We have another page on whether or not kratom can help with opiate withdrawals and there are also those who believe it can be used in alcohol withdrawal, but it’s also worth noting that this plant produces withdrawals of its own and this can be comparable to opiates.
Just like opiate withdrawal, kratom withdrawal can last for a couple weeks and produce incredibly uncomfortable acute symptoms in that time. It can also lead to protracted withdrawal syndrome, whereby the user continues to experience cravings, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and other symptoms for months.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
Kratom withdrawal symptoms are similar to the ones you will get during opiate withdrawal. The severity and length will depend on the dose you used and how long you used it for. If you only used kratom occasionally and never for an extended period of time, then you should be able to avoid withdrawals altogether and at the very least they shouldn’t be too bad. If not, then these are the symptoms you can expect:
- Muscle Aches
- Emotional Instability
- Flu Symptoms (runny nose, etc)
There is also something known as a kratom hangover, which we discussed in greater detail on our Effects of Kratom page.
Kratom Withdrawal Timeline
There is no single kratom withdrawal timeline because kratom addiction is different for everyone, dependent on the level of abuse as well as genetics, age and several other indicators. However, the following withdrawal timeline can give you a rough idea of what to expect:
Kratom Withdrawal Day 1
Kratom withdrawal usually comes on quick, much quicker than you might expect from drugs like tramadol and codeine. You will begin to feel the onset on the first day of cessation, with an increase in frustration and irritability and some emotional changes.
Kratom withdrawal Day 2 to 3
This is when the kratom withdrawal reaches its peak. You may struggle to sleep, your body may be riddled with aches and pains, you may feel anxious and there will also likely be some major emotional shift, with depression and mood swings being very common.
Kratom withdrawal Day 4 to 5
The withdrawals should be less than what they were during the peak and will gradually get better. The pains will be less and the acute physical withdrawals should be easier to handle, but the emotional changes may remain the same.
Kratom withdrawal Day 6+
The symptoms should be all but over, with only the residual effects giving you trouble from this point on. Many users say that the withdrawal is completely over by the end of week 1 and they can get back to normal, but there may be some longer lasting effects if you used a lot of the drug for a long time.
The Kratom Hangover
The kratom hangover is comparable to the alcohol hangover, but with perhaps a stronger emotional edge. This is something that the average user may dismiss and in smaller doses they may not even feel it. But users with a history of psychological problems and a propensity to lean more towards the negative psychological effects of drugs, may be troubled by it.
We spoke to one user who had a long history of depression stemming from a personality disorder. They told us that they thought of kratom as a great way to ease off of opiates, but that as soon as they found a therapeutic dose and took this several times a day (as they had been doing with the opiates) they were hit with a strong psychological hangover that left them emotional and weak, not a state they were comfortable in and not now that helped with the withdrawals at all.
They said that this intensified with any amount of alcohol and that it was so daunting they simply went cold turkey from the opiates instead. On the flip side, another user told us that the hangover was as shakeable as an alcohol hangover was, while a third person who had suffered with depression in the past said that while it was troubling, it was possible to avoid if you dosed early in the day and didn’t go overboard.
They also mentioned that the shock of the hangover is often the thing that hits hard. Because when you’ve been addicted to opiates for so long and are hit with withdrawals, you are left in a very vulnerable state. If something is added to that, then it leaves you stripped bare and exposed.
Since posting some information about kratom we have received some reports from people who have tried it and we have combined these with reports from our own staff. These will hopefully give you an idea of what the kratom high is like and what the negatives can be.
Kratom Experience Report: Lily, 42
I used to be addicted to opiates in my 20s and 30s and after staying clean for 5 years I was itching for another dose. A friend recommended kratom, so I took that instead. I tried all the varieties and preferred the red vein. In the end, I became a regular user, starting with low doses on a nighttime and then moving onto higher doses throughout the day. I didn’t overdo it and I always enjoyed it. It helped me to overcome those opiate cravings and to avoid a relapse.
The hangover was a definite negative, but not one that hit me very hard. I also had nausea a few times when I didn’t consume on a empty stomach.
Kratom Experience Report: Pete, 22
I occasionally consume opioids, but I am not addicted. I tried kratom at a low dose and it didn’t do anything. I took a higher dose and still didn’t feel anything. I didn’t give up and simply tried a different variety. I found that I respond to green and red better than white and that powders and teas work the best. For me, it’s not quite as good as opioids, even at higher doses, but as a cheap substitute there is nothing wrong with it.
Kratom Experience Report: Simon, 25
I tried kratom for the first time when I was drunk. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but my stomach was full of cheap pizza and beer and within 30 minutes I realized just how big of a mistake it had been.
I took the green vein variety, which was kinda ironic considering that was the same color as the vomit that erupted all over my new living room carpet. On the one hand, it seemed to sober me up a little, calm me down a lot and aid in one of the best sleeps I have ever had. On the other, the nausea never shifted and I had a killer hangover when I woke the next day.