How I Quit Kratom, and Why I’ll Go Back on it

First, I’d like to say that I love Kratom and I consider it a miracle plant in my life. It is an amazing plant that should be freely available to all (meaning without restriction, not free as in free beer). There are tons of very good reasons for this, but that is out of scope for this blog post. I mention this only because I don’t want you to think I’m quitting Kratom because it’s evil, bad, wrong, or anything like that.

So why did I quit?

I quit because my tolerance and dependence was out of control. I was losing the ability to sleep through the night without waking up to take Kratom. I also felt like hell in the morning for about 30 to 45 mins until my Kratom dose kicked in. I would wake up at random times during the night in withdrawal and had to take more Kratom to stop the withdrawals and go back to sleep. I was up to taking about 4 to 5 grams per dose, which isn’t outrageous for everybody, but is quite high for me. At 6 grams I start to get the dreaded wobbles. It took me about a year to get to this point, meaning I enjoyed the benefits and increased quality of life for an entire year before getting to this point. I probably could have gone longer but I went through a very stressful time and started taking a little more Kratom than I probably needed. A week of suffering followed by a couple weeks of temperance to reset for a year or two of benefits seems like a worthy tradeoff to me.

What was my objective?

I quit to reset myself back to base level. At some point in the near future I will go back on Kratom because it really improves my life. With regular use that is kept at the lowest effective dose, including some “no-Kratom” time (which helps to avoid dependence), I can easily go a year before the “no-Kratom” time causes withdrawals of some sort, and I can go a couple years before I hit the point where I need to reset like this.

Symptoms and Remedies

Here is a list of symptoms I experienced, and what I took to help with them. There are a lot of repeats because some supplements (like Agmatine) helped with everything.

Leg aches

Holy hell these suck. It’s like a constant irritable pain that is really hard to get rid of. Things that help this (in order of effectiveness) are:

  • Agmatine 1 G as needed. (during the day only. It will destroy your ability to sleep)
  • Etizolam 2 mg (taken only at night and only for the first 5 or so days to avoid dependence and later withdrawals that will make Kratom withdrawal seem pleasant by contrast). (Etizolam can be hard to find and is illegal in some paternalistic states, but it was so helpful that I thought it worth mention. Please be careful with this as it can be highly addictive in itself and the withdrawals make Kratom look like child’s play)
  • Gabapentin 300 mg every 4 to 6 hours (Rx only, and hard to dose properly cause too much makes the leg aches worse at first)
  • Diclofenac Potassium 50mg every 8 hours (Rx only). If not available, substitute 800 mg Ibuprofen every 8 hours
  • Tylenol 1000mg every 4 to 6 hours (don’t mix this with other acetamenophen containing products or alcohol. Also avoid if you may have liver problems)
  • L-Theanine 200 mg every 4 to 6 hours
  • Kava (dose varies. I use 2 TBSP of Wakacon KAVA Fijian WAKA powder in an AluBall Kava Maker shaker bottle)
  • Lavender Flower 1.6 G. Start with less though cause it can upset your stomach.

Insomnia

  • Etizolam 2 mg (taken only at night and only for the first 5 or so days to avoid dependence and later withdrawals that will make Kratom withdrawal seem pleasant by contrast). (Etizolam can be hard to find and is illegal in some paternalistic states, but it was so helpful that I thought it worth mention)
  • Gabapentin 600 mg before bed (Rx only, and hard to dose properly cause too much makes the leg aches worse at first)
  • L-Theanine 400 mg before bed
  • Kava (dose varies. I use 2 TBSP of Wakacon KAVA Fijian WAKA powder in an AluBall Kava Maker shaker bottle)
  • Lavender Flower 1.6 G. You may choose to start with less though cause it can upset your stomach.

Irritability

This is hard to fix, but this is what helped (in order)

  • Agmatine 1 gram as needed. (during the day only. It will destroy your ability to sleep)
  • I specifically did NOT take Etizolam for this even though it would unquestionably help, because it would be during the day, and that’s playing with fire because its addictive. If you think Kratom withdrawals suck, try an Etizolam withdrawl. Screwing around with Etizolam is a catastrophically bad idea. I can’t stress this enough. If you’re committed to doing it though, take 1mg as needed. But seriously don’t. Save it for bed time when you need it for sleep. Proper sleep will make this whole process much easier.
  • L-Theanine 200 mg every 4 to 6 hours
  • Gabapentin 300 mg every 4 to 6 hours (Rx only, and hard to dose properly cause too much makes the leg aches worse). The gabapentin helps put me in a more relaxed and calm mood. Some people say they feel drunk, but I didn’t experience that. Just felt a little relaxed and calm. This makes sense since Gabapentin was made to imitate GABA the neurotransmitter that helps with relaxation.
  • L-Tryptophan 500 mg to 1 g on empty stomach morning & night (it won’t be absorbed properly if taken with food or full stomach). If you’re taking antidepressants be careful to avoid Serotonin Syndrome. That’s nasty crap.
  • L-Tyrosine 500 mg or L-Phenylalanine (LPA) 500 mg. Try the Tyrosine first and if it doesn’t work, try the Phenylalanine.
  • GABA 500 mg to 1 g. There is limited evidence this works since GABA cannot cross the blood brain barrier. But some people swear by it, so I figured I’d try it.
  • Lavender Flower 1.6 G. Start with less though cause it can upset your stomach.

Brain fog

  • Agmatine 1 gram as needed. (during the day only. It will destroy your ability to sleep). This helps give a boost to the brain
  • Centrophenoxine 300 mg morning and lunch
  • Adderall 5 mg (Rx only, and be careful this can be an addictive drug).
  • Sulbutiamine 200mg one per day (this builds tolerance so don’t take all the time)
  • Caffeine 100 mg with 200 mg L-Theanine (Focus Now is a convenient pre-portioned pill)

Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

This is a problem for me frequently, and it gets massively worse during the withdrawal.

  • If you are prone to this or depression in general, involve your doctor. You are gonna feel like blowing your brains out during the physical withdrawal (lasts a few days) and even for a few days after physical withdrawals feel over (your brain is still re-adjusting to the “new normal.”). Don’t wait until the critical moment. You will leave a wake of damage that you probably can’t begin to understand.
  • Involve a family member or friend that loves you and understands you. If you don’t have that, I feel for you. I had to do this alone as well. I wish I weren’t too much of a coward to tell my family.
  • Find an internet community to source encouragement and advice from. One such place is the Quitting Kratom Subreddit.
  • L-Tryptophan 500 mg to 1 g on empty stomach morning & night (it won’t be absorbed properly if taken with food or full stomach). If you’re taking antidepressants be careful to avoid Serotonin Syndrome. That’s nasty crap.
  • L-Tyrosine 500 mg or L-Phenylalanine (LPA) 500 mg in the morning or at latest early afternoon. Try the Tyrosine first and if it doesn’t work, try the Phenylalanine.
  • Remember it will be over in a few days, and you’ll feel a lot better!
  • Listen to uplifting music. I love the band Spoken. The messages in their lyrics are super motivating and inspirational.

Low Energy

  • Essentially all the brain fog stuff will help with this too.

Diarrhea

  • Immodium. Follow directions on bottle.
  • Don’t eat foods that make it worse normally. Probably dairy and milk products make things worse for you (pay attention and consider cutting dairy for a bit to see. You might be surprised).

What about alcohol?

Tread carefully my friend. It left me feeling worse and didn’t help with the symptoms. Also don’t mix alcohol and tylenol, or alcohol and Kava (there is not consensus on this latter point, but the Kava hackers I know will advise against it. At a minimum stay away from Kava tinctures as they may contain additional alkaloids that you don’t want in your body. I jacked myself up one night with a Kava tincture. I woke up feeling weirdly hung over and like utter crap, and my freaking kidneys hurt for a day or two.

Are you really going back on Kratom after all this?

Yes, I am quite certain that I will. My quality of life goes up significantly when I am on Kratom. I don’t necessarily recommend that everyone use it however. If you don’t have a high level of self-control, Kratom can be destructive. Take the advice of the Ancient Greek’s and know thyself before beginning. Also I know I’ve said it several times already, but if you can’t be trusted to self-regulate, stay away from the Etizolam! I’m really good at self-regulating, but I know some people aren’t.

Do you have any advice for someone trying to quit?

  1. Decide that you really want to quit, and why. Write down your thoughts and feelings on it. Write some words of encouragement to yourself. Read your writings when things get rough later.
  2. Don’t try to quit cold turkey. A rapid taper is better than going cold turkey. By rapid taper I mean reducing your intake steadily over several days before cutting yourself off. Try dropping 1 gram per dose per day, so if you take 5g per dose, 3x a day, take 4g per dose, 3x a day on day one, then 3g per dose, 3x a day on day two, etc.
  3. Use the supplements mentioned above to help with withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawals suck and will have you crawling back to Kratom if you aren’t prepared.
  4. Replace Kratom in your life with something else (not a drug!). You’ll have hole to fill. Try a new hobby, or pick back up an old one. Learn a new skill. Start a workout routine. Learn to play an instrument. Learn to paint with Bob Ross. Buy the paints and canvases and get artistic.
  5. Start exercising regularly. This is really hard especially when you feel like hell, but it will help, I promise. Put the X back in P90X.
  6. Consider Narcotics Anonymous (yes, seriously). They can and will help you.
  7. Read Dr. Keith Ablow’s book, The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life
  8. Read Jordan B. Peterson’s book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

Parting words

Internet friend, I wish you luck. You’re not alone. There are others out there going through similar things. Reach out. If you have tips or suggestions for others, please comment below.