Alcohol and Kratom: A Risky Trend on the Rise

Looking at the Combination of Legal Depressants and the Risks

Anybody looking to avoid withdrawal that manifests as a result of damage to opioid receptors after long-term opiate abuse begins with the best intentions. However, there’s always an increased risk of additional mental health damage, or developing a substitute addiction for kratom or kratom extract.

These risks increase exponentially when alcohol addiction comes into play, or even when drinking alcohol and combining kratom in general. This practice, which frequently takes place for those looking to combat their physical dependence on opioids, is becoming more common as time goes on.

Without raised awareness and education, the fear is that the dangers of combining alcohol and kratom will continue to become more of a factor in those who previously abused other substances. What are the dangers involved with combining kratom and alcohol or other drugs, and why is this practice so common among those looking to engage in the recovery process?

This article dives into all of these elements, and why the end solution lies in a drug rehab facility like our offerings at Icarus Behavioral Health, for our programs of support, and medication-assisted treatment if desired.

Mixing Kratom and Alcohol: An Addiction and Mental Health Nightmare

Mixing Kratom and Alcohol

When you start to experiment with drugs like kratom and alcohol, it is very important to talk about the risks involved with this behavior. Many people use kratom and alcohol individually for a lot of different reasons, from wanting to ease the signs of opiate withdrawal to experiencing a recreational high. But this mix of depressants can be dangerous for a number of reasons, which we go into further detail regarding below.

But what happens when you mix kratom and alcohol simultaneously? First, it helps to establish some base knowledge on each substance separately from the other.

What Is Kratom?

The leaves of the kratom tree, which is indigenous to Southeast Asia, contain substances that have the potential to produce psychoactive effects. The result is a feeling that causes depressant effects and/or stimulation to the central nervous system, depending on what strain of kratom you ingest.

In many locations, it is not prohibited at the moment, and it is often sold as a risk-free option for recovering from opiate withdrawal. Over the last decade, the use of kratom for pain relief and ingesting low doses for opioid use disorder has exploded.

And Alcohol..

Though most of you are familiar – alcohol is a chemical that is socially accepted and also has depressant effects and plays on the central nervous system. Despite the popularity, there’s an increased risk of addiction and alcohol withdrawal after long-term use – the side effects of which can potentially be fatal.

Understanding this, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why would anyone use alcohol combining kratom in one sitting?”

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Why Are People Mixing Alcohol and Kratom?

There seem to be a couple of primary reasons why anyone would mix kratom and alcohol.

The first would be that mixing alcohol and kratom further enhances the euphoric effects of each, leading the way to an enhanced period of intoxication.

The second, although similar, isn’t quite identical. When some individuals are forced to undergo urine screenings for whatever reason, they often turn to alternative substances to continue to escape the stress of life. The initial solution might have been alcohol, kratom, or some other substance – but individually.

At some point, this gave way to mixing kratom and alcohol. These individuals find themselves in a unique situation for two reasons:

  • Those who are forced to submit to drug screenings aren’t always tested for alcohol, opening the door for alcohol use.
  • There are hardly any agencies that test for kratom as part of a paneled drug test, making it an acceptable alternative to continue catching a buzz.

This creates the perfect storm, enhancing the risk of mixing alcohol with their preferred strain of kratom.

What Happens to the Body When Mixing Kratom and Alcohol?

Effect of Mixing Kratom and Alcohol

Mixing alcohol and kratom obviously intensifies the effects of both. The health impacts could be substantial and include:

  • A reduction in respiratory function
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • An increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver damage

Not to mention mixing two depressants can lead to dangerous behavior. The most significant risks of mixing kratom and alcohol seem to be high blood pressure and liver damage.

Who Is At Risk of Experiencing the Dangers of Kratom and Alcohol?

Those who choose to take kratom to transition away from opioids are at an especially high risk since they may already be coping with weakened health, and the danger rises when you mix kratom and alcohol.

Compounding Addiction

It is possible to develop an addiction to both kratom and alcohol. This leads to the compound effect of alcohol withdrawal and the withdrawal from kratom addiction.

Kratom and Depression: A Case Study

Associated with Depression

Alcohol abuse is already commonly associated with depression. The substance is naturally a depressant itself, but there are also numerous adverse effects mentally when it comes to alcoholism. Those who drink frequently, engage in binge drinking, or have general issues with alcohol abuse, often report depression as being a side effect of their addiction.

Alternatively, many alcoholics engage in heavy drinking to combat the already existing impact of long-term depression. This relationship is a classic example of co-occurring disorders. Regardless of the specifics of the situation, an interesting case study was conducted on a woman who had been using kratom to combat opioid use disorder. The following excerpt was taken directly from the write-up after the study:

“In the psychiatric hospital, Mrs. K shared her history of substance use including recently consuming large amounts of kratom regularly. She stated that she was a regular heroin user throughout her 20s but has not used it for eight years with the aid of buprenorphine/naloxone. She first started using kratom eight months ago after relocating from another state and losing services from her previous Suboxone clinic. She reported that around that time, her mood was normal and had been well-controlled by her regular medications.

Although, she still felt high baseline anxiety most days. Initially, she used kratom as a Suboxone replacement upon recommendation from a friend, but eventually, she found that it provided sedation to help her with anxiety and even a mild sense of euphoria. She obtained it from smoke shops. She started with one or two tablespoon(s) of kratom per day and gradually increased her consumption, driven by increasing tolerance and cravings.

Eventually, she consumed up to five to six tablespoons per day and felt that she needed it to function and would have agitation, anxiety, shakes, and spasms of her extremities without it. Acquiring this massive quantity of kratom was costing her as much as $75 per week. Around this period, she began isolating herself in her bedroom, not socializing with anyone.

She admitted that it had taken over her life and worsened her mood. It caused her to live in fear of her anxiety returning, adding to her ongoing stress of loneliness in a new city and acrimony with her family.”

Throughout the article, there are additional detailed accounts of how her drug abuse was replaced with kratom ingestion, and how she was suffering from severe depression as a result of regular kratom ingestion to avoid opioid withdrawal symptoms.

You might read this article and wonder what it has to do with Kratom and alcohol. This is a powerful warning sign warning about the potential risks involved with mixing kratom and alcohol.

Luckily, the subject didn’t drink alcohol. If she did, the situation could have exponentially grown more severe. As we mentioned before, alcohol often complicates depression and major depressive disorders. This potentially provides clinical evidence of the dangers of adverse effects of mixing alcohol with kratom.

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Navigating the Grey Areas of Taking Kratom When Drinking

Despite the fact that kratom is legal, its medicinal use is still a bit of a mystery. A majority of medical professionals and experts caution against the consumption of kratom, especially when combined with alcohol, on account of its unregulated production process and the variability in dosages across different products.

Because both substances are legal, it becomes difficult to navigate and raise awareness regarding the dangers because both are not only legal but at least mildly accepted socially.

This doesn’t decrease the importance of finding a solution for alcohol dependence combined with kratom use. But how do you get through this unique form of cross-addiction?

How to Get Through the Addiction and Withdrawal Process of Kratom

Because of the lack of clinical information logged on kratom withdrawal, it’s difficult to find reliable sources of information for navigating the kratom addiction recovery process.

The process of recovery requires a number of crucial elements, including participation in rehabilitation programs, counseling, and possible medication-assisted treatment to counteract the withdrawals.

Battling Kratom and Alcohol Use at Icarus Behavioral Health

Medically-Assisted Detox

Because this is a new enemy in the battle against substance abuse, it takes a proactive and often creative approach to achieve successful recovery efforts for kratom and alcohol addiction.

There are multiple risk factors involved, and it takes a careful, planned approach to avoid further mental and physical health damage.

Both of these drugs pose a serious risk of physical withdrawal, calling on the need for a thorough medically-assisted detox.

Starting with Detox

The most appropriate initial step is admission into a medically-assisted detox program at a partner facility. Within the confines of a facility that provides this service, clients are at a much lower risk of developing further complications and the collateral impact of withdrawal.

Clients receive preventative care in addition to items that promote pain relief, reduce anxiety, and help with any stomach pains that surface. Certain medications that promote restful sleep may also be deployed, giving clients the ability to recover through rest and relaxation. Diet also plays a significant role, and meals are planned to ensure clients have an appropriate intake of pertinent vitamins and minerals,

Treatment Measures

The chances are high that the use of kratom and alcohol has a mental health disorder at the center of the addictions. Measures taken during treatment include, but aren’t limited to:

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Reach Out to Icarus Behavioral Health for Recovery Support Today

At Icarus Behavioral Health, we understand it takes powerful treatment to combat unique substance abuse challenges. Our staff is well-equipped to provide a successful alcohol and kratom rehab experience and is willing to stand by your side to help you experience long-term recovery.

Our unique approach is what makes us stand out among the average facility. If you’re struggling with alcohol and kratom, the development of your personalized treatment plan addresses the key factors that drive using either substance and support lasting recovery (not to mention health and happiness!)

All calls are confidential, so please reach out to our caring team for support today!

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