Taking drugs by themselves can be dangerous; mixing them is even more harmful. This is particularly true when you mix two downers. Unfortunately, the risk of fatal overdose when combining kratom and alcohol can slow down the heart, causing people to lose consciousness.
Yet, as people understand that kratom is a ‘natural’ drug, they believe this could never happen. However, this is not true. Kratom changes how the body and mind function, making it inherently dangerous. When you mix kratom with alcohol, it is even more deadly.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is a substance that comes from the Mitragyna speciosa, a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia, where it has been used for thousands of years.
Its usage can be traced back to Thailand and Malaysia, where indigenous people chewed the leaves or made tea to boost their energy levels and productivity and relieve aches and pains in the body.
Today, kratom is still one of the most widely abused drugs in Thailand, and it is still extensively available in other parts of Southeast Asia.
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). Kratom powder, which comes in various strengths and colors, has different effects and is the most common type of kratom used.
The Effects of Kratom
In low doses, kratom increases alertness and sociability, but in higher doses, it has depressant effects similar to opioids like codeine and oxycodone.
Some of the common effects of kratom include:
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced pain
- Feelings of wellness
- Pinpoint pupils
- Increased energy
When used, kratom starts affecting the body and mind within 15 minutes. The effects noted above can be felt for two to five hours after ingestion. However, this may differ depending on the dosage taken.
Kratom and Mental Illness
People sometimes take kratom to self-medicate a mental illness, like anxiety or depression. Kratom use, for this reason, increases potential risks, as it can be even more challenging to stop taking the drug.
Kratom can also exacerbate symptoms of mental health problems, leading to a challenging situation where a person becomes addicted to kratom and suffers from aggravated mental health issues.
Unfortunately, when mental health issues exacerbate, it is common for people to use more kratom to mask symptoms of their mental illness. However, doing so increases symptoms when people are not high, making them feel worse.
When a person stops using kratom, withdrawal symptoms may arise. In a bid to cope, those who use kratom may increase their dosage, causing them to relapse. Sadly, this cycle can be hard to break alone, which is why medical treatment is available to help those struggling with kratom abuse.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
Like any other drug, 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.
Though they differ from person to person, withdrawal symptoms of kratom include:
- Pain in the body
What Is Alcohol?
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that has psychotropic effects. It is one of the most common drugs used globally, with about 86% of people in the United States drinking alcohol at some point in their lives. Desired effects of alcohol include:
- Pain relief
- Decreased inhibition
- Reduction in anxiety
- Feelings of connectedness
People who drink alcohol regularly or in large amounts over a length of time risk developing alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder. Like kratom addiction, alcohol use disorder occurs when the brain and body adapt to the use of the substances and cannot function correctly without it.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are similar to kratom withdrawal, but they can also include delirium tremens (DTs) when they stop drinking. DTs are a particularly unpleasant series of adverse effects from withdrawal that cause the people going through them to hallucinate and have seizures, which can be fatal.
Importance of Medical Detox for Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
While attending a rehabilitation center is recommended for the cessation of all substances that someone is addicted to, it is particularly important for someone who has an addiction to a substance that has the potential for a fatal withdrawal, like alcohol, to attend a treatment center.
Attending a treatment center allows people going through alcohol withdrawal to take advantage of medically supervised alcohol detox, which provides those in alcohol withdrawal with around-the-clock care and medication that helps relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms from the alcohol detox.
Mixing Kratom and Alcohol
As the number of people abusing kratom in the United States increases, so does the number of people mixing kratom and alcohol. People often combine kratom and alcohol to attempt to potentiate the high from taking kratom, making the effects of the drug more potent.
Combining kratom and alcohol means combining the dangers. As these drugs both 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 increases significantly, as does the possibility of experiencing other adverse side effects.
Other Combinations of Drugs
People do not just experiment with mixing kratom and alcohol. People trying to seek a more significant high often use other drug combinations.
- Cocaine and heroin. These two substances are among the most common combinations of drugs that people take. Many people believe that cocaine and heroin balance each other out as one is an upper and the other is a downer. Unfortunately, heroin affects the body and the mind for much longer than cocaine. This often results in cocaine wearing off while the heroin is still working on the body, which is incredibly dangerous and can cause fatal drug overdose.
- Cocaine and alcohol. People combine these two substances as alcohol abuse acts as a potentiator of cocaine and reduces the anxiety felt by the drug. The problem with the combination of substances tends to be that people feel like they can drink far more alcohol when they use cocaine, but when cocaine wears off, the effects of alcohol are much more significant.
- Xanax and heroin. Like kratom and alcohol, Xanax and heroin are downers that are frequently used together. One of the most dangerous combinations, these two drugs are very powerful and regularly cause drug overdose.
- Ketamine and alcohol. Two downers that can cause extreme confusion for people taking them, ketamine and alcohol are both powerful depressants. When they are used together, they can prove fatal.
Kratom Home Detox
Detoxing at home following kratom and alcohol abuse may be successful if you have been taking lower doses of both for a short period of time. However, inpatient detox is almost always advised due to side effects, withdrawal symptoms, and risk of relapse.
If you have 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, where professionals will be able to address your needs in a comfortable and supportive environment.
During inpatient detox, kratom and alcohol will be gradually removed from the body, enabling a physical recovery. Following detox, additional treatments such as rehabilitation help heal the psychological effects and causes of kratom and alcohol abuse.
When substances are combined together, their effects are unpredictable and dangerous. Mixing kratom and alcohol should never be done, as it increases the risks of something going wrong.
If someone has a substance use disorder and becomes addicted to both substances, the combined opioid withdrawal and alcohol withdrawal that results can also prove fatal.
Should you find yourself using kratom and alcohol, please reach out to us today for immediate support.