My Kratom Addiction:
Is Kratom Addicting?
Although I am not trumpeting my present personal feelings on Kratom and Kratom addiction, I do feel that I am one of the more qualified people to comment on this very hotly debated topic. And, the answers may surprise you so much so, that you may think I am not being honest with myself or you. But, the truth couldn’t be more vivid and accurate than it is explained here.
In short, I’ve been an avid fan of Kratom for around 4 years now. I started working with it on Fridays or Saturdays only, as a way to unwind and relax from the week. I was strict in my consumption; taking an exact ½ of a teaspoon of the Standardized 15x Kratom Extract each time, with no variance one way or the other. This, I would enjoy with 2 or 3 drinks over the course of an evening, and this is all I needed.
I did this for quite some time; almost a year, and the intensity of the effects of the Kratom mixed with a few drinks of alcohol over the course of the evening never lessened. I didn’t feel the need to increase my dose, and this I found somewhat surprising. I was also told that this unique herbal supplement is quite effective when one is sick; helping to alleviate some of the discomforts of being ill. What I found was that it not only helped my day pass more comfortably, but when I took Kratom while having work that needed to get done…I realized why this is/was so popular among the working class in Thailand!
Somehow, it helped me to focus more clearly on my task at hand, making the work feel a little less tedious as well. It helped to make time pass more quickly, while helping me to focus on getting my work done; all from this versatile herbal supplement. It reminded me of my favorite experiences with Kava Kava, except Kava Kava was more relaxing, where Kratom seemed to energize me towards my work.
So, these events triggered my curiosity, and I wanted to see if I could get myself addicted to Kratom, or to at least see if Kratom could be addicting.
The first thing I did, was stop taking Kratom for 2 weeks. I know the amounts I was taking were quite small, but I wanted to be sure in every way I could think to be sure. I felt absolutely no “withdrawal” symptoms whatsoever. Not surprising. After the 2 weeks, I started to take Kratom, in ¾ teaspoon amounts, every other day, but not with any alcohol. This I did for 1 month; a time that would be long enough for me to become “addicted” to the Kratom extract.
Once the weeks was up, I once again stopped “cold turkey” for 2 weeks. Again, there were no signs or symptoms of any kind of withdrawal whatsoever. I am extremely sensitive to changes in my body, and am quite certain that I would notice a difference, even if it were miniscule.
No cravings, no shakes, no unclear thought or blurred vision or anything else whatsoever that I could call a symptom. Mind you, I waited until 6:00PM every night, so regardless of my personal research, it would not interfere with my job in any way.
The thing that I DID miss from my “Kratom nights” during the 2 weeks that I went “cold turkey” from taking it, is that I missed the energizing clarity and focus that it would provide me with, whether it was writing, doing “after school” work for my job, or even something as simple as taking my bike out for an evening ride.
So, still no signs of addiction, no cravings, and no desires to increase the ¾ of a teaspoon dose to anything more than the ¾ of a teaspoon.
Next, I decided to work with this more and more curious herbal supplement every day of the week, for 6 weeks straight. It became a ritual; every night at 6:00PM, as long as my responsibilities for my job were taken care of, I would take my usual ¾ of a teaspoon. I also would take a shot of vodka with my ¾ to wash it down, and as a little extra “kick” to my evenings. If I were going to get addicted, this seemed like PLENTY of Kratom use to get to that elusive place.
So, the 6 weeks passed with nothing interesting to report, other than an extreme familiarity with the sensation of Kratom extract and how it works with my body. I enjoyed every evening as much as any other, but really liked how the Kratom “heightened” my normal experience just a bit. I would guess that this is the reason why people drink alcohol, or coffee, or smoke cigarettes…it gives you a little break from the normal mode of consciousness, relieving a little stress, making your day just a little more enjoyable and sometimes; a little more tolerable.
I was a little more nervous about the 2 weeks of “cold turkey” this time around. I anxiously waited for 6:00PM to roll around, but found that the evening passed, and much later into the evening, there was no physical discomfort or craving whatsoever. Something that was quite apparent, was that I missed my nightly ritual; I missed the clarity it gave me and the slightly heightened sense of awareness.
The best way to explain this sensation is to compare it to waking up and looking forwards to my morning cup of coffee; it’s more than the coffee and the caffeine; it’s a ritual that makes me feel good, while giving me a boost…it’s the taste, the process, and it’s a little treat in my day. This is how I had come to think of my nightly dose of Kratom, but I certainly couldn’t honestly say that I could call that a Kratom addiction.
The 2 weeks passed, and there was no difference in any of my sensations, other than missing my daily ritual. No cravings crept up, no signs of physical addiction reared its head…nothing.
Once that experiment was done, I then embarked on what was in my mind, partially because of the expense I would have to deal with, was the most ambitious personal test yet; I would eat my ¾ of a teaspoon of this herbal supplement in the morning with my coffee, in the afternoon, and again at night. Obviously I couldn’t carry this on for too long due to the cost, but I managed to do it for a solid 4 weeks.
During the 4 weeks of 3 times a day, I have to say that I didn’t enjoy the sensation all day every day. I enjoy my world around me, and the constant dose of Kratom felt like it was getting in the way, much in the same way, though, that coffee makes me feel if I drink it all day every day. Sometimes I actually woke up looking forward to my cup of coffee, but not looking forward to having to take my morning dose of Kratom. This didn’t seem much like addiction; this seemed more like anti-addiction!
I limit myself to coffee in the morning, and I do feel that if I decided to drink coffee 3 times a day as I was doing with the Kratom, that my “withdrawal” from the coffee would actually be more intense than the Kratom. So again, the 2 weeks of “cold turkey” came around, and I waited for symptoms and changes.
This time, I did notice an “anxiousness” after the first day of not taking my Kratom. This was a first, but I feel as though I had found what I was looking for. It wasn’t intolerable by any stretch, but it was certainly noticeable. I found myself craving some Kratom; not a lot, I just started playing a game with myself that went something like this; “Maybe cold turkey isn’t the best plan…maybe I should wean myself off, after all, I don’t want to risk my health at all.”
You get the idea. But, part of wanting to know if I could get “addicted” to Kratom, was knowing what might happen if I actually was able to accomplish that task. I was certain I knew.
The next day rolled around, and I was curious how I would feel. I was wondering if the symptoms would increase, but they didn’t, at all, actually. I still felt a little anxious, but it was felt more, in my opinion, because I was paying such close attention to it. In fact, my anxiousness may have been caused more out of curiosity and concern over what my “Kratom addiction” might feel like, rather than feeling any “withdrawal” symptoms from it whatsoever.
So, as the second day went on, I felt quite normal, and simply missed, far more than my 3 times a day dose; my once a day or once every other day dose. I was done with my personal experiment, and decided that 3 times per day wouldn’t ever happen in my world again.
But now, I wondered what would happen over a long period of time of Kratom consumption. I know there are a few reports about the skin turning a yellowish color, but 2 years later, I had no such symptom.
So, it was back to ¾ of a teaspoon and every other night to a few nights in a row, to every night for a month, to a couple of days to a week off, and every option in-between. I tried a little more, but never more than 1 teaspoon of the Standardized 15x Extract, and rarely any less than the ½ teaspoon dose I started with. I sometimes tried it with alcohol, and sometimes with my favorite herbal smoke, and sometimes all three.
This went on for the next 2 years, and recently, it came time to go “cold turkey” for 2 weeks again, mostly out of curiosity. Over the past couple of years, I didn’t lose my job; I actually got promoted because of my work, much of which was done at home, and while enjoying my evening dose of Kratom, nothing in my family life pr personal life whatsoever was a “mess” or “falling apart” whatsoever. I was functioning like any other normal human being, but instead of reaching for coffee or cigarettes or highly addicting and dangerous alcohol as a vice; I reach for my ¾ teaspoon of Kratom Extract.
I know some are actually hoping that Kratom is some terribly addicting new “legal high” that they can sensationalize on the news, completely ignoring true dangers like alcohol, tobacco, and the number one abused things in America right now; pharmaceuticals, as usual, demonizing this easily-available herbal supplement that is on the open market, rather than forced, like so many other natural products, into the underground, to be adulterated, criminalized, and turned into something that it certainly is not.
So, I can’t speak for anyone but myself, and I know that just like anything any of us choose to put into our bodies, that others may have a different reaction to this herbal product, but even aspirin, which we all think is so safe…actually kills 27,000 humans per year, which is about 27,000 more people than Kratom has been documented as killing over its entire 3,000 year history of safe use.
- K. Edley
Verified Kratom Addict (Even if only in my mind..)