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Mixing Alcohol and Kratom

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The combination of alcohol and kratom has gained some attention among individuals seeking alternative ways to enhance their recreational experiences or manage certain health conditions. Alcohol, a widely consumed substance, and kratom, a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia known for its opioid-like effects, have distinct effects on the body. However, combining the two substances can pose risks and have adverse effects. Understanding the potential interactions and consequences before considering such a mixture is essential.

Alcohol, a central nervous system depressant, is known for its ability to induce relaxation and euphoria when consumed in moderation. However, excessive alcohol consumption can impair judgment, slow reflexes, and even alcohol poisoning. On the other hand, Kratom contains alkaloids that interact with opioid receptors in the brain, producing pain relief and sedation. It is often used as an herbal supplement to manage chronic pain, alleviate anxiety, or promote relaxation.

Combining alcohol and kratom can be potentially dangerous due to their overlapping effects on the central nervous system. Both substances have sedating properties, and their combined use can lead to increased sedation, drowsiness, and respiratory depression. This can significantly impair motor skills, coordination, and cognitive function, increasing the risk of accidents, falls, and other harmful outcomes. Furthermore, the individual effects of alcohol and kratom can mask each other, potentially leading to excessive consumption of one or both substances, increasing the likelihood of adverse health effects.

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Can You Safely Mix Alcohol & Kratom?

Mixing alcohol and kratom is generally not recommended due to the potential risks and lack of research on the combination. Both substances sedate the central nervous system, and combining them can intensify these effects, leading to increased sedation, drowsiness, and respiratory depression. This can impair motor skills, coordination, and cognitive function, which can be dangerous and increase the risk of accidents or harm.

Furthermore, the individual effects of alcohol and kratom can mask each other, making it difficult to gauge the level of intoxication or impairment. This can lead to excessive consumption of one or both substances, further increasing the risks and potential adverse health effects.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom is a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea. It has a long history of traditional use in medicine. The leaves of the kratom tree contain active compounds like mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which interact with opioid receptors in the brain, resulting in effects similar to opioids, such as pain relief, sedation, and euphoria. However, kratom works differently from traditional opioids.

Kratom leaves can be consumed by chewing, brewing into tea, or grinding into a powder that can be taken orally or added to food and drinks. In recent years, kratom has gained popularity as an herbal supplement in some Western countries. It is marketed for various purposes, including managing pain, promoting relaxation, enhancing mood, and assisting with opioid withdrawal symptoms.

The legal status of kratom varies across countries and regions. While some places allow its use, others regulate or ban it due to concerns about potential abuse and adverse effects. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not classify kratom as a controlled substance in the United States. Still, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expressed safety concerns and issued warnings regarding kratom’s use and associated health risks.

Common Side Effects of Kratom Use

While kratom is known for its potential benefits, it can also have side effects, especially when used excessively or over prolonged periods. It’s important to be aware of these potential side effects before considering kratom use.

Common Side Effects of Kratom Use May Include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting – Kratom can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, leading to feelings of nausea and vomiting, especially at high doses.
  • Dry Mouth – Kratom use may decrease saliva production, resulting in a dry mouth sensation. Staying hydrated can help alleviate this.
  • Constipation – Kratom can contribute to constipation by affecting the digestive system. Increasing fiber intake and staying hydrated can help manage this side effect.
  • Loss of Appetite – Some individuals may experience a decrease in appetite after using kratom, potentially leading to weight loss if not managed.
  • Fatigue and Drowsiness – Certain kratom strains have sedating properties, causing fatigue and drowsiness. Caution should be exercised when performing tasks requiring focus or coordination.
  • Increased Urination – Kratom can have a diuretic effect, increasing urine production. This may lead to more frequent bathroom visits and a need to maintain proper hydration.

Is It Safe to Drink Alcohol While Taking Kratom?

Combining alcohol and kratom is generally not considered safe, and it is advised to avoid using them together. Both substances sedate the central nervous system, and these effects can be intensified when combined. This can lead to increased sedation, drowsiness, and respiratory depression, impairing motor skills, coordination, and cognitive function. The risk of accidents and other harmful outcomes is heightened.

Moreover, the individual effects of alcohol and kratom can mask each other, making it challenging to gauge the level of intoxication or impairment. This can potentially lead to excessive consumption of one or both substances, increasing the risk of adverse health effects.

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How Does Kratom Interact With Alcohol?

Kratom and alcohol can interact in several ways due to their effects on the central nervous system. When taken together, these interactions can be unpredictable and potentially harmful. Here are a few ways in which kratom can interact with alcohol:

  • Increased Sedation – Both kratom and alcohol have sedating properties, and when used together, they can intensify the soothing effects. This can lead to excessive sedation, drowsiness, and impaired motor skills, making it dangerous to perform tasks that require focus and coordination.
  • Respiratory Depression – Kratom and alcohol can depress the central nervous system, including respiratory function. Combining these substances can increase the risk of respiratory depression, potentially leading to breathing difficulties and other respiratory problems.
  • Impaired Judgment and Cognitive Function – Both kratom and alcohol can impair judgment, cognitive function, and coordination. Using them together can exacerbate these effects, making it difficult to make rational decisions and increasing the risk of accidents or injuries.
  • Dehydration – Both alcohol and kratom can contribute to dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, while kratom can also have a diuretic effect. Combined, they can increase the risk of dehydration, which can have various adverse effects on the body.

Potential Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol & Kratom

Mixing alcohol and kratom can have side effects and risks. Here are the potential side effects of combining them:

  • Increased Sedation and Drowsiness – Alcohol and kratom both have sedating properties. When used together, they intensify sedation, leading to drowsiness and impaired coordination.
  • Respiratory Depression – Alcohol and kratom can depress the central nervous system, including breathing. Combining them can further suppress respiration, which is dangerous.
  • Nausea and Vomiting – Mixing alcohol and kratom increases the chances of experiencing nausea and vomiting.
  • Dehydration – Both alcohol and kratom can dehydrate the body. Combining them can exacerbate fluid loss.
  • Increased Intoxication and Impaired Judgment – Alcohol and kratom heighten intoxication and impair judgment, leading to risky behaviors.

Can There Be Dangerous Effects Caused by Mixing a Stimulant & Alcohol?

Mixing a stimulant like kratom with alcohol can have dangerous effects. Here are the potential risks:

  • Increased Strain on the Heart – Stimulants raise heart rate and blood pressure, while alcohol depresses them. Combining them strains the cardiovascular system.
  • Masking Effects – Stimulants can counteract alcohol’s sedating effects, leading to underestimating intoxication. Excessive alcohol consumption can impair judgment and coordination.
  • Dehydration – Both substances contribute to dehydration. Mixing them intensifies fluid loss, potentially leading to dehydration.
  • Increased Risky Behaviors – Stimulants boost energy and confidence, while alcohol lowers inhibitions. This combination can lead to risky actions and impaired decision-making.

Liver Toxicity – Both substances can strain the liver. Combining them increases the risk of liver damage or toxicity.

Alcohol & Kratom Can Negatively Affect the Liver

Both alcohol and kratom have the potential to affect the liver negatively. Here’s how:

  • Alcohol – Excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage, such as alcoholic hepatitis, alcoholic fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis. The liver metabolizes alcohol; over time, excessive alcohol intake can result in inflammation, scarring, and impaired liver function.
  • Kratom – While the direct impact of kratom on the liver is not fully understood, there have been rare cases of liver toxicity associated with kratom use. These cases typically involve individuals who have used kratom in high doses or in combination with other substances. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential mechanisms and extent of kratom-related liver effects.

Given that both alcohol and kratom have the potential to strain the liver, it is important to exercise caution and moderation when consuming these substances. For individuals with pre-existing liver conditions or a history of alcohol abuse, it is advisable to avoid or minimize the use of alcohol and kratom to protect liver health.

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At Guardian Recovery, we remain dedicated to providing our clients with a comprehensive program of medical detox that focuses on much more than physical stabilization. In addition to emphasizing physical recovery, we tackle mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. While prioritizing a safe and pain-free cocaine withdrawal, we offer individualgroup, and family therapy sessions, case management services, relapse prevention training, and aftercare planning.

Contact us today if you or your loved one is ready to begin an entirely new way of life and commit to long-term recovery. As soon as you call, we start developing a plan of action that begins with an initial pre-assessment. This assessment helps us determine the most appropriate level of care for each unique case. We identify potential coverage options if our medically monitored detox program is a good fit. We work closely with most major regional and national insurance providers. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation insurance benefit check.

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  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5513687/
  14. https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/stomach-liver-and-gastrointestinal-tract/alcohol-related-liver-disease
  15. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/alcoholinduced-liver-disease
  16. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cirrhosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351487#:~:text=Cirrhosis%20is%20severe%20scarring%20of,it%20tries%20to%20repair%20itself.

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave

L.M.H.C.

Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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