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    Utilising Kratom for Opiate Withdrawal 
    #1
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    Hi guys,

    I've been on methadone for over 10 years and recently made a switch to kratom. I still can't believe how easy it was until now (considering I've been struggling with my methadone tapper for months now).

    I've been on kratom for 10 days now and I feel quite normal (for most of the time). I've started with 5g of Enhanced Bali 4 times daily, then reduced progressively to 3g, 3 times daily. My methadone dose before the switch was 5mg.

    Now, kratom still contains mu receptor agonists, therefore I am expecting some withdrawals to be present when I stop it. I am starting to wonder - how long should I continue using kratom in order to minimize both the wds from methadone and those from the leaves ?
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    #2
    Well that's a tough one -- given methadone's tendency for long w/ds and you not wanting to get dependent on the kratom.. i'd say 2 weeks max on the kratom?
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    #3
    Bluelighter thelung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daddict View Post
    Hi guys,

    I've been on methadone for over 10 years and recently made a switch to kratom. I still can't believe how easy it was until now (considering I've been struggling with my methadone tapper for months now).

    I've been on kratom for 10 days now and I feel quite normal (for most of the time). I've started with 5g of Enhanced Bali 4 times daily, then reduced progressively to 3g, 3 times daily. My methadone dose before the switch was 5mg.

    Now, kratom still contains mu receptor agonists, therefore I am expecting some withdrawals to be present when I stop it. I am starting to wonder - how long should I continue using kratom in order to minimize both the wds from methadone and those from the leaves ?
    What was your dose during your 10 years on MMT? And how are you feeling now? Any noticable withdrawal from the methadone at all?
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    #4
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    Dose was actually quite low ... I've been on 30mg for most of the time.

    I definitely feel some wds in between kratom doses. It usually starts at the 4-5 hours mark after dosing the kratom. However, these are limited to sweating, cold flushes, runny nose and anxiety. Some gastrointestinal discomfort, but not too bad. I had some aches and RLS during the first days, but they were gone two days ago. Also, sleeping almost fine (at 5-6h a night) and eating more than usual.

    I also have some benzos and loperamide and will probably use them when off kratom.
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    #5
    Bluelighter thelung's Avatar
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    I wonder if taking a therapeutic dose of a benzo and some Loperamide in addition to the Kratom you are taking now would eliminate most all of the withdrawal symptoms you're having?
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    #6
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    I don't know if it makes sense but I am actually trying to keep the benzos for after the kratom.

    As long as I am taking the leaves I feel fine. It is bearable when I know that in X hours I will have some relief. Kratom really works, it does at least almost completely eliminate my cravings. However, I am trying to keep doses spaced up 8 hours apart - leaving some time to my mu receptors to heal.
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    #7
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    Ah - I see. Sounds like a good plan. Good to know that Kratom can be very effective in dealing with opiate withdrawal, specifically methadone withdrawal, something most of us know can last longer and be more intense than just plain heroin or hydrocodone w/d. it's kind of in a seperate class of w/d IMHO.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by daddict View Post
    I don't know if it makes sense but I am actually trying to keep the benzos for after the kratom.

    As long as I am taking the leaves I feel fine. It is bearable when I know that in X hours I will have some relief. Kratom really works, it does at least almost completely eliminate my cravings. However, I am trying to keep doses spaced up 8 hours apart - leaving some time to my mu receptors to heal.
    There's really nothing to 'heal'. Your endogenous opioid system isn't broken, or hurt. Upregulation- you use opioids, the body produces more receptors, you stop using, your body reacts to those empty receptors, downregulation.

    In effect you're switching from a long acting opioid to a short acting opioid, which is often necessary for many people doing a Methadone or Buprenorphine taper.

    The problem with using Kratom in this manner is the lack of a standardized dose. A few papers on Methadone maintanence say it takes up to 9 days of abstinence for Methadone to clear the body of a moderate to high dose MMT patient to the point where they will pass a urinalysis for Methadone.

    Using a short acting opioid longer than this (more or less) can hurt your attempt at abtstinence more than helping. The most you can hope for by switching to a short acting opioid after Methadone before jumping off opioids completely is to ease yourself into acute withdrawal. The withdrawal syndrome won't be as long as a standard Methadone withdrawal (20-30 days), but won't be as intense as that of a short acting opioid. Thats the general idea- this ought to maximize your comfort level when you do kick.
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    #9
    Just curious - what method of kratom are you doing? Tea?
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    #10
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    @tchort, this is exactly my reasoning. By "healing" I was meaning exactly that - upregulation.

    Now, I do not agree that methadone detox can be done in 8 days, as you said - it can take up to 30 days for the WDs to subside. I am currently on day 12, and am still experiencing withdrawals. Maybe my dose of cratom is too low though, and my brain is still adjusting to it. Upregulation takes time.

    My reasoning is the following - I am currently at 12 days. If I stop now, I would have some kratom WDs, but I would still have 20 more days to go.with the methadone WDs. The fact that I've been on kratom for 12 days doesn't change this, as my receptors have been stimulated 24/24 by a long lasting opioid.

    Now, if I stick with my kratom use without abusing it, my brain would eventually adjust to it to the point I am feeling fine most of the time. Following this logic, it would be best to stop on say day 25, which would ensure that kratom withdrawals would stop at about the same time as methadone withdrawals. Note that it is not the intensity of withdrawals that bothers me, it is their length. I can handle a few days without sleeping, but sleeping 2h a night for 20 days is just too hard for me to handle.

    Also, I know kratom is a short acting opioid, but are the withdrawals really more intense than methadone withdrawals ? Most people seem to agree that kratom withdrawals are much easier to handle than the above.

    Note that I am not taking kratom round the clock and I dose just enough to ease the symptoms (at each 8 hour mark).

    @luam - yes, I just mix the powder with hot water, then drink all of it.
    Last edited by daddict; 14-03-2010 at 07:27. Reason: Misread the previous post
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    #11
    Bluelight Crew negrogesic's Avatar
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    I found methadone reaches a peak withdrawal at day 8-11. The whole thing finally ends around day 50 (not included paws, which is not that bad if your taper was done correctly and slowly).

    Kratom withdrawals are short lived and of low to moderate intensity. Take some benzos for the few days of kratom withdrawal and sits not a big deal.

    What dose of kratom?

    A great way to "heal" from opioid addiction, is exercise, especially weight lifting. But not 2 twice a week, exercise (hard, not light exercise) for at least 5 days a week. You can do cardio every other day after the weights if you want, but its not absolutely necessary. But exercise IS a very good aid to deal with withdrawal and especially PAWS. Alot of people complain about PAWS; they should start some serious exercise, every day if you can. It helps tremendously.
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    #12
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    Day 12 was the toughest, didn't get much sleep that night and took some more kratom.

    Surprisingly, the last two days have been much easier, I've reduced my intake to two times daily (about 3 grams at each 12 hours mark). It's day 14 today, and I got 7 hours of good sleep. I hope I am over the top now, although I am trying to not get too excited about it, knowing that methadone withdrawals linger much longer than that. This stuff does seem to be working for me though.

    Although it does alleviate the most severe withdrawal symptoms, it really doesn't feel like a traditional opiate to me. Some of the effects are pleasant, but not enough to constantly push me into taking more of it. I do not seem to crave the effects of kratom, but it does alleviate cravings for methadone (and H).

    In my subjective experience, it does have some different mechanism of action than simply agonising mu opioid receptors. Maybe the combined delta/mu agonism ? I also read somewhere that it may contain mu antagonists, maybe this speeds up the upregulation process ?

    I also started feeling SSRI-like effects. These latter developped only after few days of daily use and seem to be more persistant than the opiate-like effects.

    Then again, this is just my subjective experience. Also, my methadone dose was quite low for the last two years (< 10mg). That certainly makes things easier.
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Tchort View Post
    There's really nothing to 'heal'. Your endogenous opioid system isn't broken, or hurt. Upregulation- you use opioids, the body produces more receptors, you stop using, your body reacts to those empty receptors, downregulation.

    In effect you're switching from a long acting opioid to a short acting opioid, which is often necessary for many people doing a Methadone or Buprenorphine taper.

    The problem with using Kratom in this manner is the lack of a standardized dose. A few papers on Methadone maintanence say it takes up to 9 days of abstinence for Methadone to clear the body of a moderate to high dose MMT patient to the point where they will pass a urinalysis for Methadone.

    Using a short acting opioid longer than this (more or less) can hurt your attempt at abtstinence more than helping. The most you can hope for by switching to a short acting opioid after Methadone before jumping off opioids completely is to ease yourself into acute withdrawal. The withdrawal syndrome won't be as long as a standard Methadone withdrawal (20-30 days), but won't be as intense as that of a short acting opioid. Thats the general idea- this ought to maximize your comfort level when you do kick.
    Tchort, could you do me a favor and empty out your PM box? Or if you could PM me your AIM sn... I'd be very greatful. Thanks!

    Also, I don't think switching to kratom would be helpful...
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    #14
    ^Kratom is definitely helpful for opioid withdrawal... The OP even said so in his OP.

    Just continue lowering your dose till you're only dosing once a day, then skip days and eventually stop altogether. The withdrawal from that will be mild, at worst. By using kratom as an intermediate, you have almost certainly felt the worst of the withdrawals already.
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    #15
    Subscribed. Keep up the good work man.
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    #16
    Bluelighter thelung's Avatar
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    daddict how are you feeling today? hopefully you are keeping up the good work. update us on your progress when you get a chance. peace! ~thelung
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    #17
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    Still sticking to my schedule. I had few days with less sleep when I switched to dosing kratom two times daily. Last night was ok though, slept about 6 hours straight. Other than that, withdrawal symptoms between kratom doses are getting much less intense.

    No signs of depression, it is probably due to kratom's effects on serotonin.

    I will be reducing kratom further after day 21. My goal is to switch to dosing once daily for few days before jumping off it.

    The wierd thing is that with the kratom I didn't really need many other meds. I took benzos twice since the beginning of the whole affair. I also take Ibuprofen from time to time. I take a bunch of vitamins and supplements though.

    Till now, the positive sides of this attempt are:
    - sleeping (almost)fine
    - eating more than usual
    - no extreme anxiety / cravings
    - no panic attacks (which I am prone to)
    - no depression (although this will probably come later)

    Negatives:
    - Not all symptoms are relieved. Night sweats are still present - I usually wake up covered in sweat. Slight RLS and chills between kratom doses.
    - One has to be strict about his/her dosing schedule and not abuse the kratom. Although it is lighter than other opies, it is still acting on those receptors.
    - Well, the last one, I still have kratom WDs in front of me. Will see how this one goes, but I am quite optimistic about it.

    I will keep you updated.
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    #18
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    Right on - I am glad to hear that you are still doing well!!

    Keep up the good work!!
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    #19
    Great to hear, man! I did a very similar thing when I jumped off bupe using kratom, and also found it to help work really well as an intermediate.
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    #20
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    BollWeevil, how bad were the kratom withdrawals ?

    How much time did you stay on kratom ?

    Thanks
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    #21
    Bluelighter Z Y G G Y's Avatar
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    I think that once you stop the kratom your w/d will be very mild. I did something similar but with bupe and tramadol. Both tramadol and kratom are much weaker than bupe/methadone. I had a really hard time getting off the bupe from a small dose. But after being on tramadol for 3 weeks I barely had any w/d symptoms. They really were nothing compared to previous w/d. I was really surprised how well this stepping down method worked and how painless it was.
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by daddict View Post
    BollWeevil, how bad were the kratom withdrawals ?

    How much time did you stay on kratom ?

    Thanks
    The kratom withdrawals were pretty much imperceptible and that was after a month straight on it, maybe a little more. Maybe a slight agitation or restlessness was present, but it was nothing that I identified as a withdrawal.

    If you're using tinctures or extracts, that's another ball game that I'm not familiar with. What I was using was premium Bali micronized kratom leaf, about 6-7 grams per dose (12 "00" caps or so) at the highest point...
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    #23
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    After reading through this thread, all I can say is congratulations on your taper. You're doing fantastic and you are truly a success story. Great work, man.
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    #24
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    Question
    You were smart to get down to 5 mgs before starting the process, congrats on getting this far!Do you think kratom would have assisted had your dose been significantly higher?

    I really wish I had heard of this Kratom 35 days ago when I stopped my daily ingestion of 35 mgs of m'done and supplemental bags. Every 7th day I required a down day with H to give myself "strength" for the next week. I'd get a full night of sleep, eat very well, and get a much needed physical and psychological break from the pain, congestion, dysphoria etc. Unfortunately I fear that this is extending my WD experience.

    At this point, I don't need another "day off" with a strong opiate and am interested in very low doses of Kratom. My worst WD symptoms have (finally) alleviated but my sleep is totally fucked and I still get cravings. I'm curious to anyone who has experience *Would this be a poor choice relatively late in the WD process?* Specifically, will this lengthen the WD experience? Would you have considered it an unnecessary risk for new addiction?
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    #25
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    Venus, Kratom would probably help you with sleep and cravings at this stage. Your tolerance is probably not to high if you're not taking daily.

    However, you shouldn't dose it round the clock since it is still an opiate (although a partial agonist). It is certainly better than scoring dope though.

    I totally understand your situation - I am 100% sure I would have done the same if I didn't have Kratom. I just can't stand the endless methadone withdrawals.
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