Can You Take Kratom While on Suboxone?

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Can You Take Kratom While on Suboxone?

There has been a lot of talk lately about using kratom much like an opioid-based drug – either for pain management or for reducing withdrawals from opioid drugs. Since there isn’t a lot of good information about kratom, or its uses, we wanted to research this even more.

What is Kratom?

Kratom – as it is commonly known – comes from mitragyna speciasa, and evergreen tree related to the coffee family. The plant is indigenous to Southeast Asia – specifically the nations of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea.

Kratom for Opioid Withdrawals

Even though the FDA doesn’t see much potential for the use of kratom to relieve withdrawals from heroin and other opioids, there are many people that stand by their claims that kratom is a safe alternative to opioids.

In fact, the use of kratom as a substitute for opioids (simply “opium,” at the time) can be traced back to Malaysia in 1836. It was also used as an opium substitute in Thailand throughout the 1800s. So why is it not widely recognized as a substitute today, when so many are struggling with chronic pain and dependency to opioid prescription painkillers?

There are a lot of opinions as to why the FDA seemingly has a grudge against this plan, but the fact remains that there have been no clinical trials for kratom at all in the United States. Even though no clinical trials are on the records, there are many that have decided to try it for themselves. The results are that many who have tried using kratom as a substitute for opioids and heroin have found it to help them immensely.

Does Kratom Work When You Are On Suboxone?

Kratom users that utilize the plant for opioid withdrawals have clearly stated that it does help to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal from drugs like heroin, OxyContin, and other prescription opioids, but what about using it to get off of strong opioid replacement drugs like Suboxone or methadone?

A cursory web search on this subject only yielded warnings from the FDA about kratom use and its possible dangers, but some further digging led to more conversations from people who have used kratom and Suboxone. First, many wondered if kratom would even have any effect on a person using Suboxone due to the naloxone being an opioid antagonist – meaning negates the effects of opioids on the receptors.

The opioid antagonist concern was quickly dismissed because the naloxone in Suboxone is not activated when taken orally. The naloxone is added to buprenorphine in Suboxone as a safety measure to prevent misuse of the drug – primarily, crushing it up and shooting it intravenously. So, theoretically, kratom should work (or at least will have some effect) even if you have Suboxone in your system.

Buprenorphine MU Receptor Affinity and Kratom

The second concern that arose, was that buprenorphine – the active opioid in Suboxone – has an extremely high affinity for MU receptors in the brain. This means that that buprenorphine has a strong pull to the MU receptors, sticking to them tightly. Many felt that the affinity was so high, that the receptors would collect only the buprenorphine first, and not leave room for the kratom to attach to the receptors.

The high affinity of buprenorphine, it seems, is what led to so many mixed reviews and opinions as to whether kratom would have any effect on a person who was already on buprenorphine. In short, most “low grade” forms of kratom had virtually no effect, as the buprenorphine had the stronger of receptor affinity.

The kratom and Suboxone experiences related by individuals who used incredibly potent and high-grade strains of kratom, however, show that the kratom did have an effect. Without a clinical study, it would be difficult to give a definitive answer, but it seems that some strains of kratom have compounds with a high enough affinity to bind to receptors alongside buprenorphine.

Does Kratom Help with Suboxone Withdrawal?

From the opinion of those who have tried kratom when having Suboxone withdrawals, yes kratom does reduce symptoms of withdrawal from opioids, even Suboxone. However, kratom too can be addictive, and cause withdrawals as well. So, it would seem that kratom may stave off withdrawal symptoms in the short term, but you are still physically dependent on opioids. Even with kratom, you are still left with the same 2 options as with suboxone or methadone – use the drug for opioid replacement, or use it to taper down to eventually quit completely.

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The Dangers of Taking Suboxone and Kratom at the Same Time

Now that we have figured out how Suboxone and kratom can both actively work on brain receptors, we need to go over the standard “be smart, be careful” verbiage. Drugs are bad… and very dangerous. Not recognizing the risks and dangers of using drugs is what led to addiction and dependency in the first place – so don’t mess around with chemicals and your brain lightly.

Second, the FDA has made their stance on kratom very clear. There not any current FDA-approved kratom-based treatments for opioid use disorders and dependency. If you are looking to get off opioids, use an addiction treatment program that utilizes MAT (Medications Assisted Treatment) with the goal of tapering you off the opioid replacement drugs as soon and as safely as possible.

Beware of opioid maintenance programs that only have the goal of giving you high doses of buprenorphine or methadone for long-term periods, with no intention of tapering doses or getting 100% clean in the end.

Have you had experiences with kratom? Do you have an opinion on the FDA’s stance toward kratom and kratom users? Share your opinions with others in the Fight Addiction Now community either on our forum, Facebook group, or the other platforms for our growing community.

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18 thoughts on “Can You Take Kratom While on Suboxone?

  1. Audra

    Do some more research, with kratom you are NOT left with the choices of suboxone or methadone. Both of those drugs have serious withdrawal and it lasts for months, kratom withdrawal pales in comparison to the withdrawal from those drugs and also doesn’t occur unless it is taken in high doses for long periods. I use kratom for chronic pain which was once treated with pharmaceutical painkillers (Vicodin), then I was put on suboxone to get off of the pain meds. I did everything I was supposed to do and when I eventually went off of an 8th of a pill I had the most horrific withdrawal imaginable and it lasted for several months. If I run out for kratom for a week I feel a bit sluggish and my pain returns, that is it. Please speak to more people who have been through this because there are MANY of us.

    Reply
    1. Damon Garrett

      Thanks for that information. I just went through a buprenorphine (Suboxone) withdrawal and yes
      it was Hellish, taking 7 days for withdrawal symptoms to multiply/occur and to fully kick in. I thought/swore I was going to DIE.
      Had to get back on it after 9 days. It was too intense.
      If what you say is true and kratom is easier to kick, I would opt to go that route than Kicking the Suboxone Alone

      Reply
  2. Sharlene Pierce

    I’m going to start tomorrow coming off suboxone, and I’m going to document each day and once I get threw my withdrawals using Kratom I will post it and I hope it will help others that are wanting to get off suboxone but are afraid that Kratom won’t help So check back next week and I’ll let you know if it helps you or whatever the outcome I’ll post so other readers will know

    Reply
    1. Terry stout

      Yes definitely share your experience please I’m on suboxon now 8MG’s a day have been for two year’s or more I’m terrified of going through the withdrawals but I’m really wanting to get off of them please find me on FB Terry Stout if you would just like to send me a message I pray all goes well for you! Thanks!

      Reply
    2. Shellye Demby

      I just purchased some Kratom and intend to get off suboxone as well. I would love to know how your doing

      Reply
  3. Carol

    I was once prescribed 13 medications at one time. When I started seeing a pain management dr, he told me I had been prescribed way too many meds and I would have to go to a rehab for withdrawals. My oldest daughter had recently passed away, and I was not going to leave my family! As it turned out, there wasn’t even a rehab facility within 3 hours of my home. I had already taken Kratom and knew how much it helped, so I took it for withdrawals from over 9 prescription meds that included opiates and benzodiapenes. I’ve met many people whose lives have also been changed by Kratom. I think the FDA knows the truth about Kratom…it is excellent for withdrawals, pain, anxiety, depression. The scientific research has proven it! Because of their own agenda, they refuse to pay attention to the research and came up with bogus, false information and released it to the public. The FDA, DEA and Big Pharma are all making money from the prescription meds, and they are losing money because Kratom is helping millions of people every day! It is time for us in the botanical community to stop them from telling us what we can and cannot put in our own bodies. #KeepKratomLegal

    Reply
  4. Lois Hauger

    When utilized responsibly, kratom will help you stop ALL opiates…heroin, oxy, hydro, fentanyl, Dilaudid, methadone, Suboxone, Subutex, etc… As with ANYTHING, abuse has negative effects; kratom is a tool, use it wisely to find freedom from active addiction.

    Reply
  5. Christi

    I was on 150mg hydros daily for 10 years. I took high doses of kratom for one week and was finally able to kick the hydros for good. That was over ten years ago. I’m still free from opiate addiction. When I was addicted to the opiates I honestly thought I would die before I would ever break free of them. Kratom saved my life. The worst withdrawal from kratom is comparable to a minor cold. It is NOTHING like opiate withdraws. I use kratom occasionally now for anxiety but I am not addicted to it. I can take it or leave it. If you’re looking to kick opiates please give kratom a try.

    Reply
  6. Jessica

    I need help I have been taking kratom almost 10 months every day multiple times a day. I am starting to feel the negative side effects of being on that high of dose of kratom and have decided to go back on suboxone for awhile. My question is how long do I or should I wait to take the suboxone after taking kratom. Thank you for your help any information would be greatly appreciated

    Reply
  7. Sharlene Pierce

    I’m down to 6 mg of suboxone a day now I’m going to go down to 4mg next week so far I’m not feeling any withdrawal but I don’t have any energy I do have depression and I can tell a difference but only slightly im going to purchase some Kratom but wanted to ask if anyone has any recommendations? Which brands work best which brands are not worth purchasing? If anyone has any recommendations please let me know

    Reply
    1. Cindy Hale

      Sharlene, I’ve cut back my Suboxone to 4mg per day for the last 4 months or so. I recently tried several varieties of kratom and personally found the white species helped me the best by giving more energy and overall feeling better in life. The problem is quality of product is different from every vendor. It is trial and error but when you find one that works for you, stick with that vender. Hope it helps and keep on with your recovery.

      Reply
    2. Brandy smith

      Try happy hippo herbals they have the best kratom and phenubit which will help with anxiety .. Hope you get to feeling better !

      Reply
  8. Janet

    Kratom does totally help w any opioid withdrawl.I hope they never make it illegal! I am a ex heroine user and sometimes I have days when I really want to use and I’ll take kratom and it helps so much!!! The only problem is constipation

    Reply
  9. Kristin

    Kratom is no better than any other substance. I watched my boyfriend go through withdrawal from kratom, he was in pain, he had absolutely no energy without it, and became extremely agitated without it. Quit telling people that it’s better than the drugs are doing all they will be doing is substituting one substance for another. I see too many people in recovery homes switching to kratom just so that they can make it through their program and get back on drugs , or people on probation because it can’t be tested. Put the dope down , of it. Allow yourself to go through the withdrawal from whatever it is you’re taking , there’s nothing wrong with feeling the consequences of your actions from using drugs . It’s just a money market for greedy hands, it doesn’t matter that there hasn’t been enough testing on it, not everybody that manufactures this product is in it to help others, don’t ignore the stories of how opioids have been infused with this so-called miracle drug. If you want a better life you have to quit lying to yourself, quit telling yourself that you need something to make you happy. True happiness comes from within and your perception that you allow yourself to have at the world. True recovery is it going to be found in a replacement substance be at Suboxone methadone kratom-k 2 whatever. It’s a very long process it has to be worked out every single day, and it’s so worth it to feel the joy that you will find, and it’s nothing comparable to what you think you can find in a drug.

    Reply
    1. Sebastian

      Yes ! Kratom is addicting. I had to go to Suboxone because of Kratom I couldn’t take the withdrawal. Now I’m down to 2 mg of Suboxone after 2 years of tapering and will be done completely God wiling next month. But Kratom is just as dangerous.

      Reply
  10. Charlotte Nation

    What about the millions addicted to opiates prescribed by irresponsible Dr’s? Should they have to feel the “consequences of their actions” just because they trusted the Dr’s that prescribed oxy and percs like candy? The reality is most people go back to opiates because of the horrific withdrawals. I know I been through it. Kratom can help with the wds and have been lifesaving for many.

    Reply
  11. JED

    I’m lost now😳I’m on Suboxone for pain want off one of my illness is chronic fatigue can I take Kratom while I taper from Suboxone and will I get some energy as I’m almost ready to pack it in as I can do anything.. or should I go back to method one and take Kratom while tapering??

    Reply

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