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He’s Withdrawing from Kratom Alone


Allies member sophia wonders if she is setting her son up for failure if she lets him manage his withdrawal from Kratom by himself…

"How do I know if my 21 year old son who is addicted to Kratom needs an intensive outpatient recovery program? We have a home living agreement with him that necessitates NA meetings three times a week and recovery counseling once a week, but I'm concerned that we're trying to manage him detoxing off an opiod in-home. I'm reading that this is dangerous and he should be assessed and perhaps have medicine-assisted treatment? I believe he's using caffeine and nicotine to help with his symptoms.

Kratom is such a new drug in this country and I understand that it's 13X more potent that morphine.

He's working 30-40 hours a week, having to commute 1 1/2 hours by bus, doing odd jobs for neighbors, and really trying…. but I wonder if we're setting him up for failure…. just too much expectation for him to manage his symptoms by himself?"

We are not expert in Kratom withdrawals. From what I read on the internet, symptoms of withdrawal last 4-5 days. Since there can be big differences in how sensitive an individual is to an opiate withdrawal, you may want to add another week or so for your son. If Kratom withdrawals are like other opiates, less severe effects, like insomnia, may last even longer. And like other opiates, dangerous withdrawal symptoms are rare. Here are two links that address all this.

→ From

→ From NIDA

So, if your son is more than one week out from his last use of Kratom, he has experienced the worse of the withdrawals. You can tell him how courageous he was for going through this. Opiate withdrawals are very difficult.

An outpatient program for withdrawals wouldn’t help much going forward. He is working hard, going to peer self-help, and seeing a therapist. He may want to consider a medication like vivitrol or buprenorphine to support this period of early sobriety. It would reduce any cravings, guard against potential overdose if he relapses, and put more eyes on him.

Hurray for your son and for you. Early sobriety is rough on everyone. Your son seems to be working hard at it. I hope your stress is lowering and that you are beginning to trust little by little that your son is moving in the right direction.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)

  1. Dear Dominique,
    It is one week since my son tested clean for everything!
    We tested again tonight and it came up positive for alcohol. He readily stated he’s had three beers, one at a time and not on consecutive days. We’re thrilled. He is gradually attending more NA meetings and will hopefully sit with a therapist this week. He uses nicotine and we figure we don’t see this in the same light as Kratom, alcohol and marijuana.
    He’s supposed to head back to college at the end of August. This is where his using really really took off and became a habit – eating more and more into his social and academic life. He wants to go back but we are going to take the stance of not financially supporting him. This is our idea…
    If he wants to go back, he’ll have to pay for it. I’ll help him figure out a loan. At the end of each semester and at the end of the year, I’ll pay for every A/B. He pays for any C’s or lower.
    If he agrees to verifiable counseling and regular drug tests which I have access to results through a consent form, then I’ll pay for A/B/C’s… as long as the drug tests come back clean and he can verify counseling.
    What do you think of this idea?

    1. Thanks for writing in and sharing with us the encouraging news that your son’s withdrawal from Kratom has given way to early sobriety, with the exception of a few beers. It is wonderful that he is attending NA meetings, and plans to see a therapist. All of this gives reason to be hopeful and to continue to reward him, for where he’s gotten to, and what he is undertaking in order to maintain sobriety and cultivate recovery. Read Dominique Simon-Levine’s full response to sophia here: