In the United States, kratom and alcohol are both allowed by federal law. Yet, six states have prohibited the usage of kratom. Taking either substance can be risky on its own, and the danger increases when they are mixed. Both are depressants, and the overdose risk is raised when blended. This combination can lead to symptoms such as respiratory distress, cardiac arrest, coma, or death.
Continue reading to learn more about kratom, its effects and risks when combined with alcohol, and the many available treatment options.
Yes, combining kratom and alcohol is dangerous as both of these substances are classified as depressants. As such, side effects will be heightened and the user is at risk of overdose.
What is Kratom?
Mitragyna speciosa, more commonly known as kratom, is a tree native to Southeast Asia. It contains a chemical known as mitragynine, which behaves similarly to morphine and other opioids, providing pain relief. Unfortunately, it has many of the same risks as traditional opioids, so it’s not without danger. People often use it to treat the withdrawals of heroin, morphine, and other opioids, as well as cough, depression, anxiety, and other ailments. Still, there is no scientific evidence to back up these claims. Additionally, kratom is illegal in some states and countries due to its potential risks. The US Food and Drug Administration has strongly advised against using Kratom-containing products.
People in Asia have used kratom for centuries for various reasons, such as alleviating cough, chronic pain, and diarrhea and curbing opioid addiction. It has a bitter taste when consumed orally or taken as a pill, hence why sugary or sweet ingredients are commonly added, like sugar in tea. A few people even mix it with codeine-containing cough syrups. Scientists have identified two active components in kratom, namely mitragynine, as mentioned previously, and 7-a-hydroxy mitragynine, which has psychotropic effects. These compounds work like opioids in relieving pain yet also stimulating alertness.
Combining Kratom and Alcohol
Although both kratom and alcohol are lawful in most states across the US, the combination of these two substances is still in a grey area regarding its safety. Science has yet to provide an accurate answer on whether the combination is dangerous or not. Several people have mixed kratom and alcohol with few or no adverse effects. However, there have been reports of kratom-related fatalities and overdoses that included the use of alcohol and other drugs.
The Risks of Mixing Kratom and Alcohol
When taken in small amounts, either with alcohol or on its own, kratom may bring about several benefits, such as higher energy levels, improved concentration, diminished pain, heightened relaxation, and improved overall mood. However, when blended with alcohol or taken solo, certain side effects may appear, including nausea, drowsiness, itching, dizziness, constipation, sedation, and excessive urination.
One of the potential dangers is an overdose. Mixing kratom and alcohol can lead to an overdose due to the fact that they are both depressants. When these two substances are taken together, the adverse effects of each of them can become more severe. This can lead to respiratory arrest, kidney damage, cardiac arrest, loss of consciousness, elevated bilirubin levels, and rhabdomyolysis.
The potential for contamination when taking kratom, especially with alcohol, is a major concern. The FDA has issued warnings about certain contaminated kratom products which tested positive for heavy metals, such as lead and nickel. This can result in heavy metal poisoning, leading to anemia, kidney damage, cancer, hypertension, and damage to the nervous system – all of which can be made worse by alcohol. Additionally, about three years ago, salmonella was found in some kratom products, which can cause symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, cramps, muscle pain, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration.
When individuals with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) ingest kratom, it further aggravates their issue. As AUD has detrimental effects in the long-term, like liver damage and gastric bleeding, combining alcohol with another drug will only exacerbate the AUD and make it more challenging to cure. For this reason, it is wise to avoid alcohol in conjunction with any medication, including kratom. Both alcohol and kratom are addictive substances, and if used for an extended period of time, they can cause addiction and reliance. Therefore, stopping or cutting back on both substances can suddenly cause extreme withdrawal symptoms.
Can I Use Kratom to Treat a Hangover?
It is difficult to determine if it is safe to combine kratom and alcohol, but what about consuming kratom after drinking? Unfortunately, there is not enough data to give a solid response. People have reported taking anywhere from two to six grams of kratom to alleviate hangover symptoms. Some have stated that it works exceptionally well and gives them the energy to get through their day. Others have claimed that it intensifies their hangover and brings on nausea.
It is important to remember that small doses of kratom can result in more energy and help with pain relief. However, higher doses can cause some unwanted effects. This could be why some individuals have experienced worsening symptoms while taking it. To address a hangover, the most effective approach is to stay hydrated and get enough rest. If you decide to use kratom, it is best to stick to a small dose.
Using Kratom to Help Alcohol Withdrawal
Some people have reported that using kratom can help ease the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and make the process more manageable. Alcohol withdrawal can be a severe and potentially life-threatening condition, and medical supervision is usually required to manage it safely.
The active compounds in kratom, called alkaloids, are believed to work by interacting with the same brain receptors that are affected by opioids, such as morphine and codeine. This interaction can help reduce pain and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, which are common during alcohol withdrawal. While there are anecdotal reports of kratom being helpful for alcohol withdrawal, there is currently limited scientific research on its effectiveness and safety.
Kratom and Alcohol Overdose
Combining kratom with alcohol or other substances can increase the chance of overdose. Though rare, there have been a few reports of adverse effects associated with long-term kratom use and an overdose or toxicity from a single dose. If you or someone else experiences any of the following symptoms after consuming kratom, call emergency services immediately:
- Shallow breathing
- Clammy, pale skin
- Weak pulse
Kratom can generate results comparable to opioids when taken in large amounts, as it contains chemicals that can attach to opioid receptors. In contrast to opioids, kratom may not cause extreme withdrawal signs. Opioids are usually linked with flu-like symptoms that, while they generally aren’t fatal, can be quite uncomfortable. The disagreeable nature of opioid withdrawal is a major obstacle to people with opioid use disorders receiving proper treatment.
Kratom is sometimes consumed as a non-prescribed remedy for opioid discontinuance or as a substitute for opioids. However, when seeking to quit after long-term use, one can experience distressing withdrawal symptoms. While opioids generally lead to physical symptoms and stimulants usually cause psychological symptoms, kratom can result in both. Physical withdrawal signs can be comparable to opioids, albeit not as intense. Such symptoms include:
- Muscle aches
- Muscle spasms
Various substances, including stimulants, can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as depression and anxiety. These psychological issues can persist for a more extended period than other withdrawal effects. If your depression and anxiety continue for weeks or become increasingly worse, you may need to consult a doctor or mental health specialist to manage your mental health effectively.
Treatment for Kratom Addiction
Currently, no medication or therapy has been verified to treat any withdrawal symptoms or substance abuse disorders connected to kratom consumption. Nevertheless, research has been conducted that suggests there is potential for success with different medicines and treatments for tackling the symptoms possibly linked to taking kratom.
However, the best way to treat addiction, regardless of what substance is involved, will differ for each person. This could include a detoxification process if the person is suffering from withdrawal symptoms. During this process, the body removes the substance and toxins while the healthcare team monitors the symptoms, keeping the person safe and as comfortable as possible.
Although detoxification is a vital part, it is usually not enough to support long-term recovery. Evidence-based therapies provide a way to understand the emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that initially caused the addiction. Therefore, after the detox process, treatment may involve either inpatient or outpatient services, different therapy methods, and aftercare to help sustain the person’s long-term recovery from drug addiction.
Kratom and Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Knoxville Recovery Center
Overcoming an addiction to kratom and alcohol is possible. However, it is essential to bear in mind that recovering from any kind of addiction is a process that may take some time. Remain patient with yourself, show yourself kindness, and do not hesitate to seek assistance.
Anyone can be impacted by addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with kratom addiction, help is available. Knoxville Recovery Center was founded on personal experience of addiction and rehabilitation to provide a place where individuals can get better from addiction and other issues in a sympathetic, imaginative, open-minded, and caring atmosphere.
We know that recovery is possible. Our team works with you to create a treatment plan that meets your needs. Contact the experts at Knoxville Recovery Center to learn more about our individualized treatment programs and holistic therapies. You don’t have to struggle with kratom and alcohol abuse on your own any longer. We are here to help you and are ready to do so.