Kratom and alcohol are both federally legal substances in the U.S. However, six states have banned kratom. Taking either substance by itself can be dangerous; mixing kratom and alcohol can be even more harmful or even fatal. Kratom and alcohol are both depressants.
Unfortunately, the risk of overdose increases when combining kratom and alcohol. This combination can lead to respiratory distress, cardiac arrest, coma, or death.
Yet, as people understand that kratom is a legal ‘natural’ drug, they believe this could never happen. However, this is not true. Kratom changes how the body and mind function, making it potentially dangerous.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is an herbal extract that comes from the Mitragyna speciosa. Used for thousands of years, this tropical plant is native to Southeast Asia. Kratom grows in Thailand and Malaysia. Indigenous people chewed the leaves or made tea to boost their energy levels, increase productivity, and relieve aches and pains in the body.
Kratom is among the most widely-abused substances in Thailand and is still extensively available in other parts of Southeast Asia. Kratom powder, which comes in various strengths and colors, has different effects and is the most common type of kratom.
Also, kratom extract can be used to make a liquid form. People commonly take it in capsules, tablets, gum, raw leaves, and powder. Liquid kratom can be used for muscle pain.
Within the United States, kratom is not controlled or illegal in most states but is considered a “drug of concern” by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It is marketed and sold as a supplement to boost energy, mood enhancer, pain reliever, and to lessen opiate withdrawal.
The Effects of Kratom
Kratom acts on the opioid receptors of the brain. In low doses, kratom has a stimulant effect by increasing energy, alertness, mood enhancement, and sociability.
In higher doses, kratom is similar to opioids and has depressant effects such as pain relief and euphoria. At very high doses, it is sedating and can make users feel sleepy and lethargic.
Other common effects of kratom include the following:
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced pain
- Feelings of wellness
- Pinpoint pupils
- Increased energy
- Weight loss
When used, kratom starts affecting the body and mind within 15 minutes. The effects can last for two to five hours after ingestion. However, this may differ depending on the dosage taken.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
Like many other substances of abuse, if a person takes kratom consistently for some time, they can become dependent on it. This is because drug use causes the brain to change how it functions. Once this change happens, withdrawal often arises.
Although kratom withdrawal symptoms differ with each person, they may include:
- Pain in the body
The Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that has psychotropic effects. As such, alcohol is one of the most common drugs used globally. In fact, about 86% of people in the United States drink alcohol at some point in their lives the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism notes.
Desired effects of alcohol include:
- Pain relief
- Decreased inhibition
- Reduction in anxiety
- Feelings of connectedness
People who drink alcohol excessively over a length of time risk developing alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder. Similar to kratom addiction, alcohol addiction occurs when the brain and body adapt to the substance and cannot function correctly without it.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are similar to kratom withdrawal. However, they can also include delirium tremens (DTs) when alcohol consumption has ceased. DTs are a particularly unpleasant series of adverse effects from withdrawal. People experiencing DTs may hallucinate and have seizures, which can be fatal.
Dangers of Mixing Kratom and Alcohol
The number of people abusing kratom in the United States is increasing. Consequently, so is the number of people mixing kratom and alcohol. People often combine kratom and alcohol in an attempt to intensify the high from taking kratom alone.
Mixing the two substances makes the effects of the drug more potent. Combining kratom and alcohol means combining the dangers. In fact, both of these drugs cause depressant effects.
Their combined usage can severely affect the central nervous system and increase potential risks. This means that the chance of respiratory depression and fatal overdose increases significantly, as does the possibility of experiencing other adverse side effects.
Kratom and Alcohol Home Detox
Detoxing at home from kratom and alcohol abuse may be successful if someone has been taking lower doses of both for a short period of time. However, inpatient detox can help due to side effects, serious withdrawal symptoms, and risk of relapse.
If a person has attempted a home detox in the past and it has been unsuccessful for whatever reason, it may be time to consider detoxing at a treatment center. Here, professionals will be able to address individual needs in a comfortable and supportive environment.
During inpatient detox, Kratom and alcohol are gradually removed from the body. Following detox, additional treatments such as rehabilitation help heal the psychological effects and the causes that led to kratom and alcohol abuse.
Medical Detox for Kratom and Alcohol Withdrawal
A rehabilitation center helps with the cessation of all addictive substances. As such, it is particularly important for someone who has an addiction to substances like alcohol and kratom, to attend a treatment center.
Attending a treatment center allows people going through alcohol and kratom withdrawal to take advantage of medically supervised detox. This approach provides those in withdrawal with around-the-clock care. In addition, trained staff can provide support and administer medications that help relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms from detox.
Get Help for Addiction in Murfreesboro, TN
Mixing kratom and alcohol can be unpredictable and dangerous. Thus, people should never mix substances like alcohol and kratom. This combination increases the risks of something going wrong. For that reason, if someone becomes addicted to both substances, the combined opioid and alcohol withdrawal can prove fatal.
If you are using kratom and alcohol together, please reach out to Tulip Hill Recovery in Murfreesboro, Tennessee today.