Kratom Withdrawal & Detox

In research conducted so far, kratom is believed to target the areas of the brain that respond to opiates like codeine, morphine and fentanyl. The pharmacology makeup of kratom includes more than 20 alkaloids that have been identified in lab research, many of which are responsible for the pain-relieving properties of the herb. For example, mitragynine is contained in kratom and is around 13 times more powerful that morphine. While kratom is not structurally the same as morphine or codeine, it does have an action on the brain that is similar to opioids. Based on the makeup of kratom, it’s believed that it has the potential be addictive and have withdrawal symptoms that are similar to what people would experience with narcotic withdrawal.

First, even when someone is not withdrawing from kratom, there are potential negative or undesirable side effects that can occur. These can include:

  • Edginess
  • Nervousness
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Itching
  • Constipation
  • Delusional thoughts
  • Lethargy
  • Tremors
  • Aggressive or combative behavior
  • Psychotic behavior including hallucinations and paranoia

When someone is addicted to kratom, they may experience not only constant cravings for the drug, but also weight loss and loss of sexual desire.

Symptoms of withdrawal that occur from kratom include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches and pains, as well as tremors and involuntary jerky motions
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Extreme depression
  • Crying
  • Panic
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability

Other kratom withdrawal symptoms may include general irritability, sweating, abdominal pain and high blood pressure. If someone is abusing kratom or physically dependent on it, the withdrawal symptoms can be severe as with narcotics including opioids. That’s why it’s important that someone who is dependent on kratom receives treatment through a supervised, professional medical detox program.

Along with the need to safely manage the physical withdrawal symptoms that can occur with kratom dependence, medically supervised detox is important with this drug because the risks are believed to be similar to what happens with opioid withdrawal. This includes the risk of aspiration because of extreme vomiting, the risk of relapse, and the complications that can occur with poor nutrition and lack of fluids because of the vomiting and gastrointestinal side effects, like diarrhea.

If you’re concerned you have a problem with kratom or that you’re physically dependent on it, it can be valuable to have an understanding of the overall drug detox process, which, with kratom, is somewhat similar to opioids. Detoxing from kratom can be difficult, but it’s an essential part of the recovery process, and many addiction specialists feel it’s the most important aspect of recovering from kratom addiction.

Detox refers to a time in the drug recovery process where the person who’s addicted to kratom will stop using, and their body will start going through the elimination of toxins and substances. When you’ve been using kratom, particularly for an extended period of time, your body becomes so dependent on it that there are withdrawal symptoms that will likely occur.

There are three primary stages of drug detox which include evaluation, stabilization and then the transition to a comprehensive treatment program.


With opioids, kratom and other drugs, including benzodiazepines, a medically supervised detox program is recommended because of the potential severity of withdrawal symptoms and side effects. It’s also not recommended that someone stop using something like kratom cold turkey, because it can be very dangerous. When people enter drug detox, they need to realize that this isn’t their actual treatment, and for the best chance of successfully staying kratom-free, they should participate in an in-depth treatment program following detox.

A detox program for kratom will have many benefits, including the fact that symptoms can be managed, the person can be made more comfortable, and it provides a better way to stop using kratom and other substances and move more smoothly into treatment.

Below is an overview of the different components of a detox program for people who use kratom:

  • Evaluation: During the evaluation phase of detox, someone who is on kratom will start working with medical professionals for treatment planning. During evaluation, some of the things that might happen include blood tests, screening for other conditions, both mental and physical, a full assessment of the patient’s medical and psychological history and current status, and an overall risk assessment for how severe the detox process could be.
  • Stabilization: After a complete evaluation has been done for someone who is seeking treatment for kratom, they are then moved into the stabilization phase. During this time, the person may be given medications, depending on their type of symptoms and the severity. They may also be given a particular diet to ensure they have proper nutrition as they detox, and they’ll start learning more about the treatment and recovery process.
  • Treatment Transition: Eventually, following a complete kratom detox, the person will begin the move to actual treatment for their substance use disorder.
suboxone tablets
If you’re a prolonged or heavy user of kratom, you may feel like you can stop using the drug cold turkey or do a home detox. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually effective, and it can be very uncomfortable.

When someone on kratom attempts to stop using the substance cold turkey, they may go through an incredibly uncomfortable withdrawal, and there is a higher risk of relapsing. They are also at risk for an overdose if they do relapse because their tolerance to the drug might have gone down during the initial stages of detox.

The withdrawal timeline for kratom can last around 7-10 days, which is similar to opioid withdrawal. Symptoms usually begin around 24 hours after the last dose. This is the acute withdrawal phase. Acute withdrawal from kratom can include heightened cravings as well as a sense of anxiety and agitation, and physical side effects like muscle aches and sweating. Anywhere from two to four days into detox, there can be intensified symptoms of withdrawal, and they can start to include things like diarrhea and abdominal cramping and pain.

Then, symptoms of kratom withdrawal tend to start waning after anywhere from 7 to 10 days.

Kratom Withdrawal & Detox
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Kratom Withdrawal & Detox was last modified: July 8th, 2017 by The Recovery Village