Can kratom help with opiate withdrawal?

Opiate withdrawal can be an incredibly difficult and painful experience. Symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia, and body aches often leave people searching desperately for relief. It has led many to explore using kratom as a way to ease the symptoms of withdrawal from drugs like heroin, morphine, and prescription painkillers.

Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. The leaves of the kratom tree have been used traditionally for their stimulant and analgesic effects. Kratom contains many active compounds, including mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine, which interact with opioid receptors in the brain. At low doses, kratom produces mild stimulant effects and at higher doses, it has sedative and pain-relieving effects. Kratom is currently legal at the federal level in the United States, though some states have banned its sale or possession. It is sold online and in stores as powders, capsules, extracts, and even formulated into drinks. Kratom is not currently regulated or approved for any medical use by the FDA.

How kratom may help opiate withdrawal?

When people quit taking opiates like heroin or prescription pain pills, they may experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Kratom’s activity at the opioid receptors in the brain may help reduce the severity of these symptoms. Some of the opioid withdrawal symptoms that kratom may help ease include:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings
  • Excessive sweating
  • Diarrhea

Many people have reported success using kratom to wean off of stronger opioids. Research suggests that kratom’s primary active alkaloid mitragynine acts as an opioid receptor agonist, meaning that it binds to and activates opioid receptors, but with less potency than prescription opioids or heroin. It also appears to activate supraspinal mu and delta opioid receptors, which may account for its opioid-like effects. So buy kratom may stimulate opioid receptors enough to ease withdrawal symptoms, but not enough to create a strong high risk of overdose. More research is needed, but this model illustrates how kratom may help fill the opioid receptors enough to smooth the transition away from opioids.

Safety and side effects

While kratom shows promise for opiate withdrawal, significant safety concerns remain. Kratom use has been linked to serious side effects including seizures, liver damage, and withdrawal symptoms. Fatal overdoses involving kratom, while rare, have occurred. Kratom may also interact negatively with other substances. When combined with other central nervous system depressants like alcohol or benzodiazepines, it slows breathing dangerously. Combining kratom with stimulants like caffeine or amphetamines may strain the cardiovascular system. There are also concerns that while it may help wean people off of classical opioids like heroin, kratom dependence and addiction in itself occur. Ceasing kratom consumption has been linked to experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as muscle aches, irritability, anxiety, and cravings for the substance. With the many health risks, it is a good idea to consult a doctor before using kratom. Pregnant women and people with certain health conditions should avoid kratom altogether.

Kratom offers a glimmer of hope for those struggling with opiate withdrawal, but concerns remain regarding its safety and potential for dependency.