For most people, kratom is safe and has a low chance of creating addiction. However, for some people kratom addiction is real.
For moderate users, kratom doesn’t have high addiction level, and is far outweighed in its possibility for being addictive by the benefits of energy, lifting of anxiety, calmness, and pain relief.
However, a few people out there are basically owned by kratom. There are trends to this, and we are going to talk that through so you can see where the risk lies.
So what you’re getting here is everything you need to know on how to spot kratom addiction, how to start the process of tapering down on kratom, and how to deal with kratom addiction withdrawal symptoms.
Kratom Is Basically An Opiate
With kratom, you get a “honeymoon period”. That’s where low doses, as low as a couple of grams, give you a really good feeling and deal with the things you are taking it for.
But if you keep doing this regularly, you will start to see your dose creeping up. Suddenly you’re taking 5 g every few days to get the same feeling, and often it’s 5 g or more every day.
For some poor souls, they start with a couple of grams, and within a year or so are hammering 20 or more grams of kratom a day. Now that’s not usual, but it can happen.
The reason for this is that kratom is basically an opiate. It’s like heroin, it’s like opioid medications.
Although at low doses it stimulating and doesn’t have high doses of the alkaloids which bind to the opioid receptors, at higher and more regular doses, kratom becomes an agonist of all four opioid receptors.
Unless you are hammering huge doses, it is a weak agonist, but it’s still starts to deliver the same traits as full opioids, including the potential for addiction, as the dose increases.
How Addictive Is Kratom?
Let’s start with the good news here. For most people, kratom is not addictive.
As long as you are taking moderate doses, and you are having several days per week free of kratom, then you should be fine.
But the more you take kratom, both in dose and frequency, the higher your risk of addiction is. This is because of what I’ve already told you, because it is an agonist of the opioid receptors, the more you trigger that, the more the risk of addiction there is.
Plus, it can become emotionally addictive. If you are getting significant pain relief, or relief from anxiety, for example, then you can get used to that and even dependent on kratom to get those positive results.
So the thought of not taking kratom and feeling anxious or in pain makes you emotionally addicted.
On top of that, kratom can build tolerance. That’s where somebody starts with a low dose and gets all the great feelings, but as time goes on, they need an increasingly higher dose to get the same effects.
That’s why you will read stories online of people starting with a couple of grams, but then becomes 5 g every few days, then becomes 5 g daily. Then that eventually becomes multiple doses adding up to 20 or more grams per day (I read one story on Reddit of a guy who was using 40 g per day). That’s classic tolerance in action.
Just like anything used to numb pain or deal with anxiety, depression, or problems, kratom can have positive and negative effects.
It can be a crutch, something you used to get through a difficult period. It can help you with work, with focus, with pain relief. It can help you to get through an anxious period. If that is extended, then it raises the chances of kratom becoming addictive.
How To Spot The Signs Of Kratom Addiction
The problem with any type of addiction is that it can creep up on you. Unless you recognize the signs, because you are aware of them and are then vigilant, you can already be addicted by the time you realize.
So it’s crucial that you spot the vital signs of kratom addiction symptoms. These are the main ones you need to be aware of, and watch out for over several months, as they can progress slowly:
1. Over time, high doses of kratom daily can make you feel detached and numb. If you are taking kratom regularly, and at higher doses, and you start to feel detached from the people around you, if you start to feel numb and cold towards things in your life you previously loved, it could be due to the effects of extended kratom use.
2. The classic symptom of kratom addiction is an increase in doses and frequency. You may start your journey with kratom with less than 5 g every few days for pleasure, or to relieve excessive pain or anxiety. But this can then creep into a daily 5 g dose. A few months down the line, that 5 g is doubled. Those are the signs you need to watch out for. But you won’t suddenly double from 5 g to 10 g, it will progress over maybe as long as a year; that’s what you have to watch out for.
3. Cravings are a key sign of kratom addiction, as with any addiction. If you are thinking about kratom well before you are meant to take it, it’s a sign you are getting a dependency. If you can’t get kratom out of your mind, that’s also a sign.
4. When you take kratom, you will find you are depending on it earlier in the day. Initially, you might take a few grams of red kratom in the early evening to chill you out if you have anxiety for example. Over time that could start to creep back to mid-afternoon, then lunchtime. Before you know it, over the course of a few months, you’re suddenly taking kratom to calm anxiety in the morning.
5. Kratom can cause anxiety, and anxiety is also a sign of addiction and withdrawal. If you are finding that kratom is making you anxious when you were before, or the anxiety you are using kratom for is getting worse when you are not under the effects of kratom, then that could be a sign that addiction is growing.
Key Tips For Dealing With Kratom Addiction Withdrawal
So let’s say that you have started to notice a potential kratom addiction. Once you recognize it, you need to look at the scale of the problem.
By looking at the scale of the problem, you can see where you need to start dealing with it.
The two sides to this are how frequently you are dosing, and the size of the doses you are taking.
So take a look at whether you are dosing once per day, or even more frequently than that. Or is it only once every other day, or on demand?
Then look at the dosage. If you’re taking 5 g or more once or more times per day, then you have a problem that needs to be confronted. Even if you are not dosing every day, if you are dosing high doses (seven or more grams of kratom) every other day, or every few days, that could still point to a problem if those doses are obviously increasing.
So once you’ve pinpointed if it’s the actual dose or the frequency that is the problem, you can look at starting a kratom taper.
If your doses are pretty moderate, but you are dosing frequently, try to leave more time between doses. If you dosing twice per day, either lower the dose, or only dose once per day. Then try to taper down to every other day.
If your doses are really high individually, then the kratom taper has to start with getting those doses down. If you’re taking 10 g at a time, start chopping it back by a gram at a time over a couple of weeks. Once you got the dose more under control, then you could start dealing with the frequency.
What you must watch out for with kratom addiction withdrawal is that you do not replace this with another poison. If you start trying to compensate for the lack of kratom to deal with anxiety or withdrawal, then don’t reach for alcohol or other drugs. You then replacing one poison with another, and creating even bigger problems with anxiety and withdrawal.
Try to exercise and eat healthily. Think positively, and do everything you can to focus on other things other than the kratom addiction.
So the key is to taper down. Give yourself a couple of weeks, and try to get the dose down by half, or if you don’t feel confident of that, try to leave it longer between doses, even if it’s just a few hours at a time, to start knocking out doses over a few days. Chip away at it until you are more in control, and then trying taper down on the individual doses.
The good news is that chronic kratom withdrawal symptoms usually only last about three days for most people. If you are taking really large doses every single day, then that could take several weeks though.
The great news is that within a few weeks, with some discipline and a gentle taper, you can get control of kratom and then test yourself by taking a week off to see how in control you are.