June 2

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Will Kratom Have Any Effect If You’re On Suboxone?

By Briana Michelle

June 2, 2020


Kratom and Suboxone have both become increasingly common in recovery communities. Both are said to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce the chances of relapse, but unlike Suboxone, Kratom is multifaceted and used by people for many other reasons too. Kratom is also plant-based, which has appeal for those who are looking to keep things natural. Although, it’s important to note that in many cases natural doesn’t always mean safer, especially with substances like Kratom that need more research. If you’re considering either of these, be sure to consult with a trusted healthcare professional before proceeding.

Hearing People Talk About Both and Feeling Confused? 

In this post, we’re breaking down some key pieces of information that will hopefully help you to gain a better understanding of where these two substances stand. 

If you’ve been curious, thumbing through the sections below should help to point you in the right direction. 

What is Kratom?

Kratom is an incredibly complex plant that has been around for quite some time, but most of what we know about it comes from word of mouth. The research surrounding this plant is in its beginning stages, and its safety profile overall is the subject of a lot of controversies. 

One of its most researched compounds, Mitragynine, interacts with the opioid receptors in the brain – but not in the same way that traditional opiates and opioids do. So far, research suggests that it is only a partial opioid receptor agonist, with less potential for overdose than some of the “harder” substances that people abuse that work in similar ways, perhaps similar to kava

Because Kratom does interact with the opioid receptors, many find it to be helpful for weaning off of more potent opioids, reducing the effects of withdrawal, and for easing cravings that may otherwise lead to relapse. 

In lower doses, Kratom can have a euphoric and energizing effect leading some people to use it simply for a boost or to take the edge off when a long stressful day lays ahead.  If you’re looking for the best kratom for stress, read the linked article.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a pharmaceutical that contains a blend of Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist while Naloxone works to reduce a person’s ability to actually feel the effects that come from it. This lessens withdrawal symptoms and cravings that are rooted in physiological dependence without allowing the user to achieve the same high that they otherwise would from having an opioid agonist in their system. 

The Naloxone component of Suboxone also works to prevent the user from achieving a high in the event that they do relapse. 

The Dangers of Mixing Kratom and Suboxone 

Kratom and Buprenorphine, one of the compounds in Suboxone, are both partial opioid receptor agonists, and they should not be combined. They may potentiate one another and reduce the efficiency of naloxone. 

In fact, mixing Kratom with any prescription or substance is strongly advised against due to the fact that we do not know enough about how it interacts with other compounds. This article notes down in the third paragraph that a large chunk of the hospitalizations associated with Kratom occur when it is mixed. 

Although, it can have some serious side effects in some people even when not mixed.

Is One Better Than the Other for Recovery from Addiction? 

Suboxone is approved for use in humans by the FDA. Kratom is largely unregulated, and we do not know enough about it to make definite conclusions about its effectiveness or safety profile. 

While Kratom and Suboxone both have compounds that are partial opioid agonist, Suboxone has the added benefits of containing Naloxone, which decreases the ability to achieve a high – making long term dependency less appealing. 

Kratom has no component in it that acts like Naloxone, and users can still effectively “chase a high” with it, which may encourage prolonged use – although many believe it to be a safer substance to be dependent on with less of a risk of deadly overdose when compared to things like heroin. 

Should Suboxone be Used for Kratom Withdrawal? 

As we touched on in the paragraph above, Kratom does have abuse potential that often gets overlooked in advocacy groups and forums. For the sake of honesty, we feel it important to be candid about the possibility of becoming physically addicted to Kratom with regular use. 

While the withdrawal symptoms from Kratom are generally far less severe than they are with more potent substances, they can be incredibly uncomfortable for some individuals – especially for those who take Kratom daily and then stop without tapering down their dose. 

With the increased popularity of Kratom has come a handful of cases of people turning to suboxone to assist with withdrawal symptoms and to reduce Kratom cravings. 

Although, many feel that using Suboxone and its generic counterparts to stop using Kratom may actually increase a person’s physical dependence on opioids, and worsen physical withdrawal symptoms once discontinued due to the hefty dose of buprenorphine in Suboxone meant to tackle the withdrawal from more potent opioids. 

The Takeaway 

While Kratom and Suboxone are two popular choices for people looking to move forward with their recovery, they are quite different despite both being looked at as “stepping stones”. 

If you’re thinking about trying either Kratom or Suboxone, it is important to seek the advice of a medical professional before coming to a conclusion about the best course of action. 

It is also important to note that while incredibly helpful for many, Kratom is not perfect or even regulated, and until we know more about it there will always be an inherent risk factor involved with ingesting it. This is especially true for people taking kratom every day.

Have questions that you think we might be able to answer? 

Send a comment our way!

Briana Michelle

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