Can You Get Addicted to Kratom?

can you get addicted to Kratom

Kratom is a legal herbal substance that has gained popularity in recent years. Recent studies show that between 2011 and 2017, poison control centers nationwide received over 1,800 calls related to Kratom.[1] The Drug Enforcement Administration believes the public should be aware of the risks of Kratom use.[2]

But what is Kratom, and what short and long-term effects does it cause? Many people begin to use Kratom without understanding the risks of this substance–and some have experienced severe problems.

Kratom is legal and available in many places, but it can cause serious harm to your health and well-being. It’s important to understand the risk of Kratom addiction and other problems before using it or to seek treatment to stop using it if you’ve started.

Reach out to the specialists at Moving Mountains Recovery to explore our holistic substance abuse programs or to find support during any stage of addiction recovery.

What is Kratom?

Kratom is an herbal substance that people may use recreationally for its desirable effects. Kratom is derived from a plant called MItragyna speciosa, which is a type of Southeast Asian tree. Kratom is typically available in leaves that are brewed into a drink or as a liquid or powder, which can be added to drinks or food. It can also be found in tablet form to be taken by mouth.

People who take Kratom may experience effects similar to other stimulants, such as increased energy and alertness. Some may also experience effects similar to opioids, including pain relief.


kratom infographic


Can You Become Addicted to Kratom?

Drug and alcohol addiction can cause your life to spiral out of control, and it’s important to recognize the potential for Kratom addiction. Because Kratom use is a relatively new substance in the United States market, there is very little long-term data about its use and potential for addiction.

More research is needed to determine if developing an addiction to Kratom is possible. While some early data suggests Kratom has a lower potential for dependence and addiction than other stimulant or opioid drugs, a person’s health, substance use, and how they use Kratom can affect how it works in the body.

So, is Kratom addictive? It may be too difficult to say for sure with the information available. However, people who regularly use Kratom may experience withdrawal symptoms, which could indicate physical dependence or addiction.[3]

Understanding the Risk of Kratom Addiction and Dependence

People may take Kratom recreationally for its stimulant effects or out of curiosity and later find they can’t easily stop using it. But is Kratom addictive?

When people take Kratom regularly, their bodies may adapt to the presence of the substance and require more to produce the desired effects–also called building tolerance. Tolerance to a drug is among the most common signs of dependence and addiction.

Although some research suggests Kratom may not pose the same risk of addiction as other drugs, studies show people who use it may exhibit some of the signs of addiction, including experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking it.

Kratom withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Sleep problems/insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle pain
  • Stiff joints
  • Runny nose

People who stop using Kratom may also experience intense cravings that cause them to start using the substance again. People may get caught in a cycle of wanting to stop using Kratom, stopping, having cravings, and using it again. For many, it may be impossible to break out of the cycle of addiction without professional substance abuse treatment.

In severe cases, Kratom withdrawal can be as severe as opioid withdrawal, requiring Suboxone to effectively alleviate withdrawal symptoms.[4]

Recognizing an Addiction to Kratom

Drug and alcohol addiction can change the way a person behaves, thinks, and feels. It can also alter a person’s sleep, appetite, mood, and appearance. Addiction is the loss of control over your substance use. Recognizing the signs of Kratom addiction and seeking treatment as soon as possible is essential.

Some of the signs of Kratom addiction include:

  • Using more of the drug than you intended to
  • Wanting to stop but feeling like you can’t
  • Neglecting relationships, hobbies, and responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your Kratom use
  • Knowing the harm Kratom can cause and using it anyway
  • Taking risks while using Kratom
  • Needing to use more of the substance to get the desired effects
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms, including cravings, if you stop using Kratom

Addiction is a complex condition involving a person’s body, mind, behaviors, and other essential aspects. Getting comprehensive treatment that can help you safely stop using Kratom and avoid relapse for the rest of your life is crucial.

Find Treatment for Kratom Addiction Now

If you are concerned about Kratom addiction or someone in your life is addicted to Kratom, effective treatment is just a phone call away. Kratom use can prevent you from living the healthy, fulfilling life you want. Comprehensive treatment can help you regain control and live the life you choose.

Reach out to the specialists at Moving Mountains Recovery to learn more about our holistic substance abuse treatment programs. Our admission staff is here to help you find the right treatment plan to help you meet your goals. Call us today to take the first step in your recovery.


  1. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Kratom exposures reported to United States poison control centers, Retrieved June 2023 from
  2. United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): Kratom, Retrieved June 2023 from
  3. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Kratom Dependence and Treatment Options: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature, Retrieved June 2023 from
  4. National Institutes of Health (NIH): A Case of Severe Kratom Addiction Contributing to a Suicide Attempt, Retrieved June 2023 from
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