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Addiction

Kratom and Alcohol: The Dangers of Mixing These Substances

Kratom is the name of an herbal substance that comes from the leaves of an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. The scientific name of this evergreen tree is Mitragyna speciosa.

The kratom leaves can be chewed raw, and dried kratom leaves can be brewed or swallowed. Kratom can be made into a liquid product from kratom extract and is often advertised as a treatment for muscular pain, cramps, diarrhea, or as an appetite suppressant. Some market kratom as a cure for panic attacks. 

Many companies market kratom as a pain reliever, energy booster, cure for sour moods, and a cure for opioid withdrawal symptoms. 

Kratom is a legal drug and is thought to interact with opioid receptors in the body. Kratom’s effects differ depending on the amount a person takes. In lower doses, kratom acts like a stimulant which causes energy boosts, mood enhancement, and a feeling of vibrancy. Higher doses, on the other hand, reduce pain and can even cause the user to experience a feeling of euphoria. At extremely high doses, kratom is a sedative and causes users to feel sleepy, quiet, and calm. 

Kratom is known in traditional Asian medicine as a substitute for opium and is often purchased by people dealing with opioid withdrawal.

However, despite all of the ailments that kratom claims to treat, there are several issues and dangers about kratom, especially when it is mixed with other substances. This article will discuss the interaction between kratom and alcohol, its effects on the body, its dangers, and other situations that can occur because of kratom and alcohol usage. 

Side Effects of Kratom and Alcohol

Many illegal and legal drugs interact with other drugs and substances such as alcohol. Although Kratom is legal in 44 states and alcohol is completely legal to use in the United States, there is a lot of gray area surrounding whether they are safe or dangerous to consume together.

Most people assume that because they are both legal in the majority of states that it is not a dangerous combination. However, there is no specific answer that science has given us to determine whether or not it is highly dangerous.

Many people have mixed kratom and alcohol together without many or any issues, but on the other hand, there have been reports of kratom-related deaths and overdoses with nearly all of these reports involving the use of other substances along with the kratom. Alcohol has been in many of these reported overdoses or deaths.

The effects of mixing kratom and alcohol can be very diverse. In lower doses, when mixed with alcohol or on its own, kratom can cause higher energy levels, increased focus, lower levels of pain, increased relaxation, and a better overall mood.

However, some side effects of kratom, when mixed with alcohol or taken on its own, can be not very great. These adverse effects can be nausea, drowsiness, unexplained itching, dizziness, constipation, sedation, and abnormal amounts of urination.

More often than not, kratom-related overdoses, deaths, and hospitalizations include the user experiencing these adverse effects and using other substances with the kratom. Alcohol is included.

Side effects of mixing kratom with another substance include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Tachycardia (a fast heart rate)
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Central nervous system depression
  • High blood pressure

Dangers of Mixing Kratom and Alcohol Together

Like mixing other drugs or substances, there are dangers to mixing kratom and alcohol. Although the risks may not be as proven or clear as the risks of mixing other drugs, several should be considered before mixing the two.

The first risk is overdose. Mixing kratom with alcohol can increase the risk of overdose because both are depressants. When you take two depressants together, the negative side effects of each depressant may become intensified.

The intensified side effects from the depressants can result in respiratory arrest, kidney failure, cardiac arrest, coma, high bilirubin levels, and rhabdomyolysis.

Another huge risk about taking kratom in general and kratom with alcohol is contamination. The Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings about certain kratom products that have tested positive for heavy metals. Some even tested positive for lead and nickel. Exposure to heavy metals can increase your risk for heavy metal poisoning, which is extremely dangerous.

Heavy metal poisoning can cause anemia, kidney damage, cancer, high blood pressure, and damage to the body’s nervous system. This can all be exacerbated by alcohol usage alongside kratom.

Salmonella was also encountered in some kratom products approximately 3 years ago. Salmonella can cause vomiting, extreme abdominal pain, cramps, muscular pain, diarrhea, fever, dehydration, and more.

Furthermore, the risk of addiction to mixing kratom and alcohol is increased by the combination of the two substances. Kratom can cause dependence; some people experience physical withdrawal when they stop taking it.

Lastly, there is very little known about kratom itself. Many people do not know how kratom interacts with other substances when it is in the body. This includes over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, allergy medications, and more. There is also very little information about how it interacts with prescription medications, other herbal supplements, vitamins, and other items. 

Some people say that taking kratom to deal with a hangover is why they mix it with alcohol, but it is very difficult to decide whether it is safe to use kratom and alcohol at the same time. Most people agree that mixing any drug, whether it is legal or not, with alcohol is a dangerous game. As such, it is always highly recommended that no individual mix drugs together, especially when using them recreationally, as there is a high risk of overdose. 

However, there is not enough decisive evidence to give a clear or safe answer. Many swear that taking a low dose of kratom to deal with your hangover symptoms is a miracle cure. On the other hand, many say that it worsens the effects of a hangover and causes severe nausea. This could be due to the dosage people take, but there is insufficient evidence to support or refute this claim. Regardless, as kratom is an addictive substance in and of itself, which can cause a myriad of severe side effects (including addiction), it is best to stay away from the drug to begin with, especially if one wants to mix it with other drugs. 

Withdrawal Side Effects, Symptoms, & Timeline for Kratom and Alcohol

Many say that kratom has been a miracle cure for treating their withdrawal symptoms, whether for alcohol or opioid withdrawal. But in actuality, there is zero evidence to support any claims that kratom is a miracle withdrawal cure.

Kratom itself has the potential to be incredibly addictive, both physically and chemically. So the idea that it may relieve withdrawal symptoms brings on another issue of causing a further addiction to another substance, in this case, kratom.

Therefore, the dangers of combining kratom and alcohol are multiplied by the fact that they are both addictive substances. Because of the nature of these two substances, it is best to avoid taking them together to prevent the addiction from sitting in. If an addiction to taking kratom and alcohol does occur, there is very little information about withdrawal symptoms, the timeline, and how to treat withdrawal from these two substances.

Addicted to Kratom or Alcohol? The Time to Get Help is Now

If you find yourself addicted to combining and taking these two substances, it is important to get help. Not only because addiction to any substance is an issue that must be addressed, but because of the little information scientists and doctors have about addiction to kratom and alcohol.

If you are suffering from an addiction, please reach out to us today to begin your journey to a brighter future free from the control of substances. You deserve to live a life that is free from substances, and our professional staff is eager to help you.

Sources:

Ocean Recovery has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations for our references. We avoid using tertiary references as our sources. You can learn more about how we source our references by reading our editorial policy.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Kratom. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Published March 25, 2022. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/kratom
  2. Corkery JM, Streete P, Claridge H, et al. Characteristics of deaths associated with kratom use. J Psychopharmacol. 2019;33(9):1102-1123. doi:10.1177/0269881119862530
Amanda Stevens, B.S.

Amanda Stevens, B.S.

Amanda is a prolific medical content writer specializing in eating disorders and addiction treatment. She graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Purdue University with a B.S. in Social Work. As a person in recovery from disordered eating, she is passionate about seeing people heal and transform. She writes for popular treatment centers such as Infinite RecoveryAscendant NY, The Heights Treatment, Epiphany Wellness, New Waters Recovery and adolescent mental health treatment center BasePoint Academy. In her spare time she loves learning about health, nutrition, meditation, spiritual practices, and enjoys being the a mother of a beautiful daughter.

Last medically reviewed July 27, 2022