kratom. Tolerance is where the opioid receptors in the body need an increasing amount of kratom to get the same response. So you will notice over time, as long as you keep an eye on your doses, that they are creeping up. This could also be in tandem with your doses increasing in frequency. Basically, you need more to get the same result.
- You could find that the you are thinking about kratom more. If you don’t have any for a few hours or a day, you could find it on your mind.
- If you become reliant on kratom to dictate your mood, or to deal with depression and anxiety, then that could be a sign of dependency. If you can’t feel normal, not numb more detached, or strange, not using kratom, then that’s a sign of dependency.
- Increasing doses and increasing frequency are a key sign. Look back at what you took a month ago, six months ago. If you were starting on 3 g twice a week, and you’re now taking 5 g more about five times a week, that’s a sign of increasing reliance on kratom.
- If you start taking kratom in the evening, or at a certain time of day, and that time is changing, getting earlier in the day, or the doses are increasing around that time of day, then that’s also a sign of dependency.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms You Could Face
If you suddenly stop taking kratom, these are the typical withdrawal symptoms you could face:
- Feeling of being unsettled
- Lack of appetite
- Poor sleep or insomnia
- Muscle twitches
- Poor body temperature regulation
- Mood swings
Most people won’t experience all of those symptoms, and those that they do experience won’t usually be vicious.
However, the more kratom you take, and the more frequently, the more of those withdrawal symptoms you will suffer if you stop taking kratom, and the more intense they will be.
Is Quitting Kratom Cold Turkey A Good Option?
Most of the time, it’s not advisable to look at quitting kratom cold turkey. It can be really problematic, and it can kick off most of the withdrawal symptoms I’ve just discussed in a bad way.
The only time I’d recommend that you consider quitting kratom cold turkey is if you are taking low doses infrequently.
So let’s say you’re taking around 5 g of kratom on average every other day. That to me is the upper limit of going cold turkey. If you’re taking a higher dose than that, or it’s once per day, or a couple of doses of 5 g or more per day, or a very high dose every couple of days, something like that, you’re getting to the level where the withdrawal symptoms could be significant.
If you think you can go cold turkey, make sure you are rested, not drinking alcohol or on any other substances, and in a positive frame of mind, and then stop for 24 hours and see how you feel. You’ll know by the end of that if you start to get withdrawal symptoms or have problems.
What Exactly Is A Kratom Taper?
Going cold turkey is usually problematic for someone who is pretty sure they are suffering from some sort of kratom addiction.
So a kratom taper is the way around getting off kratom without suffering the vicious withdrawal symptoms full on.
What you need to do is lower your dose and frequency over time so that you can become less tolerant and less dependent.
This is a very individual strategy, though so let’s take a look in detail now at exactly how you work out what sort of kratom taper strategy you need to undertake, and over how long.
How To Create A Kratom Taper Schedule
The way to create a personal kratom taper schedule is to look honestly at the habits you have around kratom:
- Look at the dose you are taking each time. Document this for a week to look at your total dosage on average each time.
- Record when you take kratom, to build up a picture of what times of day you do it, and how many times per week you are taking kratom.
- When you are recording information during the week, also record how you feel leading up to taking a dose of kratom. That will tell you if you could be showing signs of needing kratom.
Once you’ve got all that information together, you can create a schedule for tapering off kratom more easily.
If you find that you’re taking relatively low doses (around 5 g), but you are taking very frequently, more than once daily for example, then the first thing to do is to taper down on the number of doses. Start knocking out one in five or something like that, and see how you are after a couple of weeks.
Once you’ve knocked out some doses consistently over two weeks, you can then tackle the dosage by knocking each dose down by 1 g. That will make it much easier to then go down another gram about two weeks later.
The second strategy is to look your dosage if it’s individually high. If you’re taking 7 g on average each time, knock it down by 1 g. If you’re taking over 10 g, try knock it down by 2 g each dose. After two weeks, knock it down by another 1-2 grams to get to a level it’s more manageable.
Then you can start knocking out doses to try and lower the total dose as you are taking over a week.
Whichever way you do it, that strategy will allow you to taper down gently on your dosage or frequency, depending on where your problem seems to lay. Once you’ve dealt with what looks like the worst problem (frequency or dosage), you can then target the other factor.
If you can do that religiously over about a month, tapering down on dosage and then frequency, or frequency and then dosage, you should find that you are in a far more manageable position to consider locking out complete days to head towards cold turkey.