Kratom Addiction – The Signs and Symptoms Of Kratom Abuse

Kratom Abuse Signs noticed

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Kratom is a plant-based psychoactive substance, related to the coffee plant. Historically, they have used it to treat diarrhea, opiate addiction and pain.

Currently, Kratom can be taken in the form of chopped leaves, tablets, or capsules. If taken in small doses, Kratom serves as a mild stimulant. However, in large doses, its effects are very much like opioid drugs. It alters the way of communication between brain cells and causes a rush of euphoria. Kratom shows this effect by binding certain brain receptors. One is advised to take Kratom only after being consulted by a medical professional and being extremely cautious. 

Table of Contents

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Kratom Addiction?

Kratom contains more than 20 biologically active compounds. Moreover, they consider it to be very addictive. Since this substance is legal, it is popular among minors who cannot buy alcohol. Drug addiction may happen with higher doses during a longer period of time. We can detect kratom addiction from the following use signs and symptoms:

  • Extreme euphoria
  • Nervousness
  • Sweating
  • Itching
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Lethargy
  • Sedation
  • Constipation over many days
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Darkening of skin and face
  • Nausea
  • Impaired coordination
  • Drug tolerance that forms very quickly
  • Cravings and obsessive thoughts about Kratom
  • Daily use – every day, many times a day
  • Ensuring supply – making sure that there is always enough accessible Kratom

Withdrawal symptoms may include: apathy, depression, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, common cold symptoms which emerge when Kratom leaves the system

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How To Notice That Someone is a Kratom Addict and Needs Help?

Naturally, all addicts deep down know they have a problem, but few are willing to face it. Therefore, that is why it is important to react as soon as addiction is visible or suspected. Look for signs in behavioral changes that may imply:

  • Increased risk – taking behavior, especially if a person hasn’t shown that type of behavior before
  • Social withdrawal
  • Secrecy and lying about Kratom use
  • Lack of interest in social and recreational activities
  • Decreased productivity at work or school
  • Becoming agitated, defensive, aggressive
  • Failing to stop taking drug
  • Irritability
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Changes in sleeping and eating habits
  • Weight loss

Dangers of Kratom Addiction

Green CapsuleThe main psychoactive component of the drug is mitragynine. Notably, it is many times more potent than morphine. Of course, the biggest danger of the drug is the lack of knowledge and information of about its safety.
There have been three reported cases of fatal toxicity and acute liver injury due to its use. This is according to recent findings.  There are also dangers of:

  • hallucinations
  • thyroid problems
  • delusions
  • lung problems
  • heart problems
  • muscle and bones aching
  • liver toxicity and failure – more likely to happen if one takes it orally
  • loss of libido
  • psychosis
  • tremor
  • anorexia
  • seizures
  • compulsive drug behavior

Treating Kratom Addiction

Although Kratom is legal, it is highly addictive. Perhaps, the biggest problem with this substance is its availability. Furthermore, there is a lack of helpful information about its proper usage. Likewise, without any legal prohibitions, anyone can buy it online. As a result, this will increase the recreational use. And more people will suffer.
Still, abuse over a longer period of time can cause physical and psychological damage. Therefore, it is important to start the treatment for the addiction as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, Kratom dependence is a relatively new subject. As a result, there are no standardized treatments for this type of addiction. However, a professional detox facility will certainly be able to help. in addition, a trained medical staff will determine which therapy is the best for each person. An inpatient or outpatient facility can make sure that the patient completes the withdrawal process properly. That way, the patients will be able to regain their health.
Support groups and recovery organizations can help former addicts lead a drug-free life. It is their goal to decrease the risk of relapses in the future.

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View Sources
  1. Bestha D. KRATOM AND THE OPIOID CRISIS. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience. 2018; 15(5-6):11.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Kratom. 2019.
  3. Kistler S. E. Be wary of plant-based drug kratom, experts say. The Ohio State University. 2019.
  4. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research . Kratom: Unsafe and ineffective. 2019.

About Author

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Dr. Peter Grinspoon is an experienced physician with long-term clinical practice experience. As a former analgesic addict, Dr. Grinspoon knows precisely how important it is to provide patients with effective treatment and support. Medical writing for him is the way to communicate with people and inform them about their health.


Leave a comment

  • Louisa
    I’m so addicted to kratom and I want help to recover. It’s hurting my husband and our kids. Is there any rehabs that can accept insurance like Medicaid?
    • Celine Huscher
      Hi Louisa, I suspect my husband to be addicted to Kratom / do you get upset easily? How’s your craving for kratom? I’m trying to find out if he is addicted… how it is hurting your family? Thank you if you can reply
    • Stacey Breheny
      My close friend is also addicted. He is on Medicaid- if anyone knows anything please let me know.. the local doctors and rehabs have never even heard of it!