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  1. #1
    gettingbetter's Avatar
    gettingbetter is offline Senior Member
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    Default Kratom: A Big Fat Warning

    Hello board,

    My name is Danielle, and I get addicted to anything. [:I]

    I think many/most of you are the same way, and that's why I'm here to tell you the most recent chapter in my history -- the kratom chapter.

    Some quick background on me: Addicted to hydrocodone, soma and valium for about a year. I was up to 25-30 lortabs a day, with a good handful of soma and valium thrown in. In March 2006, I cleaned up my act with a short suboxone taper. I did well for a while, thanks to meetings, the board, a wonderfully supportive fiance and a good job.

    In November 2006, I started using kratom pretty regularly. When I think back, I'm not even sure why I started ... well, yeah, I am. It seemed harmless. I mean, there was NO WAY that powder could REALLY be anything potent, I thought. It just gives me energy! I need energy! It makes me feel good! After all, I can't clean the HOUSE when I'm STILL suffering PAWS; I'm not enjoying LIFE as much as I could otherwise. Me, I DESERVE to enjoy life. I've been doing SO WELL ... blah, blah, and blah. You know the drill. You say what you need to say to make it all right. Friends and fiance expressed concern: I waved them away. My extensive explanations and infutable evidence as to the benefits of kratom -- the addict's best weapons -- managed to shut them up.

    So I sucked down some kratom, and kept sucking it down. I ignored the warnings that said not to use it daily (like I really could have kept myself from that, anyway). [:I]

    Spring 2007: I order a very potent tincture/extract of kratom from a vendor who custom makes just such things.

    I spent the rest of the spring and summer WASTED on these tinctures. They are very, very strong; your pupils pin; you become constipated. No sex drive. The whole nine yards. Best of all, they're very expensive. But did I care? Nah. After all, I was already in so much debt from the pills, it didn't really matter if I just went all the way up to the limit on my credit cards to get these extracts (I seriously told myself this).

    October 2007: I hit those credit limits -- and had a moment of reckoning. I had to at least move down a notch, to regular kratom.

    I did just that, and spent two days in the bathroom, not to mention the chills and sweats and anxiety and all that other fun stuff. Mind you, I was STILL taking regular kratom -- I was just moving down a notch!! These particular extracts were very, very, very strong.

    Understandably, that detox episode scared me to death. I slowly begin to realize that I've actually spent a year all messed up on something ... AGAIN.

    To boot, it's something people know very little about, when it comes down to it.

    December 2007: My doctor convinces me to get back on suboxone. I tell him it doesn't test as an opiate on a drug screen, so won't the suboxone really mess me up? Won't I get wasted? He tells me that if something acts like an opiate, as kratom does, that in a sense it is still indeed an opiate.

    I wasn't sure, so I stopped kratom and took 2 mg of suboxone. I have to say, I expected to be high -- I was still deluding myself that kratom didn't really make me high, even though I knew I was high on it. I'm sure only addicts know what I mean by that!

    2 mg didn't cover the withdrawal. I needed four. And felt nothing, just like my stay on sub before. I'm down to 2 mg now ... after about a week.

    I'm telling you this for a few reasons.

    1. Addicts are NOT RESPONSIBLE people when it comes to using tools like kratom -- especially when you can get new, improved, concentrated versions of these tools. I am positive that kratom CAN be a godsend for responsible people -- I'm not writing this to say that it's horrible. It's energizing and definitely relieves withdrawal. However, it's just as addictive in its own right.

    2. Be careful thinking kratom is "better than being on suboxone", or similar thoughts. I'm not sure if it is or not -- I don't think most people are. A part of me wishes I'd stayed on suboxone longer my first time around -- I'm not sure I was ready for sobriety. I had six months or so clean, though, so maybe that kills that theory. Suboxone, through my insurance, certainly would have been cheaper ...

    3. Ultimately, I SHOULD HAVE WORKED HARDER TO STAY CLEAN, PERIOD rather than taking kratom as an "aid" to me "staying clean". Please be careful thinking that kratom's a fix. Well ... it IS a fix, isn't it??

    So here I am again ... I haven't been around as much, I think, because a part of me knew I wasn't really "being sober" anymore, even though I told everyone I was. I really didn't mean to lie. I don't think a lot of addicts do, sometimes. But something kept me away from the board.

    I wish I'd stayed away from kratom to begin with. I wish I'd used it responsibly, at the very least. But that can't happen, so all I can do is quit, move on, and tell people that kratom's still, for all extensive purposes, an opiate, because it produces opiate-like effects -- particularly the brands of extract I was using.

    I know my drugs, and those extracts, tinctures, whatnot were right up there. Addicts, if you're using it: don't fool yourself. I sure wish I hadn't.

    Once again committed to sobriety,
    Danielle

  2. #2
    Boost's Avatar
    Boost is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Dani, maybe you can explain this.. Ive been kind of curious, since, as you astutely pointed out to your doctor that Kratom isnt an opiate, how it is that suboxone is able to quell the pangs of Kratom withdrawal? I mean, would suboxone help with a serious benzo jones? Ive read that Kratom acts as an Agonist to the opiate receptors. So, perhaps if a substance acts like an opiate, can be replaced by an opiate, can have its withdrawals stopped in their tracks by an opiate, tickles the receptors like an opiate, then maybe its an Opiate! Wonder why they dont reclassify it or something. Probably make it easier to sell too :)

    boost
    born: 1949
    first opiates: 1969
    first mdone: 1975 - 1976
    current mdone: since 1986
    taper started: 10/31/07
    planned taper completion: late 2009

  3. #3
    gettingbetter's Avatar
    gettingbetter is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Boost, nice to meet you ...

    Kratom is weird stuff ... don't take this as gospel, but I'll tell you my theory and what I remember from my extensive reading.

    Kratom works on opiate receptors, with the greatest affinity for the kappa receptor (I think); however, there's crossover at the mu receptor as well. I'm sure if you take enough in enough of a concentrated form, as I did, it crosses over and acts as an opiate quite well. Actually, Wikipedia has a fairly lengthy kratom entry now that explains a lot about mitragynine (sp.), 7-OHM, and the other alkaloids that work in kratom -- apparently, alkaloids that can act like opiates without being opiates??? I find this very odd too, and it was part of the reason I got so good at deluding myself.

    It's weird, though. My doctor had me take two different 7-panel (I think) drug tests while I was in his office, and I tested negative both times.

    So, yeah, I hear you on the "will sub work for a benzo jones?" thing; but, I guess, anything that works on an opiate receptor, IS an opiate in a sense?

    Insofar as reclassification, I think it's in a class all its own. Yet another fabulous reason to get off it: no one knows jack. :)

    Oh, one more important thing: sub hasn't really covered all the withdrawal. There was some weirdness going on in my body for a few days, but it's mostly over.

    -Danielle

  4. #4
    c-atrox is offline Senior Member
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    Very interesting. Kratom isn't an opiate. Period. This is really about the molecular recognition of opioid receptors. Naturally occurring pseudo-opiates bind with receptors during for example orgasm. Botanical pseudo-opiates like kratom, or synthetic pseudo-opiates like Tramadol bind imperfectly and thus have a much lower danger of dependency than true opiates. But that doesn't mean you can't develop an addiction if you work at it. Bupe (suboxone) works for detox because it keeps those receptors busy. Because suboxone is itself highly addictive I'd say it isn't the best choice for a Kratom detox. (But Bupe Docs are gonna sell you Bupe.) I would think Tramadol should work very well for a Kratom substitution/taper detox with fewer initial onset w/d symptoms and less difficulty kicking those last few MGs.

  5. #5
    imported_n/a Guest

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    I would agree c-atrox - great post on how to explain the phenom that is "kratom".

    gettingbetter~

    I hope that you do get better this time around - once and for all. You sound determined and I hoep that your stay on sub is a very brief one. All the best to you - Beth

    The will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God won't protect you.

  6. #6
    gettingbetter's Avatar
    gettingbetter is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Thank you so much for the well-wishes. I really appreciate it.

    C-atrox -- I mulled over the Tramadol thing ... I'm just worried that would send me off to the races with the pills again, period. I've been on sub before, and just got off track with this kratom thing. Let me re-emphasize something: some of those custom-made extracts are really, really, REALLY strong. I don't think I would have gotten addicted to it if I hadn't started taking extracts.

    Beth -- It's so good to see you again; you've always been really supportive and sweet to me. I, too, am hoping I won't be on sub for long. I cut down to 1 mg today. I live in a really rural area, though, and it's hard to get to meetings, so I'll need the added sub 'insurance' for a few weeks until I can get a sobriety plan into place.

    I feel stupid that I got hooked on those extracts. But guys, I've done just about everything there is, been addicted to many different things, and I don't care what anyone says -- the more concentrated stuff is right up there. I have a friend who was a heroin addict, then switched to kratom, and had just as much difficulty as I did kicking the stuff.

    Just a warning ... I hope no one thinks of me as "that wuss who got addicted to kratom." :)

    Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas ...

    --Danielle

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    Coda is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Danielle,
    I'm not sure if I should have read your post or not and now I'm thinking...maybe I'll try it?

    Okay just kidding, I got enough issues and spent enough money unnecessarily on junk as it is.
    Interesting story. How are you doing these days?

  8. #8
    chrisy is offline Junior Member
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    hi Danielle.I also got addicted to kratom,I have been on suboxone for a week now.Before kratom I had a 25 a day hydro habit.As an opiate/opioid addict for over ten years,my body and brain can not tell the difference between hydro and this relative of a coffee tree that supposedly is not an opioid.Kratom withdrwal especially the extracts was just as bad and even worse than hydro.kratom brought me to my knees in a way I have never experienced,financially destroyed us,nearly ended my 12 year marriage.Even though the physical withdrawals were stopped on the suboxone I still have the depression.
    You are "not a wuss who got addicted to kratom"It is one wicked ship and is being under estimated.Thank you for posting about it.best wishes in your recovery.

  9. #9
    channah is offline Senior Member
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    Kratom is addictive, especially for addicts. The extracts that are now available are extremely potent and the withdrawals from them can be just as bad, or even worse, than opiate withdrawals (depending on the amt. of opiate one is detoxing from). I abused kratom extracts and paid a high price for it. Please, if you're addicted to opiates/opiods, don't play around with kratom. More and more information is coming to the surface that kratom can be very addictive and withdrawals, esp. from extracts, are virtually inevitable. Tapering is, in my opinion, uncomfortable but preferable to switching to sub, an even more potent substance. There really is no softer, easier way, despite what kratom users say.

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    channah is offline Senior Member
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    Chrisy, I don't mean to criticize your use of sub for getting off kratom because I considered it myself. I just hope that you use sub as a quick detox tool so that you do not become addicted to sub and end up with all the problems attendant from sub maintenance. Good luck with your recovery. Extracts are evil. I feel sorry for those of us that thought otherwise.

  11. #11
    Jack Butler's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by gettingbetter

    ...I SHOULD HAVE WORKED HARDER TO STAY CLEAN...
    If I don't take another thing from your post, Danielle, I will take these words. They are powerful medicine.

    Much of what you said has a familiar ring to it. I've been a chronic relapser much of my life. Get 3 years, get 18 months, get 10 years... then watch it all go up in smoke. Looking back, I'm appalled at my behaviour. Yet at the time I didn't bat an eye.

    You also hit a nerve with your mention of 'realizing another year had passed, messed up on something... again'. My chest got tight just reading that.

    I'm glad I wasn't able to get my hands on bupe or kratom. Like you, I'm an addict and not very responsible with stuff like this. I'm sorry you went through this, but I'm glad you're back. I look forward to seeing you get better, Sis.

    Best wishes,

    jb

    Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.
    -Jimi Hendrix

  12. #12
    ziggycat is offline Junior Member
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    Ok- I just found this site and I need to unload and share for the first time in a year.

    I was very active in NA for 8 years and then drifted away, believing that I was "normal" and that the heroin addict I used to be was a different person. I worked in recovery for many years and know a lot but I began to believe I was different-

    I became so disconnected with my addict self that I thought I would really be OK on my own-I had two kids and hung out with normies all the time. At 9 1/2 years I lost my time taking an "extra" vicodin for fun. Anyhow, in the past six months I have tried drinking, found it boring, and began ordering all kinds of stuff online...it seemed so fun and exciting!

    In no time at all I had 100 valium from argentina, 150 soma from Thailand, 200 Nurofenplus form New Zealand, and 90 generic Norco (hydrocodone 10/325) from an online Doctor. I also began using Kratom tinctures daily. THEN, I began drinking poppy seed tea daily, using very strong seeds from local Armenian stores. SO, am I a normie? Suddenly this week I realized I was really strung out on the damn tea and realized that if I don't drink it every 12 hours I have a serious withdrawal symptoms!!!!

    After years of methadone detoxes, tons of rehabs, and almost 10 years of recovery- here I am. I am in big trouble- I need to get to a meeting but I fall into a heap of tears whenever I admit to myself I need to go- I can't believe it has come to this and I have to be a newcomer all over again!!!! I need to get very humble and jump in but I can't bear the detox- and another order of kratom extract should arrive tomorrow. My drawers are filled with pills and those damned seeds- I am scared because I am terrified but not ready to turn myself over and dive into recovery. Well, I can say that this experience has certainly confirmed that I am not a normie. And to top it off I have Hep C- my poor liver!!!

    My advice to anyone in recovery is to stay away from any mind or mood altering substances- kratom and poppy seed tea are totally addictive and should be respected!

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