Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia, the leaves of which have been used for medical reasons for thousands of years to increase energy or alleviate pain. However, it has been gaining popularity in the United States, but it is a substance that can have unpredictable, negative effects when combined with alcohol.
The leaves of the kratom plant can be consumed raw or crushed, brewed as a tea, or placed into tablets or capsules. At the time of this writing, kratom is outlawed for use in several states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Among the unique properties of kratom is that the effects it induces depend on the amount consumed. In relatively small doses, it acts as a stimulant, but in high doses, it tends to have the properties of a sedative. Although this drug is believed to function similarly to that of opioids, its use doesn’t usually result in the same lethal side effects of opioids, such as fentanyl and heroin.
As noted, in recent years, the use of kratom use has become increasingly common in the United States. It has been associated with abuse and addiction, especially with chronic use. In a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), kratom was detected in the bodies of more than 150 people who died of an overdose. Of these, 19 people were also found to have had alcohol present in their systems, although it was not known if kratom was a factor that contributed to their death.
Side Effects of Kratom and Drinking Alcohol
More studies are necessary to understand the effects of kratom fully. What is known about kratom are the short- and long-term effects which can vary depending on the amount of the dose, including the following:
- Decreased appetite
- Increased energy
- Increased sociability
Moderate to High Dose
- Cough suppression
- Pain relief
- Opioid withdrawal relief
- Weight loss
Kratom use can also lead to several adverse side effects comparable to those of actual opioids, including the following:
- Impaired motor coordination
- Pinpoint pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
Dangers of Combining Kratom and Alcohol
Currently, there isn’t enough evidence surrounding the potential dangers of combining kratom and alcohol with being able to identify all the risks. However, when considering the individual properties of each of these substances, we can surmise some potential hazards of using this combination.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and as such, it prevents messages from nerve receptors from reaching the brain. As a result, a user’s perceptions, senses, and movements, and movements are all affected. Comparatively, kratom can act as either a depressant or stimulant.
Using a depressant with a stimulant or another sedative can be very dangerous. For this reason, as with many drug combinations, mixing kratom and alcohol is not advisable. Although this combination hasn’t been well studied yet, experts generally recommend not using alcohol and kratom together.
Combining kratom and alcohol could result in impaired motor function, falls, and poor judgment and decision-making. It could also lead to profound sedation, which has the potential to cause coma or death. In turn, because alcohol has the depressant effect, it could negate the stimulating properties of kratom, which could require the person to use more kratom than they otherwise would to achieve the desired effects. Also, combining stimulants with alcohol can raise the risk of seizures, hypertension, and stroke.
Some side effects that are possible when combining alcohol and kratom include the following:
- Elevated heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Impaired motor control
- Altered perceptions
Alcohol abuse and addiction have been associated with many chronic health problems, including liver damage, increased risk of several cancers, and overdose. Using other substances in conjunction with alcohol only increases complications linked to alcohol use disorder, and can make it more difficult to treat.
Treatment for Kratom and Alcohol
Those who are experiencing kratom abuse or alcohol addiction can benefit from professional treatment. Just Believe Recovery offers evidence-based medical care combined with wellness programs and holistic therapies. We use this integrated approach to treat a wide range of substance use disorders and mental health conditions, including alcohol and kratom addiction.
We are staffed with compassionate professionals who all share the same mission to help clients get the most effective treatment possible for their disorders. We design treatment plans unique to the individual to ensure their needs are met and that they are offered the best chance for success.
If you or a loved one are motivated to recover and reclaim your life from addiction, contact us today! We are committed to ensuring that those who need it most receive all the tools they require to sustain long-lasting happiness and wellness!