Menu Close

Kratom Addiction Treatment

Kratom is being abused as a substance in several ways, primarily due to its psychoactive properties, which can vary significantly depending on the dose. The primary compounds in kratom, mitragynine, and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine, interact with opioid receptors in the brain, leading to sedative, euphoric, and analgesic effects at high doses. At lower doses, kratom acts as a stimulant. This dual-action makes it susceptible to abuse, with individuals using it for various purposes, such as:

Why is Kratom Abuse a Problem in Florida?

  1. Self-treatment of Pain or Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms: Some individuals turn to kratom to manage pain or to alleviate withdrawal symptoms from opioids or other addictive substances without medical supervision. This self-treatment approach can lead to dependence on kratom itself.

  2. Recreational Use for its Psychoactive Effects: Kratom is used recreationally for its euphoric and sedative effects, especially in high doses. Users seeking these effects may consume kratom in larger quantities or more frequently than recommended for traditional or medicinal uses.

  3. As a Legal High: In regions where kratom is not regulated or banned, it may be marketed as a legal means to get high. Users may seek it out as an alternative to controlled substances, using it in ways that increase the risk of harmful effects and addiction.

  4. Use in Combination with Other Substances: Some individuals may abuse kratom by combining it with other psychoactive substances to enhance its effects. This practice can increase the risk of adverse reactions, including overdose, when mixed with drugs that depress the central nervous system or other stimulants.

The potential for abuse and dependency arises from the opioid-like effects of its active compounds. Regular use, especially in large amounts, can lead to tolerance, dependency, and withdrawal symptoms similar to those associated with opioid addiction. These symptoms may include muscle aches, irritability, crying, runny nose, diarrhea, and muscle jerking.

Health authorities and researchers are concerned about kratom’s abuse potential, safety profile, and lack of clinical trials to determine its efficacy and safety for medical use. As a result, its legal status is under scrutiny in various countries, with some moving to control or ban its use and sale.

Is Kratom a Problem in Florida?

Kratom has been a subject of debate and concern in Florida and in the Tampa Bay area specifically over the last couple of years, mirroring the broader national and international discussion about its use, benefits, and potential for abuse. Kratom is legal in Florida, except for Sarasota County, where it was recently banned. Across the rest of the state, it remains accessible in various forms, including powder, capsules, and tea, often sold in specialty stores, vape shops, and online.

The question of whether kratom is being abused in Florida is complex and depends on various factors, including how one defines “abuse.” Kratom proponents argue that it is a natural alternative for pain management and opioid withdrawal relief. However, there are concerns among health professionals and law enforcement agencies about its potential for abuse, especially given its opioid-like effects at high doses and the possibility of dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

Reports of kratom-related calls to poison control centers, emergency room visits, and even deaths (where kratom was present along with other substances) have fueled the debate on its safety and regulatory status. Users seeking euphoric effects or attempting self-detox from opioids might use kratom in ways that increase the risk of adverse outcomes, including dependency.

Florida has seen legislative attempts to regulate kratom, reflecting concerns about its abuse and safety. For instance, there have been proposals to restrict its sale to minors and to implement quality control measures. However, statewide regulation has been challenging, with laws varying significantly from one jurisdiction to another.

Given kratom’s legal status in Florida (outside of Sarasota County), it is available to adults, and there is potential for misuse among individuals seeking its psychoactive effects or attempting self-medication without medical supervision.

How to Treat Kratom Addiction

Treating kratom addiction involves a comprehensive approach, similar to the treatment of other substance use disorders. At Footprints Beachside Recovery treatment of Kratom may require a combination of medical, psychological, and support-based strategies. The treatment plan can be tailored to the individual’s specific needs, considering the severity of the addiction, the presence of co-occurring disorders, and the individual’s overall health and social support system. Here are some key components of a treatment plan for kratom addiction:

  1. Medical Detoxification: The first step in treating kratom addiction is often detoxification, especially for individuals who have used large amounts of kratom or those who have been using it in combination with other substances. Medical supervision during detox can help manage withdrawal symptoms, which might include muscle aches, irritability, mood disturbances, runny nose, insomnia, and cravings.

  2. Behavioral Therapies: Various forms of counseling and behavioral therapies are effective in treating substance use disorders, including kratom addiction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals understand the behaviors and thoughts that lead to substance use and develop coping strategies. Motivational interviewing (MI) is another approach that can enhance motivation to change. Group therapy and family therapy can also provide support and improve coping skills.

  3. Support Groups: Participation in support groups, such as 12-step programs (e.g., Narcotics Anonymous) or other peer support groups, can provide ongoing encouragement and a sense of community for individuals recovering from addiction.

  4. Treatment of Co-occurring Disorders: It’s common for individuals with substance use disorders to have co-occurring mental health disorders. Addressing these concurrent disorders is critical for effective treatment and reducing the risk of relapse. This may involve a combination of medication and therapy.

  5. Aftercare and Relapse Prevention: Developing a comprehensive aftercare plan is crucial for maintaining sobriety. This plan can include ongoing therapy, support group participation, and strategies for managing stress and avoiding triggers that could lead to relapse.

  6. Lifestyle Changes and Holistic Approaches: Incorporating healthy lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and mindfulness practices (e.g., meditation, yoga) can support overall well-being and recovery.

Because kratom is a relatively new substance of abuse in the Tampa Bay & St Petersburg area, finding a treatment provider with experience in kratom addiction may be challenging. At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we apply the core principles of addiction treatment which are applicable across various substances.

It’s important for individuals seeking help to reach out to Footprints Beachside Recovery  to create a personalized treatment plan.