Can I Use kratom to detox off heroin or other opioids? This blog will answer that question and explain how the Coleman Institute is the best way to get off heroin with The Coleman Method and live a life free of addiction.

Rapid Heroin Detox

Several months ago, a 26-year-old man from Northern Virginia came to the office for a Heroin Detox.

He had been using heroin for about 2 years after being on oxycodone for surgeries he’d had shortly after high school. Jim had graduated from a good HVAC program and was a reliable employee. He loved working with his hands. But unfortunately, he was just blowing all his money on heroin.

He was scheduled for a 3-day Heroin Detox because he was using under 2 grams of heroin. Usually, if someone uses over 1.5 or 2 grams of heroin daily, or if there might be some fentanyl involved, we will have them come in for 4 to 5 days.

More like this: Finding Help to Detox Off Heroin

Is There Such a Thing as a Comfortable Heroin Detox?

The first day of a patient's detox off heroin at The Coleman Institute is usually pretty comfortable. After that, we give patients a small dose of naltrexone with several other medications to minimize any symptoms they may experience. So it was a little unusual when Rene, Jim's girlfriend, and support person, called us saying that Jim was displaying strong withdrawal signals.

He's having diarrhea and has vomited a couple of times. He has terrible body aches and says he feels like he needs to beat on his legs to stop the pain.

Those are the classic signs of acute opioid withdrawal. But why was Jim having such a violent reaction when most people generally sleep through their first day with the Coleman Institute's detoxification protocol?

More like this: How Can I Avoid The Pain of Heroin Withdrawal?


UNDERSTANDING ACCELERATED OPIOID DETOX


Kratom for Opioid Withdrawal

We had Rene bring Jim back to the office, and after further conversation with him, the answer emerged. Jim had neglected to mention that—and we had failed to ask if—he had been using kratom to help withdraw from heroin. He had purchased the kratom about a week before coming to our facility.

In Jim’s case, however, this only compounded his problem. As we delivered naltrexone to remove the opiates already present on his opioid receptors, Jim was loading them up again with kratom, exacerbating his withdrawal symptoms.

We get it.

It was a little like playing Whack-A-Mole. As we pushed the heroin off, freeing his receptors, the kratom was ready to take a position on an empty receptor. So, instead of just the original 1.5 grams of heroin, which we could easily and comfortably handle during a 3-day Heroin Detox, Jim’s use of kratom made it more difficult and actually added more time to the process.

More like this: Kratom & Poppy Withdrawal: How You Can Detox Safely

Can I Use Kratom To Detox Off Heroin?

At one time, researchers thought it would make sense that kratom would help with opioid withdrawal.

But, if you think about it, for a person withdrawing from heroin, heroin will “help” with the opioid withdrawal. So will oxycodone, fentanyl, Percocet, etc.

The problem is that you are simply perpetuating the situation.

More like this: How to Detox Off Heroin: What It Takes & Getting Help

Kratom Withdrawal Experience

"Kratom: Unsafe and ineffective," an article on the Mayo Clinic website, describes multiple problems and safety concerns regarding kratom, including death.

Some of the severe outcomes of using kratom were seizures, high blood pressure, and multiple side effects, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Chills, nausea, and vomiting
  • Changes in urine and constipation
  • Liver damage
  • Muscle pain

Kratom also affects the mind and nervous system:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Hallucinations and delusion
  • Depression and delusion
  • Breathing suppression
  • Seizure, coma, and death

I was surprised to hear that substances made from kratom may be contaminated with salmonella bacteria.

Again, from the Mayo Clinic article, “As of April 2018, more than 130 people in 38 states became ill with Salmonella after taking kratom. Salmonella poisoning may be fatal, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has linked more than 35 deaths to Salmonella-tainted kratom. Salmonella contamination has no obvious signs, so the best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid products that may contain it.”

How Does Kratom Affect a Heroin Detox?

So, after cracking the kratom quandary, Jim's detox proceeded with much more ease and comfort. We were able to give him a little extra comfort medication and extend his detox for another day. He ultimately did very well, and it is now a standard part of our protocol to question our patients about using kratom.

Jim's ultimate goal was to go on long-acting naltrexone, which is an opioid blocker and does not cause any physical dependency. Providing Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) with naltrexone has been our specialty at the Coleman Institute for nearly 20 years. However, all the opioids must be out of the system before a person starts on naltrexone, including kratom.


NALTREXONE FOR OPIATES FAQs


Questions About Using Kratom to Detox off Heroin?

It can be very confusing to know the ins and outs of various treatments and what substances should and shouldn’t be used to help a patient detox off opioids like heroin, morphine, and codeine, and opioids such as Percocet®, Vicodin® Roxicet®, Dilaudid®, etc. Please schedule a callback if you have any questions or concerns about kratom or other addictive substances.

Joan R. Shepherd, FNP


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