What’s the Verdict on Kratom and Alcohol?

17 November 2020
What’s the Verdict on Kratom and Alcohol?

Kratom and alcohol are both federally legal in the United States (though kratom’s banned in 6 states), so they can’t be too dangerous to mix, right? Unfortunately, there’s not a clear answer.

Plenty of people report mixing the two without much issue, but there are reports of kratom-related overdoses and deaths. Almost all of these reports involve the use of kratom alongside other substances, including alcohol.

Until we know more about kratom, it’s best to avoid using it with alcohol.

What are the effects?

On its own, kratom appears to produce some good and bad effects, depending on the dose.

Doses of up to 5 grams (g) of kratom tend to be associated with fewer negative effects than doses of 8 g or more.

In lower doses, some of the positive effects that people have reported include:

  • increased energy and focus
  • decreased pain
  • relaxation
  • elevated mood

The not-so-positive effects, according to various reports and user accounts posted online, include:

  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • sedation
  • itching
  • increased urination

Most kratom-related hospitalizations, adverse effects, and overdoses are linked to using kratom with other substances, according the various reportsTrusted Source.

These adverse effects can include:

  • hallucinations
  • agitation and irritability
  • confusion
  • high blood pressure
  • tachycardia
  • vomiting
  • central nervous system depression
  • seizures

What are the risks?

There are a few risks to consider when using kratom and alcohol together.

Overdose

There may be a higher risk of overdose when you mix kratom with alcohol. Both are depressants, so when you take them together the adverse effects of each may become more intense.

This can result in:

  • respiratory depression or respiratory arrest
  • kidney failure
  • high bilirubin levels
  • rhabdomyolysis
  • cardiac arrest
  • coma

Contamination

Contamination is a big risk with kratom.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source recently issued a warning after different kratom products tested positive for heavy metals, including lead and nickel.

Long-term or heavy kratom use may increase your risk of heavy metal poisoning, which can result in:

  • anemia
  • high blood pressure
  • kidney damage
  • nervous system damage
  • certain cancers

In 2018, the FDA also announced high rates of salmonellaTrusted Source contamination in some kratom products.

Salmonella bacteria can cause:

  • vomiting
  • severe diarrhea
  • abdominal pain and cramping
  • fever
  • muscle pain
  • bloody stool
  • dehydration

Addiction

Kratom might cause dependence and physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.

Some users have reported developing an addiction to it, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Unknown interactions

Experts know very little about how kratom interacts with other substances, including over-the-counter and prescription medications. Same goes for herbs, vitamins, and supplements.

What about using kratom to deal with a hangover?

It’s hard to say whether it’s safe to use kratom and alcohol at the same time, but what about using kratom after a night of drinking? Again, there’s not enough evidence to give a definitive answer.

People have reported using anywhere from 2 to 6 g of kratom to deal with hangover symptoms. Some swear it works wonders and perks them up enough to get on with their day. Others say it worsens a hangover and causes nausea.

Remember, low doses of kratom are associated with increased energy and pain relief. High doses, on the other hand, are associated with some unpleasant side effects. This could explain why some find it makes them feel worse.

What about alcohol withdrawal symptoms?

You can find anecdotal testimonials online from people who’ve used kratom to manage symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. There’s no evidence to back up these claims, though.

Again, kratom also has the potential to be addictive. In addition, withdrawal is serious business that should be overseen by a qualified healthcare provider.

Cutting back on alcohol abruptly or quitting cold turkey can contribute alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) for some people.

Safety tips

If you’re going to use kratom on its own or with alcohol, there are some important safety precautions to take:

  • Have a small amount of each. Not mixing them is ideal, but if you do, be sure to limit the amount of both kratom and booze to reduce your risk of serious effects or overdose.
  • Get your kratom from a reliable source. Kratom isn’t regulated, making it prone to contamination with other substances. Make sure you’re getting kratom from a reputable source that properly tests their products.
  • Drink water. Both kratom and alcohol can cause dehydration. Have water or other nonalcoholic beverages handy.

Overdose signs

Mixing kratom with other substances, including alcohol, may increase your risk of overdose.

Call your local emergency number right away if you or someone else experiences any of the following after taking kratom:

  • slow or shallow breathing
  • irregular heart rate
  • nausea and vomiting
  • agitation
  • confusion
  • pale, clammy skin
  • hallucinations
  • loss of consciousness
  • seizures

The bottom line

Kratom hasn’t been studied in-depth, so there are still a lot of unknowns around its effects, especially when combined with alcohol.

Based on the data that’s available, mixing kratom with alcohol carries several potential risks. While more research is needed on the topic, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid using them together.

 

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/kratom-tea#what-it-is



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