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In order to be safe, detox must be medically monitored by professionals trained to assist in the event of an emergency, as well as to ensure comfort and ease symptoms during withdrawal.

Kratom has become a substance widely used across the globe. The leaves of the namesake kratom tree have long been used in areas where the plant grows, while herbal products and other substances containing kratom have been sold in the United States for some time since the substance is not a federally banned drug. This has led many to turn to it in low doses for stimulant effects and psychoactive properties; and in high doses for effects similar to opioids.

However, despite the fact kratom is not on the federal drug schedule, many foreign countries and American states have taken legal action to limit or ban its use because the drug can have negative neurological and cardiovascular side effects - in the worst cases turning fatal. Kratom can also be abused, which can leave users physically and mentally dependent on the drug. While this danger is not as well known, U.S. enforcement agencies have doubled down on targeting kratom at a federal level.

What is kratom?

Kratom is derived from the plant Mitragyna speciosa and is commonly marketed in tablet or powder form as a “dietary supplement” or sold in head shops as “incense.”

Is it legal?

Even though this product is not a controlled substance by the DEA, its import into the United States is now closely monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regularly detains and denies shipments of this drug into the country due to its potential toxic effects with human consumption.

A major problem with kratom products that are legally available is lack of regulation. Discrepancies between doses listed and what’s actually in the product can lead to overuse, which aggravates negative side effects. Using kratom products that are secretly laced with other substances can lead to death.

What are the effects of kratom?

Kratom can cause a stimulant effect when abused in low doses that may increase energy levels and combat fatigue.

In higher doses, kratom may have effects similar to opioid drugs, causing sedation, euphoria, and a possible dreamlike state.

When abused regularly, just like other drugs that act on opioid receptors, kratom may cause the body to become dependent on its interaction with the brain.

What are kratom side effects?

While some users may hail kratom for therapeutic qualities, names like “herbal speedball” indicate that kratom is no different from any other type of drug. While users may expect to gain energy at low doses or euphoric bliss and pain relief at high doses, the likelihood is that whatever experience follows can often be negative or physically damaging, even lethal.

Some of the common outcomes of ingesting kratom, as outlined by NIH, include:

  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Increased urination
  • Loss of appetite

Using kratom can also have more severe negative outcomes, such as:

  • liver damage
  • chronic respiratory difficulty
  • extreme weight loss
  • development of an eating disorder
  • psychological delusions
  • seizures
  • hallucinations
  • insomnia.

At worst, kratom use can affect or damage cardiovascular and neurological functions, resulting in conditions like an irregular heart beat or psychosis.

Abuse of the drug can turn fatal (though in most cases death is a result of using tainted kratom or interference with other medications or substances being taken, like alcohol and opioids).

Why is it used to self-treat opioid withdrawal?

Some individuals who have struggled with or currently suffer from opioid addiction turn to kratom as an aid because of the effects it produces, as well as the general perception that kratom is a beneficial and healthy substance. Therefore, many turn to kratom when trying to self-treat an opioid dependency, either for prescription drugs, illicit substances like heroin, or synthetics such as fentanyl.

But the misconception that kratom is a safe alternative can push users further into opioid and substance abuse. The reality is this may only exacerbate cravings for opioids or kratom, or lead to taking increasingly higher doses or mixing drugs to get the same intensity of effect.

Potential warning signs of an addiction to kratom include:

    • Using kratom as a crutch to get through the day or other events
    • Lack of self-control over use or neglecting obligations in order to use
    • Continued use despite physical or psychological side effects
    • Risky or dangerous use of kratom, like while driving
    • Social withdrawal and inability to find joy in hobbies
    • Increasing need for higher dosages to achieve desired effects

Signs of kratom misuse:

Addiction happens when a person cannot quit using a substance even when they want to.

Signs of kratom abuse may include:

  • A constant desire to use the drug, sometimes daily or even several times per day
  • Using the substance even if it affects personal or professional relationships negatively
  • Being unable to quit or reduce intake of the substance
  • Always keeping kratom on hand
  • Purchasing the drug despite financial issues
  • Resorting to questionable and/or illicit methods to get kratom, such as stealing
  • Taking part in risky activity when under the influence of a drug, such as driving under the influence
  • Undergoing withdrawal when not taking the drug

What is kratom withdrawal?

Attempting to quit any substance after a prolonged period of regular use is often an uncomfortable and difficult time- the same is true for kratom. Users will likely feel a number of kratom withdrawal symptoms. These may include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Aching limbs and joints
  • Runny nose and itchy eyes
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Aggression and hostility
  • Muscle spasms or jerky movements
  • Restlessness and sadness
  • Fever or hot flashes
  • Difficulty with sleep
  • Decreased appetite
  • In addition, psychotic symptoms may occur with significant kratom dependence, which may include hallucinations, delusions, confusion, and potentially even seizures.

How long does it take to recover from kratom withdrawal?

Going through the stages of kratom withdrawal can take up to 7 days. Importantly, severity and duration of symptoms are related to the use behavior, biology, and mental health of the specific individual.

The timeline of kratom withdrawal tracks along with opioid withdrawal. In general, symptoms:

  • Appear 6-12 hours after quitting cold turkey.
  • Peak in severity 72 hours after the last dose.
  • Subside after about 5-7 days (acute symptoms only).
  • 8-12 Hours

    Generally, kratom withdrawal symptoms will have begun to manifest within about 12 hours of the last use, although they can begin appearing as early as eight. Early symptoms include depression, anxiety, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms.

  • 1-3 Days

    The kratom withdrawal symptoms will most likely now also include cravings, anxiety, intense mood swings, migraines, and more. Over the course of the next few days, these symptoms will reach their peak, making this the phase where someone is usually most vulnerable to relapse.

  • 1 Week

    Once past the three-day mark, symptoms should begin to ease and fade away, first the physical ones, followed by the psychological symptoms, which can take about four or five days. After about a week, the majority of the symptoms should be completely gone, although cravings and feelings of depression can linger past this point.

These stages are not fixed in time, as other factors may affect the situation. These variables include:

  • History of substance abuse
  • Frequency of use
  • Personal medical history, like preexisting conditions
  • Age and individual physiology
  • Presence of another substance—i.e., if kratom is used when mixed with another drug

What is kratom detox?

Those suffering from kratom addiction or withdrawal symptoms can find relief and help in addressing their use. The entry stage to seeking such recovery for those who are addicted or physically dependent is medical detoxification.

The primary benefits of detox, beyond the physical and psychological cleansing, is personalized care and treatment.

Learn more about our treatments.

Each patient will undergo an evaluation that is then used to inform their detox progression, as well as potential next steps to stay clean from kratom.

Detoxing and Weaning off Kratom

Detox is defined as the removal of toxins from the body.

When a drug - like kratom - is stopped suddenly after a person has developed a dependence on it, the brain may suffer a kind of rebound effect, where it tries to restore balance quickly, causing significant withdrawal symptoms. During your detox at Scottsdale Detox, we will use medications to detox your body safely and comfortably. Your detox may include the use of alternative medications or supplements to manage withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings as well.

Perks of Medical Detox

Medical detox from kratom is performed in our specialized facility where we provide 24/7 medical supervision and access to medical and mental health professionals. Our goal is to help to reduce the intensity of kratom withdrawal, often with the use of medications. This process is managed and monitored by trained substance abuse treatment providers.

If other substances are also being abused, medications may need to be altered to avoid complications or undesirable drug interactions. Since kratom is not a controlled substance, it is often not included in regular toxicology screenings that may be performed upon entrance into a detox program. It is important, therefore, to indicate to treatment providers if kratom is in your system, as well as any other drugs or substances, so that medications used during medical detox are safe and effective.

The Next Step

If you or your loved one is in need of a medical detox, please call us today! We are here to help you get your life back!



Struggling with addiction is hard enough, and trying to do it alone is practically impossible. Misuse of drugs or alcohol hides the underlying causes of your addiction and these will continue to disrupt your life until they are uncovered and addressed.

If you are reading this right now and need to change things in your life, please call us now. We understand how you feel and the struggle to pick up the phone. Our staff recognizes that people who try to quit by themselves oftentimes get frustrated and feel helpless when they can’t. You can, and we can help.


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