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Kratom Withdrawal and Detoxification

Kratom Withdrawal and Detoxification

The leaves of the plant Kratom are known to have the psychoactive properties. They are consumed for pain relieving and recreational purposes. The research studies have established the fact that Kratom acts on the opioid receptors in the brain and influence the body in a way similar to opiates. The chemical compound contains 20 alkaloids, which have the properties of relieving the pain. For example, the chemical substance Mitragynine in the leaves of Kratom plants is said to be thirteen times more potent than the morphine. Though the structures are dissimilar, the mechanism of action corresponds to the opioids. Based on its chemical properties, it is said to be highly addictive. Withdrawal symptoms start to set in when the required amount of a drug isn’t consumed on time.

Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms:

Withdrawal symptoms appear when the body has developed the dependency on the drug. It can’t survive without the drug and starts to produce the effects opposite to the ones produced by Kratom. With the continued abuse of Kratom, tolerance to the drug develops and same doses fail to function for the user. The greater doses are then consumed for achieving the high. Tolerance is the sign that a person is becoming addicted to the drug. A compulsive desire for the drug is developed and not taking the drug on the scheduled time will establish a set of physical and psychological symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms of Kratom are listed as follows.

  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Tremors
  • Jitteriness
  • Insomnia
  • Crying
  • Mood swings
  • Panic
  • Irritability

The other symptoms that can be noticed during the withdrawal include sweating, hypertension, and abdominal pain. The abuse of Kratom can develop the physical and psychological dependency like the other opiates. This results in the severe withdrawal symptoms that are a cause of discomfort and pain for the patient. Due to these symptoms, the person can’t stop the drug even if he intends to do so. The supervised detoxification programs are required to treat the addiction and stop these withdrawal symptoms. The risks of withdrawal symptoms are quite high so quitting the drug suddenly without the medical aid can prove to be more harmful than beneficial for the patient. The consultation of proper rehabilitation centers becomes compulsory in such cases of withdrawal and the addiction.

Timeline for Kratom Withdrawal:

Kratom is not a well-researched drug so a very distinctive timeline can’t be drawn for it. However, the withdrawal is very similar to the opiates so a similar timeline can be established for Kratom withdrawal. An average duration of withdrawal is seven to ten days.

  • First 24 hours:The withdrawal symptoms of the drug begin to appear within few hours of the last consumed dose of the drug. The physical symptoms include a runny nose, muscle aches and pain, sweating, constipation, and insomnia. The psychological symptoms include anxiety, irritability, and agitation.
  • The 2ndto 4th day: The symptoms rise to the peak levels during this duration. It is the most troublesome period for the addicts. They often resume their drug consumption habits. The intensity of all the physical and psychological symptoms increases to maximum levels. The user begins to feel severe abdominal cramps, muscle pains, fatigue, anxiety, agitation, diarrhea, insomnia, goose bumps and the dilated pupils.
  • The 7thto 10th day: All the physical and the psychological symptoms begin to fade away during this duration. The intensity begins to decrease and the patient feels a bit relieved. Though, anxiety, irritability, and depression can continue for many months to years.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS): There is no set time limit for the appearance of these symptoms. They can appear anytime from months to years. The common PAW symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Memory problems
  • Intense craving
  • Depression

Treatments Used to Ease Withdrawal Symptoms:

The combination of general measures, medicines and behavioral therapy are provided for the ease of withdrawal symptoms.

  • The general measures include the proper diet and nutrition, adequate sleep, exercise, proper hydration and electrolyte balance, meditation and yoga.
  • The medicines used to relieve the symptoms depend on the severity and intensity of the symptoms. Painkillers, antiemetic, antidiarrheals, and laxatives are the usual medicines that are given to the patient. The doses and frequency of these medicines depend on the patient’s symptoms. Anxiolytics, antihistamines, antiemetic, antidepressants and alpha-2 adrenergic agonist must be taken according to the doctor’s recommendation. The specific medicine used for the Kratom addiction include:
  1. Opioid replacement medicines:Buprenorphine and methadone are the medications used during opioid replacement therapy. They help with the gradual tapering off process by producing the similar effects but lesser in intensity and the duration. The body doesn’t get dependent on it and the dose can be decreased easily over the month’s duration.
  2. Opioid receptors antagonists: Naltrexone is administered to cause the opioid receptors downregulation. Through this mechanism, the hemostatic opioidergic signals get restored at a faster rate. Though this drug can aggravate some of the withdrawal symptoms, it’s a very beneficial drug to restore back the indigenous neurotransmitters in the brain.
  • Behavioral therapies involve the counseling sessions that help to keep the person motivated towards the goal in an efficient manner.

Detoxification Process:

It is an important part of the treatment process. The drug from the body is eliminated during detoxification. Like the other opiates, the process is very difficult for the patient. Adequate medical facilities can ensure a relatively comfortable detoxification process for the Kratom addicts. The person stops the drug during this process and the body gets rid of the toxic substances. The detoxification process is comprised of three basic stages, which include an initial assessment, stabilization, and transition towards the other comprehensive treatment programs. The withdrawal symptoms and side effects of Kratom can be quite detrimental for the patient so a properly supervised detoxification process is recommended for the treatment of addiction.