Kratom Withdrawal and Detox

Kratom Withdrawal and DetoxificationKratom withdrawal follows the course of other opioid withdrawal and includes the gradual development of flu-like symptoms typical of the opioid withdrawal syndrome:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent yawning
  • Runny nose
  • Increased tearing
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Withdrawal for many short-acting opioids peaks around day three or four of the absence of the drug, but it can last for weeks or even months without intervention 1. As with other opioids, kratom withdrawal is not fatal but can be very uncomfortable. However, the physical and mental strain that withdrawal creates can easily trigger you to return to using. Thus, withdrawal management is best performed under supervision of trained professionals.

Detox from Kratom

Detoxification from opioids involves the monitored usage of prescribed opioid substitutes that are gradually reduced over time. Three medications are most commonly used for this purpose: methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone.

When methadone binds to the body’s opioid receptors, it turns on the opioid system fully. Kratom has less potency at these receptors than methadone does.

Buprenorphine is more suited to this purpose, due to its partial activation of the opioid system. This partial activation feature of buprenorphine both lowers the potency of kratom and decreases its potential for dangerously slowing your breathing. Buprenorphine is highly preferred by your body’s opioid receptors, despite its lower potency compared to methadone. So much so that your body will kick out other full opioid activators from all of its access sites in favor of the lower-potency buprenorphine. Thus creating full-scale withdrawal. For this reason, you must be already demonstrating some signs of at least mild opioid withdrawal before beginning to take buprenorphine. The medication is administered in tapering doses. Most typically for one week to one month, depending on your individual needs as a patient and on the design of your treatment center.

Naltrexone works as a long-term deactivator of the opioid system. Hence, it is sometimes added to a detoxification regimen in small, escalating doses so as to not create unbearable withdrawal. The goal of the addition of naltrexone is to help you reduce serious cravings and lower your risk to return to substance use 2.

Though kratom itself has been used in opioid detoxification in non-treatment center and non-medical settings, it is not used by treatment centers due to lack of quality data supporting such use.

Reach Out For Help

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  1. Medline Plus.gov Opioid Withdrawal
  2. National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK). Drug Misuse: Opioid Detoxification. Leicester (UK): British Psychological Society; 2008. (NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 52.) 6, PHARMACOLOGICAL
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