August 24, 2023

Kratom Addiction: Can This Drug Be Habit Forming?

man representing kratom addiction

Kratom is a herbal supplement marketed for its opioid-like effects, and it is commonly used to address pain, fatigue, and mental health concerns. Despite its legal status in many states, the addictive nature of kratom is becoming increasingly evident as its usage rises. If you suspect you or someone you know is struggling with kratom addiction, various treatment options are available. MAT (medication-assisted treatment) and psychotherapy can offer the necessary care, while inpatient or outpatient drug addiction programs provide the support and motivation needed for a successful recovery. Read on to discover:

  • What is kratom?
  • Is kratom habit-forming?
  • Is kratom addictive?
  • Why is kratom addicting?
  • How long does it take to get addicted to kratom?
  • How does kratom abuse lead to addiction?
  • How can you connect with kratom detox and addiction treatment in Southern California?

How Addictive is Kratom?

Kratom’s addictive potential has been a subject of growing concern as its use becomes more widespread. While it is often marketed as a natural herbal supplement, kratom contains alkaloids that interact with opioid receptors in the brain, triggering effects similar to those of opioids. These effects can be both stimulating and sedative, making kratom attractive to some individuals seeking pain relief, increased energy, or mood enhancement.

The addictive properties of kratom arise from its ability to create tolerance and dependence with regular use. Tolerance means that over time, individuals may require higher doses of kratom to achieve the desired effects. Dependence occurs when the body adapts to the presence of kratom and experiences kratom withdrawal symptoms if use is reduced or discontinued. Kratom withdrawal can be streamlined with a supervised medical detoxification.

Not everyone who uses kratom will develop an addiction, but some people are more susceptible to its addictive potential. Factors like genetics, personal substance use history, and underlying mental health conditions can play a role in determining a person’s vulnerability to kratom addiction.

Addiction treatment programs can provide the necessary support, therapies, and resources to overcome kratom addiction and achieve long-term recovery. Remember – addiction is a chronic but treatable condition, and seeking help is a courageous step towards a healthier and happier life.

Kratom Addiction Signs

Developing an awareness of the signs of kratom addiction can help inform early intervention and streamline seeking appropriate treatment. While not everyone who uses kratom will develop an addiction, the following kratom abuse symptoms may indicate the development of a problem:

  • Increased tolerance: Over time, people may find that they need to take higher doses of kratom to experience the desired effects, as the body becomes tolerant to its effects.
  • Dependence: Regular use of kratom can lead to physical dependence, where the body relies on the substance to function normally. If someone tries to cut down or stop using kratom, they may experience withdrawal symptoms like nausea, sweating, insomnia, and irritability.
  • Craving and compulsive use: A person who is addicted to kratom may experience intense cravings for the substance and find it challenging to control or stop their use, even when it leads to negative consequences in their life.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Kratom addiction can interfere with daily life, causing people to neglect their work, school, or family obligations due to excessive focus on obtaining and using the substance.
  • Social withdrawal: A kratom addict may withdraw from social activities, hobbies, or events they once enjoyed, choosing instead to spend time using the substance.
  • Financial problems: Sustaining a kratom addiction can be costly, leading to financial strain as individuals spend significant amounts of money on obtaining the substance.
  • Physical and psychological changes: Prolonged kratom use can trigger physical changes such as weight loss, constipation, and darkening of the skin. Psychologically, individuals may experience mood swings, anxiety, or depression.
  • Continued use despite negative consequences: Despite facing adverse effects on health, relationships, or legal issues, individuals with kratom addiction may continue to use the substance.
  • Failed attempts to quit: Those with kratom addiction may make repeated attempts to quit or cut down on their use but find it difficult to do so due to withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

If you or someone you know exhibits these signs of kratom addiction, seek professional help. Addiction treatment programs can provide comprehensive support and therapies to address Kratom addiction and promote lasting recovery.

a man is looking down with his hands to represent kratom abuse symptoms.


Is kratom habit forming?

Yes, kratom has the potential to be habit-forming. Regular use of kratom can increase tolerance, which causes a person to keep taking more of the drug to feel its effects. This can lead to dependence, where the body begins to depend on the presence of kratom and begins to withdraw without it.

Can kratom increase depression?

There is some evidence suggesting that kratom use may contribute to or inflame feelings of depression in certain individuals. While some people report mood enhancement and improved well-being with kratom, others have experienced depressive symptoms, especially during withdrawal or with prolonged and heavy use.

Can kratom cause lung issues?

There have been reports of individuals experiencing lung issues, such as respiratory distress, when using kratom. However, research on this topic is limited, and the link between kratom use and lung problems is not yet fully understood. More comprehensive studies are needed to establish a clear connection.

Does kratom affect the thyroid?

Currently, there is no substantial scientific evidence suggesting a direct effect of kratom on the thyroid gland. That said, anecdotal reports and case studies have mentioned thyroid-related symptoms in some individuals using kratom, such as changes in metabolism or fluctuations in energy levels. Further research is necessary to establish any clear relationship between kratom and thyroid function.

Can kratom cause extreme anxiety?

Yes, kratom use can lead to feelings of extreme anxiety in some users. While kratom is touted by some as an anxiolytic substance, the effects can vary widely depending on the individual and dosage. Higher doses or prolonged use may increase the risk of anxiety or even panic attacks in susceptible individuals. As with any substance, individual responses to kratom can differ, and some may experience adverse effects on mood and anxiety levels.

man looks out at scenery representing is kratom habit forming

Kratom Addiction Treatment

Treating kratom addiction involves a comprehensive approach that addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of dependence. Since kratom activates opioid receptors in the brain, its withdrawal effects can be similar to those of opioids, albeit typically milder. 

A medically-assisted detoxification process may be necessary to manage withdrawal symptoms effectively. This process involves supervised tapering or the use of medications to ease withdrawal discomfort and ensure a safer detox.

Behavioral therapies like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), can help individuals recognize and modify destructive thought patterns and behaviors associated with kratom use. Therapists work with patients to develop coping strategies and healthier ways to manage stress and emotional challenges.

Joining support groups, such as NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or kratom-specific support groups, can provide individuals with a sense of community and understanding. These groups offer peer support, encouragement, and shared experiences on the journey to recovery.

If individuals have co-occurring mental health conditions alongside kratom addiction, a dual diagnosis treatment approach may be necessary. Treating both conditions simultaneously can lead to more effective and lasting recovery outcomes.

Depending on the severity of the addiction and individual needs, inpatient or outpatient treatment programs are available for kratom treatment. Inpatient programs provide 24/7 care in a residential setting, while outpatient programs allow individuals to attend treatment sessions while living at home. Complementary therapies like yoga, mindfulness meditation, and art therapy can be incorporated into the treatment plan to address overall well-being and enhance stress management.

A key component of effective kratom addiction treatment involves aftercare planning. This involves developing a tailored plan to support individuals after completing a formal treatment program. Aftercare may include ongoing therapy, relapse prevention strategies, and access to support groups.

Family therapy sessions can help repair relationships that may have been strained by addiction and educate loved ones about the challenges of kratom addiction. Involving family members in the recovery process can foster a supportive and understanding environment.

Remember: everyone will have a unique recovery journey, and the most effective treatment plan will be tailored accordingly. Seeking professional help and guidance from addiction specialists can significantly increase the chances of successful recovery and long-term sobriety.

A woman sits on a hillside at sunset to represent kratom treatment

Get Treatment for Kratom Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

If you require assistance with drug detox and ongoing treatment, place your trust in Gratitude Lodge in Southern California. We have inclusive, pet-friendly treatment facilities in Long Beach and Newport Beach, CA where you can access kratom addiction help.

Engage with a supervised medical detoxification to streamline the intensity of kratom withdrawal and address the issue of physical dependence. After about a week, you can transition into ongoing inpatient treatment. Here, you can access a personalized combination of the following therapies:

Call 800-994-2184 today and start moving beyond kratom addiction.

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Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox, facilitating the beginnings of a successful recovery at our rehab addiction centers in Orange County, CA.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse. Alcohol detox may not take as long or produce severe withdrawal symptoms, but it is still an essential beginning to your recovery.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse.
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Our holistic therapy treatments offer a full-scope approach to recovery, addressing your mind, body, and emotions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This therapy is designed to help address underlying issues and integrate alternative therapies to promote overall health and well-being.
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An essential part of your treatment experience, we offer individual (CBT and DBT talk therapy) and group addiction treatment counseling to help you explore and address the emotional component of addiction, providing you with the tools, self-awareness, and empowerment you need to maintain recovery.
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Dual Diagnosis is a highly effective addiction treatment that addresses substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously. Often co-occurring, these disorders are best managed when treated together with specific and targeted therapy.
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Medication-Assisted Treatment provides you with FDA-approved medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal while you’re in treatment. This makes the detox process easier and safer, as well as increasing the chances of a successful recovery.
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Once detox and inpatient are complete, we provide an easy transition to outpatient care through our hand-selected partners. This program offers a more flexible approach, allowing you to ease back in to daily life while still receiving frequent & effective care.
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A crucial first step in the recovery process, our detox program provides a comfortable, medically supervised environment that addresses the physical aspect of addiction and eliminates substances from your body.
Joe Gilmore

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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