Is Kratom Addictive?

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Is kratom addictive? Not necessarily, but dependence can develop as the brain adjusts to the presence of the substance, and withdrawals when stopped.

Kratom, a plant-derived substance with origins in Southeast Asia, has garnered attention for its potential health benefits as well as its risks. One of the primary concerns surrounding kratom is its addictive nature. In this guide, we highlight issues that include:

  • Is kratom addiction real?
  • Is kratom habit-forming?
  • Is kratom addictive?
  • Can you get addicted to kratom easily?
  • What problems are caused by kratom abuse?
  • Addicted to kratom: now what? How to connect with treatment for substance abuse in Cincinnati, Ohio.

What is Kratom?

Kratom, scientifically known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical tree indigenous to Southeast Asia. The leaves of this tree contain psychoactive compounds that can induce a range of effects when ingested. Traditionally, kratom has been used by local communities to alleviate discomforts like pain, fatigue, and cough.

Kratom can be consumed in various forms, including pills, capsules, extracts, teas, smoking, and even mixed with food. It offers both stimulant and opioid-like effects, making it popular among individuals seeking increased energy, pain relief, and mood enhancement.

How Addictive is Kratom?

Kratom contains compounds known as alkaloids, which interact with receptors in the brain, producing a range of effects. This interaction is the cornerstone of both kratom addiction potential and its potential benefits. The primary alkaloids responsible for these effects are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

When taken in small doses, kratom can induce stimulant-like effects, including increased energy, alertness, and sociability. These effects make it appealing to individuals seeking a natural boost in their daily activities. Larger doses, by contrast, can provoke sedative effects like those of opioids, providing pain relief and a sense of euphoria.

Kratom’s effects on the brain’s reward centers contribute to its potential for addiction. Just like opioids, kratom can trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reinforcement. The brain’s response to this influx of dopamine can promote a cycle of reward-seeking behavior, leading individuals to seek out kratom repeatedly to experience its pleasurable effects.

As consumption continues, the brain may adapt to the presence of kratom, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effects—a phenomenon known as tolerance. This escalating dose pattern can be a stepping stone toward addiction, as individuals chase the initial euphoria they experienced when they first began using kratom.

Addiction typically involves both physical and psychological dependence. With kratom addiction, physical dependence can develop as the brain adjusts to the presence of the substance. This can lead to the presentation of withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or discontinued. These symptoms may include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression 

Kratom’s withdrawal symptoms are often milder than those associated with opioids, but they can still be distressing and aggravating. The duration and intensity of withdrawal can vary widely based on individual factors like the duration of use, dosage, and overall health.

woman sitting on rocks representing is kratom addicting

How Long Does it Take To Get Addicted To Kratom?

The journey towards kratom addiction is complex and may differ from person to person. One of the primary factors impacting how long it takes to get addicted to kratom is individual variability. Each person’s body reacts differently to substances, and kratom is no exception. Factors such as genetics, metabolism, overall health, and psychological predisposition all play a role in how quickly an addiction can develop.

The amount and frequency of kratom consumption are also key determinants. Using larger amounts of kratom more frequently can lead to a more rapid progression towards addiction. Just like with many substances, the brain adapts to the presence of kratom over time, and this can lead to the development of tolerance, which often paves the way for addiction.

The length of time someone has been using kratom is another significant factor in the manifestation of addiction. Someone who has been using kratom consistently for an extended period is more likely to develop dependence and addiction than someone who has only used it sporadically.

Kratom’s effects on mood, pain relief, and energy can make the substance psychologically alluring. Individuals experiencing stress, pain, or seeking mood enhancement might be more inclined to use kratom frequently, potentially accelerating the development of psychological dependence and addiction.

Kratom withdrawal symptoms, which can include physical discomfort and psychological distress, can also influence the progression towards addiction. Some people may continue using kratom to avoid these withdrawal symptoms, gradually slipping into a cycle of dependence.

Remember: there is no universal timeline for developing a kratom addiction. For some individuals, it might take only a few weeks of regular use, while others could use it for months before experiencing significant dependence. Beyond this, not everyone who uses kratom becomes addicted – some individuals are more resilient to its addictive potential.

If you’re concerned about your kratom use or someone else’s, reach out for professional assistance. Addiction treatment experts can help assess the level of dependence and provide guidance on the best course of action.

Kratom Addiction Help

While there are no specific medical treatments approved for kratom addiction, behavioral therapy has shown effectiveness in helping individuals overcome substance abuse.

Reaching out to your healthcare provider is a vital first step in finding appropriate treatment options. They can guide you toward suitable programs and resources to address your needs. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) also offers a National Helpline (1-800-662-HELP) for confidential treatment information and referrals.

Addiction doesn’t have to control your life. With the right support and resources, you can break free from the cycle of kratom addiction and regain a healthier, more fulfilling life.

an image of people at ohio recovery representing is kratom addictive.

Get Kratom Addiction Help at Ohio Recovery Centers

Ohio Recovery Centers specializes in personalized drug addiction treatment programs catering to alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drug dependencies. Research demonstrates that mild and moderate addictions respond well to both intensive outpatient treatment and residential rehab. Our outpatient options offer flexibility and affordability without compromising care quality. Our Cincinnati rehab facility offers:

All Ohio Recovery Centers’ treatment programs combine pharmacological, behavioral, and holistic therapies for a comprehensive approach. You’ll gain relapse prevention strategies, coping techniques, and access to ongoing therapy as needed. For immediate assistance, contact admissions at 877-679-2132.

Table of Contents

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn