How Long Does Kratom Withdrawal Last?

Written by Will Long

Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, with leaves that can have psychotropic effects. Kratom is not currently illegal in the United States and people can easily purchase it online. It is sometimes used as a recreational drug or to self-treat chronic pain and opioid withdrawal symptoms. However, kratom use comes with serious risks, including the potential for addiction and a withdrawal syndrome that can be uncomfortable and difficult to manage alone.

At JourneyPure At The River, we have extensive experience helping individuals safely detox and begin the path to recovery. In this article, we’ll discuss what to expect during kratom withdrawal, including common symptoms, timeline, and factors that influence severity. We’ll also explain how professional addiction treatment can help you through the withdrawal process for those who need the support.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family. It’s indigenous to Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and other parts of Southeast Asia. The leaves of the plant contain compounds that can have psychotropic (mind-altering) effects.

Kratom is not currently an illegal substance and has been easy to order on the internet in recent years. It is sometimes sold as a green powder in packets labeled “not for human consumption.” It is also sometimes sold as an extract or gum. Kratom is sometimes used as a recreational drug and is also used by some to relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.

Kratom works by interacting with opioid receptors in the brain. At low doses, it acts as a stimulant, making users feel more energetic. At higher doses, it reduces pain and may bring on euphoria. At very high doses, it acts as a sedative, making users quiet and perhaps sleepy.

How Does Kratom Affect the Brain?

The main active ingredients in kratom are the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Mitragynine works like opioid drugs such as codeine and morphine to relieve pain. 7-hydroxymitragynine is about 13 times more potent than morphine. These compounds interact with opioid receptors in the brain, producing sedation, pleasure, and decreased pain. Mitragynine also interacts with other receptor systems in the brain to produce stimulant effects. Regular kratom use causes the brain to adapt and become less sensitive to the drug, so that higher doses are required to achieve the desired effects. This can lead to dependence and addiction in some people.

How Addictive Is Kratom?

Many of the psychoactive compounds in kratom bind to opioid receptors in the brain, the same receptors that are activated by opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. Regular kratom use can lead to dependence and addiction in some people. Individuals who use kratom regularly may experience intense cravings for the drug and find it very difficult to quit.

When a person becomes dependent on kratom, their brain adapts to the presence of the drug and relies on it to function normally. If they abruptly stop using kratom or significantly reduce their intake, they will likely experience a range of physical and mental health symptoms known as withdrawal. In order to avoid these unpleasant symptoms, people addicted to kratom often feel compelled to continue using the drug.

What Are the Symptoms of Kratom Withdrawal?

Kratom withdrawal can involve a variety of physical and psychological symptoms, which can range from mild to severe depending on the individual. Common kratom withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Intense cravings for kratom
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose

In severe cases, kratom withdrawal has been associated with rare but serious symptoms like delusions, hallucinations, confusion, and seizures. If you or someone you love experiences these symptoms during withdrawal, seek emergency medical care right away.

Kratom powder
Kratom powder

How Long Does Kratom Withdrawal Last?

The kratom withdrawal timeline can vary quite a bit from person to person. In general, symptoms tend to emerge within 12-48 hours of the last dose and can last anywhere from 3 days to several weeks.

Acute withdrawal, the period during which symptoms tend to be most severe, usually lasts up to a week. After that, some milder symptoms can persist for days or weeks as the brain and body gradually return to normal functioning without kratom. In some cases, individuals can experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), in which certain symptoms like low energy, trouble sleeping, and depression come and go for weeks or months.

Factors Affecting Kratom Withdrawal Duration and Severity

Factors that can influence the duration and severity of kratom withdrawal include:

  • Duration of kratom use – People who have used kratom for a long time may have more severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • Amount of kratom used – Higher doses are associated with more intense withdrawal.
  • Frequency of use – People who use kratom more frequently are likely to have worse withdrawal symptoms than less frequent users.
  • Individual physiology – Genes, overall health, and the presence of certain mental health conditions can all play a role in how a person experiences withdrawal.
  • Polysubstance use – Combining kratom with alcohol, opioids, or other drugs can complicate the withdrawal process.

Withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and challenging to deal with alone. Many people end up relapsing during this vulnerable period because they want to stop the unpleasant symptoms.

Kratom Detox Process

Kratom withdrawal is best managed through a professional, medical detox program. At a licensed detox center, patients receive 24/7 supervision and care to ensure their safety and comfort.

During medical detox, healthcare professionals monitor vital signs and administer medications as needed to ease withdrawal symptoms. Patients may receive drugs like buprenorphine or methadone, which help reduce cravings and alleviate aches and pains, nausea, cramping, and other flu-like symptoms. Anti-anxiety medications, sleep aids, and antidepressants may also be prescribed for the psychological symptoms of withdrawal.

After completing detox, patients are encouraged to transition into a structured addiction treatment program. Inpatient and outpatient rehabs offer behavioral therapy, peer support, and other services to help people understand their addiction, learn healthy coping skills, and build a strong foundation for ongoing recovery.

Kratom Addiction Treatment at JourneyPure At The River

Kratom withdrawal can be managed effectively with professional support and treatment. At JourneyPure At The River in Tennessee, we offer medically supervised detox and personalized addiction treatment programs that address the whole person—mind, body and spirit.

Our compassionate team is experienced in helping people recover from kratom addiction and rebuild their lives. We provide 24/7 medical supervision and medication to ease your withdrawal symptoms and make you as safe and comfortable as possible. You’ll also have access to behavioral therapy, holistic care, and peer support to help you understand your addiction, develop essential coping skills, and create a foundation for lasting recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we’re here for you. Call us today at 615-410-9260 to learn more about our addiction treatment programs. With our expert care and your commitment and hard work, you can break free from addiction and build the fulfilling life you deserve.