Kratom Abuse and Addiction Treatment Near Me

3 min read · 9 sections

What is Kratom?

Kratom is a substance that comes from the leaves of a tropical tree known as Mitragyna speciosa, found in Southeast Asia.1 Kratom refers to both the leaves of the tree and the herbal products that come from its leaves.1

People use kratom for both its stimulant and opioid-like effects.1 They may use kratom to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings, or to manage pain, fatigue, or mental health problems.1

Kratom is not a scheduled substance under the Controlled Substances Act, but it can be illegal to possess it or use it in some states.2 The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) labeled kratom as a “drug and chemical of concern.”2 Kratom is, so far, considered to be a legal substance in many areas.1

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved kratom for any medical uses.2 Additionally, after receiving reports about the safety of kratom, the FDA is currently evaluating the substance and advised consumers not to use kratom or kratom products because of potentially adverse effects.3

Kratom Effects, Addiction, and Dangers

The FDA worries that kratom may increase users’ risks of misuse, dependence, and addiction.3

Dependence can occur when a person repeatedly uses a substance and their body adapts to the presence of the drug.4 They need to use it to feel normal and function, and they can experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking it.4 Addiction means that a person compulsively uses a substance despite the negative effects it has on their lives.5

Kratom can cause different effects on the body, but these effects can vary depending on the dosage, potency, product formulation, the way it is used, concurrent substance use, any underlying medical conditions, and previous experience with kratom.1 It’s also important to note that kratom can have unpredictable effects, as products can vary widely, and some products may contain contaminants that can produce other effects.1

Kratom appears to cause stimulant, or energizing, effects at low doses, and opioid, or sedative, effects at high doses.2 Possible effects can include:1,2

  • Increased energy.
  • Increased alertness.
  • Talkativeness.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Feelings of relaxation.
  • Sedation.
  • Confusion.

Understanding Kratom Misuse

Individuals report a range of mild to severe adverse effects associated with kratom use. Some of these effects are rare but can be serious. Adverse effects can include:1,2,5

  • Nausea.
  • Constipation.
  • Dizziness.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Confusion.
  • Tremors.
  • Seizures.
  • Vomiting.
  • Liver problems.
  • Itching.
  • Sweating.
  • Appetite loss.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Increased urination.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Delusions.
  • Psychosis.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Slowed breathing.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Jaundice.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Coma.
  • Death.

People who use other substances in combination with kratom should be aware that they may have an increased risk of adverse effects, including liver problems and death.1

Signs of Kratom Misuse and Addiction

Some research indicates that people who use kratom may develop dependence and experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using it.1 However, research is not conclusive, and scientists are still investigating the extent to which people may develop dependence and addiction.1 Limited data suggests that kratom withdrawal occurs to a minority of people who use the substance.1

Kratom may produce withdrawal symptoms similar to those of opioid withdrawal.5 Several case studies indicate that symptoms tend to be mild to moderate and may include:5

  • Anxiety.
  • Agitation.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Muscle, nerve, joint, and body pain.
  • Insomnia.
  • Sedation.
  • Fatigue.
  • Sweating.
  • Teary eyes.
  • Runny nose.
  • Tremors.
  • Loss of muscle coordination.
  • Restlessness.
  • Anger.
  • Depression.
  • Kratom cravings.

Though rare, kratom can cause overdose, which results in symptoms that may include:6

  • Seizures.
  • Psychosis.
  • Coma.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Paranoia.
  • Respiratory depression (dangerously slowed breathing).
  • Severe vomiting.
  • Death (in the worst cases).

Kratom Addiction Treatment Options

There are currently no approved medical therapies for kratom addiction or dependence.1

In general, treatment for drug misuse and addiction typically follows three phases: physical stabilization, therapy, and recovery. Medically managed detox, which often involves detox medications, is often the first step to help you safely and comfortably withdraw from a substance.7 Detox prepares you for further treatment, which usually includes a combination of behavioral therapies and medication.7,8 

A comprehensive treatment plan should be personalized for your unique needs.8 It can include the following components to aid in your long-term recovery:7,9

  • Medical detox, which, as described above, helps you stop using the substance, often with the use of medication. This helps you become medically stable preps you for further treatment.
  • Inpatient rehab means you live onsite at the rehab facility for the duration of treatment. You receive around-the-clock care and support and participate in different therapies to address the addiction and related issues.
  • Outpatient rehab means you live at home and travel to a treatment center. You also participate in therapy and receive rehabilitative care and support.
  • Aftercare, also known as continuing care, helps you remain sober and avoid relapse once treatment ends. Aftercare can involve one or a combination of different methods, such as individual counseling, living in transitional housing, participation in mutual-help groups (like Narcotics Anonymous), utilizing telehealth services, and continuing medication, in some instances. Medications are often used to help people as they recover from substance misuse and addiction. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) helps prevent cravings and withdrawal symptoms and can help you remain sober.10,11

Additionally, behavioral therapies that may be used to treat kratom addiction may be similar to those used to treat opioid addiction, but randomized clinical trials that have explored specific treatment options for kratom don’t exist.12 However, therapies used to treat opioid use disorder may include:8,13

  • Contingency management (CM), which involves principles of positive reinforcement. People receive tangible rewards to reinforce positive behaviors, like negative drug tests.
  • 12-step facilitation therapy, which is designed to help motivate people to participate in 12-step groups like NA.
  • Motivational therapies, which can help increase your motivation to participate in medication treatment.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps you learn new ways of thinking, behaving, and coping without the use of substances. You learn different skills that can help you remain sober and prevent relapse.

Find Kratom Rehabs Near Me

Can Suboxone Be Used in Kratom Treatment?

Some reports indicate that medication and other therapies may help address kratom withdrawal and addiction.1

Suboxone, an FDA-approved medication, is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone that is used to treat opioid addiction.14 It is available as a sublingual tablet that you dissolve under your tongue, or as a sublingual film that is dissolved under the tongue or on the side of your cheek.15

Suboxone works in two ways. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means that it partially activates the opioid receptors in your brain.15 This helps decrease withdrawal symptoms and cravings.15

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks the effects of opioids. If you use opioids while taking naloxone, you won’t experience effects—getting high or experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.11,15 Some studies and 2 case reports found that Suboxone and its component medications may be effective for treating kratom addiction.5,16,17 Suboxone may help to mitigate withdrawal symptoms and cravings.5

Can You Take Kratom While on Suboxone?

No, kratom and Suboxone do not mix. Individuals, who receive Suboxone, should be abstinent from opioids, or kratom, for a period of time, or they can undergo acute withdrawal. Your treatment provider determines when (if at all) it’s appropriate for you to start taking Suboxone.15

Is Kratom Rehab Covered by Insurance?

Insurance coverage for kratom addiction treatment may vary based on your insurance plan. Insurance companies usually cover at least part of the cost of treatment. Private insurance companies and state-funded options such as Medicaid may be able to help you cover the cost of the treatment. If you want to determine whether your insurance covers kratom addiction treatment and rehab, call us at

One of our admissions navigators can check your coverage over the phone, or you check your insurance using the form below.

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