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Can You Get Addicted to Kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical tree that is native to Southeast Asia. People consume its leaves to experience psychoactive effects. Small doses can cause stimulant effects, while higher doses cause side effects similar to opioids. While some people believe that kratom is beneficial for their health, this substance is known to be habit-forming and addictive.

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine (NLM), 0.7% of people in the United States used kratom in 2020.[1] Kratom abuse is more prevalent among people with opioid use disorder. Combining kratom with opioids can produce a more potent effect and individuals may use kratom to cope with opioid withdrawal.

If you or a loved one abuse kratom, you might be wondering if you could develop an addiction. Kratom is considered an addictive substance. Signs of kratom addiction might include being unable to control the amount you use, experiencing cravings to abuse kratom, and dealing with withdrawal symptoms when you stop consuming kratom.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What effects do kratom products cause
  • Whether kratom is addictive
  • What the signs of kratom addiction are
  • Risk factors for kratom addiction

What are the Effects of Kratom?

Kratom can either cause stimulant or depressant effects. If you use a low dose of kratom, you might experience effects similar to cocaine or Adderall. On the other hand, high doses of kratom can produce opioid-like effects. Because of kratom’s ability to mimic opioids, some people use it to deal with opioid addiction or chronic pain.

The effects of kratom might include:[2]

  • Increased energy or focus
  • Chattiness
  • A rush of euphoria
  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Relaxation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Increased urination
  • Changes in heart rate

Kratom can also lead to adverse effects. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), “Users of kratom have also experienced anorexia, weight loss, insomnia, hepatotoxicity, seizure, and hallucinations.”[2]

Is Kratom Addictive?

As kratom can cause stimulant and sedative effects, it is addictive whether you abuse low or high doses. Some people begin using kratom to overcome opioid addiction. Over time, as they continue to consume kratom, they develop a secondary addiction to it.

You should not use kratom frequently, if at all. The longer you use kratom, the more likely it is your body will develop a dependency and you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using kratom after a period of repetitive use.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), kratom can cause a “risk of serious adverse events, including liver toxicity, seizures, and substance use disorder (SUD).”[3]

If you or a loved one regularly uses kratom, it’s time to consider that you have a substance use disorder. Drug rehab programs like Mandala Healing Center can help you recover from kratom addiction using a combination of medical detox, evidence-based therapies, and relapse prevention planning.

What are the Signs of Kratom Addiction?

Kratom is not illegal, so you might think it is okay to abuse it repeatedly. Similar to how alcohol is legal, you should not over consume it just because it is lawful. Continuous use of kratom will result in a substance use disorder.

Being aware of the signs of kratom addiction will help you determine whether you need substance abuse treatment. The main signs of kratom addiction include:

  • Increased tolerance- After using kratom for some time, you will have to increase the dose to experience the desired effect. This is known as tolerance, which is a sign of early addiction.
  • Cravings- If you feel an intense desire to abuse kratom when you are not under the influence, you are experiencing cravings, which is a main sign of addiction.

If you find yourself using kratom to avoid experiencing cravings and withdrawal symptoms, it’s time to seek professional help. The Mandala Healing Center offers kratom addiction treatment that includes medical detox, evidence-based therapies, and more.

Risk Factors for Kratom Addiction

Certain risk factors make the chance of becoming addicted to kratom more likely. If you identify with some of the risk factors mentioned, it is strongly suggested that you avoid using kratom.

The main risk factors for kratom addiction include:

  • Genetics – If your family has a history of addiction, you are genetically predisposed to experience it as well. In other words, if you abuse substances, you are more likely to develop an addiction than someone without genetic predispositions.
  • History of Substance Abuse – If you have previously abused other substances like alcohol, opioids, or prescription medications, it will be easier for you to fall into a cycle of substance abuse and addiction when using kratom.
  • Mental Health Conditions – If you have underlying mental health issues, you are more likely to develop an addiction to kratom. This is because substances might temporarily mask the symptoms of mental illness, causing you to begin self-medicating.
  • Social Factors – If you experience isolation and have little social support, you are more likely to develop an addiction. This is because drugs like kratom can fill the hole left by a lack of close relationships with others.
  • Environmental Factors – Regular exposure to kratom abuse will make you more likely to engage in it as well. Constantly being around people who are abusing kratom will make it easier to fall into those same patterns.

Find Help for Kratom Abuse and Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from kratom addiction, it’s time to seek help. At the Mandala Healing Center, we offer a combination of evidence-based therapies, compassionate care, and holistic treatment. In other words, we will provide the tools and support you need to recover from kratom addiction.

Contact us today to learn more about our kratom addiction treatment program.


  1. The National Library of Medicine (NLM): Past-Year Kratom Use in the U.S.: Estimates From a Nationally Representative Sample
  2. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): Kratom
  3. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA): FDA and Kratom