Kratom is an herbal supplement derived from the tropical evergreen tree Mitragyna speciosa. It has been used for centuries in Southwest Asia where it grows wild. However, as with all good things, if you use the herb in excess then you get hooked and your body becomes dependent on the plant’s natural alkaloids. Kratom and withdrawal symptoms take their toll when you finally decide to stop or cut back on your usage.
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Is Kratom Legal?
Currently, kratom is legal at a federal level throughout the United States. However, some towns or counties have put regulations in place to stop the sale and use of the herb but in most places, it remains perfectly legal for adult use. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not list kratom as a controlled substance. However, even though the DEA turns a blind eye to the herbal supplement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does monitor the importation and distribution of kratom. The FDA will detain and deny kratom shipments if they think that the herb could contain potential toxins that could harm the user.
The Alkaloids of Kratom
The plant fibers of kratom are brimming with alkaloids that stimulate while offering pain-relieving and cognitive altering benefits. Many use the plant to overcome withdrawals from opiates. The alkaloids found in kratom work on the same receptors in the human body as opiates which are why many believe that it can prove beneficial in overcoming the withdrawal symptoms.
Coping with Kratom and Withdrawal
If you have regularly used kratom then you might face withdrawals if you suddenly stop using the herbal supplement because your body has become adapted to the alkaloids found in the plant. Research has shown that it takes large doses of kratom daily to cause severe withdrawals if you suddenly stop using the herb. If you are a light to a moderate user then you should not have to worry about kratom and withdrawal problems.
Excessive Kratom Use and Withdrawal Symptoms
One study carried out about kratom withdrawal, looked at heavy kratom users in Malaysia. All appeared dependent on the herb. The users would ingest the kratom at excessively high doses daily. When they stopped using kratom, it was found that 65 percent suffered what relatively mild withdrawal symptoms, and 35 percent went through severe withdrawal symptoms. This percentage is far more than the nine percent of users in the United States who suffer from withdrawal symptoms after stopping heavy kratom use. Obviously, there are many cultural discrepancies. The users in Malaysia were excessively heavy kratom users which are rare in the U.S. The patterns of use are vastly different between the two countries.
Symptoms of Kratom Withdrawal
Nonetheless, below are the common symptoms of excessive use of kratom and withdrawals:
Timeline for Kratom Withdrawal
If you are a heavy kratom user and you stop using kratom then you could develop withdrawal symptoms in 12 to 48 hours as the herb leaves your system. However, kratom withdrawal does not last a long time. In most users, the symptoms slow and completely disappear within three days.
Coping with Kratom Withdrawal
You can suffer from a mild addiction to anything. Many people have a caffeine addiction and suffer from withdrawals when they stop consuming coffee or energy drinks. If you regularly overuse something, then your body starts to expect it. If you do not give your body what it expects then you could have withdrawals. This is the same scenario with kratom. If you regularly overuse the herb and take an excessive dose, then you might face kratom withdrawal. Without a doubt, suddenly ceasing the use of kratom can lead to problems. However, if you are abusing the herbal supplement then you should abstain and get clean.
How to Stop Kratom
If you have regularly been using an excessive amount of kratom then you must choose to stop cold turkey or slow down. With cold turkey, you obviously just vow to stop all kratom use. However, you can simply taper off your dose so you do not experience any severe withdrawals and you can continue to use the herb.
Tapering Off Your Kratom Use
Tapering off your dose slowly refers to taking a reduced amount of the herb less frequently. This option to combat using kratom and withdrawals involves slowing down over several weeks. It is not immediate or overnight, but it does give the body time to adjust. As your body learns how to cope without kratom, you will not feel any real withdrawal symptoms. Ideally, this is a perfect choice if you want to stop using kratom.
Going Cold Turkey
If you decide to stop cold turkey, then you might start to experience withdrawal symptoms like the ones listed above. However, please remember that everyone is different. There is no real way to know how dependent your body is on kratom. Many users, even heavy users, never develop any form of kratom dependence and if they stop then they do not go through withdrawals. Everyone’s body chemistry is different.
How to Cope with Kratom Withdrawals
Understanding Kratom and Withdrawl
If you know your body, then you probably have a window into the future and if you are going to face withdrawals. They do not sneak up on you but are a side effect of excessive kratom use over an exceptionally long time period.
Here are a few steps that you should take to cope with kratom:
Meet with your doctor to discuss possible withdrawal symptoms when you stop using kratom. Your doctor might suggest certain medications that help transition your body from using kratom. The meds could alleviate potential problems such as diarrhea, anxiety, or nausea.
Use over-the-counter medications to ease any stomach upset, headache, insomnia, or diarrhea that might occur when you suddenly stop using kratom.
Go for a brisk walk or exercise to overcome any withdrawal symptoms. Exercise lifts your mood and gets your heart pumping, so you feel better.
Hydrate to ease any dehydration which might lead to a headache or muscle aches.
Take a hot shower or bath to relax and boost your mood. The water will also soothe any aching muscles. Never underestimate the power of hydration therapy.
Stay busy to take your mind off your body and any possible cravings.
Keep a journal where you can share what you are feeling or any physical problems that you might undergo. The journal helps to calm you and take your mind off your body’s response to the lack of kratom.
Eat a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables.
Rest and relax so your body has time to heal and come to terms with how it will function without an excess of kratom.
Is Kratom Withdrawal Dangerous?
Unlike opiate withdrawal, kratom withdrawal is not dangerous. In fact, it is usually very mild, and you will require no special medication to make it through the upheaval. However, if you have been using kratom while pregnant then you should discuss stopping the herb with your physician. In some studies, infants have been observed born suffering from kratom withdrawal.
Understanding Kratom Tolerance
If you frequently use the same strain of kratom then you can build up a kratom tolerance. Many users’ alternate strains to prevent kratom tolerance from occurring. However, if you have not taken these steps then your body will start to build up a tolerance to the herb and it will take an increased dosage to continue gaining the same effects and physical benefits. Sadly, this is a road to dependence. If you go overboard on the kratom dosage, then your body will adapt and build a tolerance. It will take more and more kratom to gain the same effects. Over time, you might never feel the effects of kratom again if you do not detox and avoid using the herb for a while.
Kratom is a Popular Herbal Supplement
If you enjoy taking the herbal supplement kratom but you worry about kratom and withdrawals, then all you must do is avoid abusing the substance. Do not use an excessive amount of kratom over a long period of time. Also, alternate strains so you do not develop tolerance and feel the need to increase your dose. If you never abuse kratom then you will not be faced with coping with withdrawals.
Kratom is a widely used herbal supplement around the world. Very few individuals abuse the plant material. Instead, they use it in moderation and as needed. Keeping your kratom dose low and not using it too frequently will prevent your body from developing a dependence.
As with anything, if you follow the suggested dosage for kratom and keep it low then you will have no problems using the herb. However, for some kratom and withdrawal are a problem if you have started to use the herb every day at high doses.
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