Kratom Symptoms, Signs & Side Effects
While Colorado is a state that’s been feeling the full effect of the national opioid epidemic, whether in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver or smaller cities and towns statewide, other drugs are being brought to the forefront of the state’s attention as well. One of those drugs is Kratom. This herbal substance is becoming increasingly used not just in Colorado but throughout the country because of its stimulant and opioid-like effects.
There’s a tendency among people who use kratom to feel as if it’s safe because it’s natural, or that it’s an alternative to opioids without the harmful effects, but this isn’t necessarily true. Below are some of the side effects of kratom, signs of too much kratom, and symptoms of kratom addiction.
Kratom Side Effects
In most people, the common side effects of kratom vary based on how much you have.
With small doses, kratom side effects are similar to a stimulant. This means that people may feel increased energy and alertness, a decreased appetite, talkativeness and sociability, and a higher libido. At low doses, other side effects of kratom may include anxiety or agitation.
With a higher dose, kratom side effects are more like an opioid. High-dose kratom side effects can include pain relief, sleepiness, relaxation, and in some cases, the feeling of a euphoric high.
Other potential kratom side effects, which again, depend on dose, may include:
- Small pupils
- Flushing of the face
- Coordination problems
- Nausea and vomiting
Kratom Side Effects In the Long-Term
The above kratom side effects are primarily related to the short-term, but what about long-term kratom effects?
There is currently limited research on this herbal substance in the U.S., but based on evidence from heavy kratom users in Thailand, where the substance is native, potential long-term side effects of kratom may include hyperpigmentation of facial skin, weight loss, anorexia, and psychosis.
Long-term kratom symptoms may also include insomnia, dry mouth, urination, and constipation.
Kratom Use Symptoms
When someone takes a low dose, symptoms of kratom use can look like they have taken amphetamines, although the symptoms might not be as pronounced. A person who has taken a low dose will often show kratom symptoms such as having a high energy level, more focus and alertness, and a sense of well-being. People who take low doses of kratom may be more social, may have an increase in their libido, and a diminished appetite.
People who take higher doses of kratom may have symptoms similar to opioids, but not as severe. These symptoms can include drowsiness, itchiness, and dizziness.
Kratom Overdose Signs
In the U.S., the DEA has expressed concern over the use of kratom because of the potential for toxicity or kratom overdose signs to occur.
There has been some debate as to whether or not kratom will be scheduled as an illegal drug, but in the meantime, according to the CDC, there have been several kratom-related incidents in the past few years. The number of calls to the Poison Control Center has gone up more than 40% because of kratom between 2010 and 2015.
So, what are the signs of too much kratom?
- A rapid heart rate
When someone takes large amounts, other signs of too much kratom may include psychosis or psychotic symptoms such as confusion and hallucinations. When someone takes kratom with another substance like alcohol, these symptoms may be heightened.
Kratom Addiction Symptoms
People frequently wonder whether or not it’s possible to be addicted to kratom, and the answer is yes, it is, but it may be different from an addiction to another type of drugs, such as opioids.
The following are some of the possible kratom addiction signs:
- Someone who is spending more and more time using kratom, or seems to be preoccupied with its use may be showing signs of kratom addiction
- Withdrawing from friends, family or obligations can be one of the kratom addiction symptoms
- Trying to stop using kratom unsuccessfully may be one of the symptoms of kratom addiction
- Using large amounts of kratom or developing a tolerance for the substance can be a red flag of potential addiction
- Continuing to use it even when there are negative consequences can indicate signs of kratom addiction
With kratom, there can be physical dependence that develops as well. This means that your body is dependent on the presence of kratom, and without you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Kratom withdrawal symptoms include muscle aches, sleep disturbances, and mood changes such as irritability and hostility.
If you think you have a problem with kratom, or you see symptoms of kratom addiction symptoms in a loved one, there are Colorado addiction resources available. Along with The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake, there are national resources we operate as well.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.