Kratom Dependence & Addiction Treatment
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical tree found in Asia and Africa. It features a complex composition and a major alkaloid component, mitragynine, which can be used to achieve various mind-altering effects.1
A lot of people are drawn to kratom due to its reported effects on sexual endurance and performance, ability to induce excitement and the feeling of happiness, as well as pain relief properties.1 Furthermore, the drug is affordable and readily available, as individuals can purchase it online without a medical prescription.2
However, considering the substance’s psychoactive effects, people tend to develop dependence and kratom addiction. Certain chemical compounds found in kratom activate opioid receptors in the brain in the same ways drugs such as heroin and prescription pills do. This leads to a lot of people reporting kratom dependence and developing an addiction to the substance.3
Between 2011 and 2017, there were 1807 calls registered by the National Poison Control Center related to kratom abuse.4 Unfortunately, as kratom abuse is not monitored by any national substance abuse surveys, there is limited data on the average user profile.5
Statistics on Kratom Abuse & Addiction
There has been a surge in the popularity of kratom-based products on the market in recent years. The main consumption methods include using it as a form of tea or chewing the leaves.5 Additionally, kratom can be found in the form of an extract, capsule, or pill.3
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a public health advisory on kratom abuse in 2017. In addition to the 1807 calls made to the National Poison Control Center, there have been 44 deaths associated with kratom addiction and abuse.1
Additionally, according to the toxicology data from 23 states between July 2016 and the end of 2017, out of more than 27,000 overdose cases, 152 cases had traces of kratom in their organism. Out of those 152 cases, in 91 patients, kratom abuse was cited as the cause of death.4
Mixing Kratom With Other Drugs
Recently, a younger population of kratom users have started using kratom tea as the base of a cocktail named “4×100”. Other contents of the cocktail include cough syrup and Coca-Cola. Additionally, the same users mixed the cocktail with benzodiazepines which became a significant cause of concern.1
A paper published in 2019 showed that 9 out of 11 deaths associated with kratom involved the substance being used with other drugs or prescription pills, including alcohol, caffeine, fentanyl, cocaine, and diphenhydramine.3
The FDA also reported that many of the deaths associated with kratom involved other substances, including illegal drugs, benzodiazepines, gabapentin, opioids, and over-the-counter treatments, including cough syrup.1
How Long Does Kratom Stay in Your System?
Since there isn’t enough research on kratom and its effects, there is no conclusive data on its half-life in the body. However, one study has shown that the substance’s half-life is roughly 2.9 ± 2.1 h. This means that it takes up to 5 hours for the body to eliminate 50% of the substance ingested and up to two days to leave the system completely.1 However, other studies contradict this data and state that it can take up to 24 hours to eliminate half of the kratom consumed from the organism.6
- Kratom in urine tests: Some of the alkaloids found in kratom may show up on a urine test between 10 to 14 days since consumption.6
- Kratom in blood tests: Kratom is easier to detect through a blood test, therefore, it’s much more likely to show up for up to a couple of days after use.6
- Kratom in hair and nail tests: The United States Drug Testing Laboratory, Inc. has developed a test that can detect the presence of kratom in the keratin fibers for up to 3 months in the hair samples and between 3 to 6 months in the nail samples.7
Can You Overdose on Kratom?
There have been several reports of people who have ingested kratom overdosing. However, in most of those cases, kratom was used with another substance. Only two of 11 reported deaths involved no other substances. Still, kratom overdose is most often linked with taking the substance with other potent drugs or alcohol.3
Fortunately, treating kratom addiction is similar to treating other forms of substance abuse. People admitted to kratom addiction rehab treatment centers go through a medical evaluation that involves mental health and medical condition screening, patients’ history with addiction, their living conditions, and their willingness to partake in the treatment.8
Based on these questions, there are several available treatment options including:8
- Inpatient treatment, which involves being admitted to a residential rehab center, recommended to those with severe withdrawal symptoms.
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) which entails patients resuming their everyday activities but with constant intensive treatment. This type of treatment is recommended for those living in a safe environment with a supportive network.
- Partial Hospitalization Program (POP), a more intensive program compared to IOP, but not as intensive as inpatient treatment. It involves more sessions and visits every week and does not require the patient to reside at the residential treatment facility.
- Outpatient treatment services and programs, allowing patients to attend detox and kratom addiction treatment programs, and support groups they can attend with their loved ones but stay at home, provided they have a reliable support system and a healthy family environment. This is the ideal scenario for drug treatment while being employed.
- Sober living homes, a form of temporary housing meant to bridge the gap between spending time in a treatment facility and going back to everyday life. They aim to help patients learn how to live without using substances.
Is Kratom Safe During Pregnancy?
Pregnant women have been increasingly using kratom as a self-treatment for opioid use, and kratom abuse in pregnancy has become a growing concern.9 Pregnant women dependent on opioids often use kratom as a “safer, non-opiate” alternative that they can easily obtain.10
However, pregnant women who quit taking kratom experience withdrawal symptoms. In several recorded cases, infants born to kratom-dependent women experience withdrawal symptoms within 1 or 2 days of birth.10 In one case, the infant experienced feeding intolerance, increased irritability, jitters, and emesis.11
Additionally, there are currently no formal studies conducted on kratom abuse and breastfeeding, but The American Kratom Association states that it’s ill-advised. 10
How Long Does Kratom Withdrawal Last?
If consumed in doses over 5g and more than 3 times per day, kratom dependence may develop. Therefore, treating kratom addiction may lead to withdrawal symptoms, mainly if kratom was used as self-treatment for pain or other opioid abuse.12
The most commonly reported symptoms of kratom withdrawal include anxiety, pain, insomnia, mood changes, restlessness, diarrhea, pain, and anger. The symptoms may last from 3 to 10 days after the last ingestion of the substance.12
Types of Kratom Addiction Rehab & Treatment
Kratom addiction treatment usually starts with medical detoxification, under supervised conditions at a treatment facility.13
After a successfully managed detox to ease withdrawal, patients may opt for inpatient or outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment options provide a safe environment with access to constant support, while outpatient treatment allows the patient to resume their life as usual and receive drug treatment while being employed.14
Length and Cost of Kratom Rehab
The length of kratom rehab varies and depends on the level of care required. Medical detox necessary to help patients cope with withdrawal symptoms can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks (typically 5 to 7 days).14
Following detoxification, the patient may require inpatient treatment in a specialized kratom addiction treatment center to deal with their dependence. Standard treatment durations are:8
- 3 to 7-day detox.
- 28 to 30 days.
- 60 to 90 days.
- 90 to 120 days.
The cost of the treatment may vary based on various factors, including insurance coverage and the level of care provided.15
Is Kratom Treatment Covered By Insurance?
Insurance coverage for kratom addiction treatment may vary based on your insurance plan. Insurance companies will cover at least one part of the treatment cost in most cases. Private insurance companies and state-funded options such as Medicaid may be able to help you cover the cost of the treatment.16 If you want to determine whether your insurance covers kratom addiction treatment and rehab, you can contact American Addiction Centers, one of the nationally recognized providers of addiction treatment. They check your coverage while talking to you on the phone or you can submit a request via an online form.
If you want to learn more about kratom use and abuse, different options for addiction treatment, whether your insurance will cover the treatment, or seek help for a loved one, you can do so via specialized alcohol and drug rehab hotlines. Some centers may have even kratom-specific hotline numbers, but any type of addiction hotline will help guide you in the right direction.
Additionally, you can reach out for help by calling some national helplines, such as:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): (800) 662-HELP(4357)
- The National Mental Health Association: (800) 969-6642
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK (8255)
- The National Poison Control Center: (800) 222-1222
How Can I Find a Kratom Rehab Near Me?
With facilities across the United States, American Addiction Centers offer diverse evidence-based treatment options for kratom dependence and other types of addiction.
Different treatments will have different levels of success based on each individual case, which is why you should consider getting in touch with their admissions navigators first.14 You can discuss your unique situation with them and they can advise you on how to proceed. Additionally, they can also help you determine which treatment model you may benefit from the most and discuss payment options that are available to you. They will also help verify your insurance coverage and check your benefits immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions