While Kratom is a natural supplement with few side-effects, mixing Kratom and alcohol is a serious concern. But why are the facts so controversial? On the one hand, news outlets report that people have ended up in the emergency room after mixing Kratom and other substances, including alcohol. On the other hand, thousands of experienced consumers claim that it is entirely possible to take Kratom and alcohol without noticeable side-effects. So which is it?
In what follows, I’ll take a closer look at the scientific evidence we have so far in order to address this issue.
Mixing Kratom and Alcohol: Is It Safe?
Before we talk about mixing Kratom and alcohol, let’s get the basics straight: Kratom is not an artificial drug, but a plant. That being said, the leaves of the Kratom tree do contain a couple of important alkaloids – mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine – that interact with the opioid receptors in the human brain and that are therefore responsible for the analgesic and mood-enhancing benefits of Kratom.
In other words, Kratom mimics the effects of opioids, but will never be able to give you an opioid high, for example. When taken in pure form and without any other substances, Kratom is perfectly safe. Even if you take too much, the most that will happen is that you will upset your stomach and, depending on the dose, vomit the entire thing.
When it comes to mixing Kratom and other substances, however, we simply don’t have enough scientific evidence to understand the consequences. For example, we know that mixing opioids with alcohol is extremely dangerous and can even lead to respiratory failure. But as I said, Kratom is not actually an opioid.
What we do know is that alcohol is a depressant, which means that it inhibits brain function and blocks many signals that would otherwise tell you something is wrong. Kratom, on the other hand, can act as both a stimulant and a sedative depending on the dose. In both cases, the combination can lead to the following effects:
- Nausea and Vomiting. Mixing Kratom and alcohol can determine you to consume too much of both, which is a sure-fire recipe for an extremely upset digestive system.
- Breathing Difficulties. Science has shown us that, unlike opioids, Kratom cannot cause respiratory failure. However, we do not yet have enough information to rule out this possibility when Kratom and alcohol are mixed together.
- Impaired Mental Function. Alcohol affects the entire central nervous system, numbs physical sensations, and impairs motor functions. Meanwhile, Kratom can boost your energy and trick you into believing that you are sober, which can lead you to make poor decisions.
- Risky Behaviors. Because of the energizing effect of Kratom, you might ignore the fact that you are drunk and engage in activities that put you at risk. Driving is one of the most pressing examples here.
Things to consider: The truth is that we simply don’t know what the consequences of mixing Kratom and alcohol are, at least not at a statistically relevant level. To err on the side of caution, you should never take the two substances together.
You will, however, read testimonials from experienced consumers who drink alcohol after taking Kratom and feel absolutely fine. The important thing to understand is that all of these people take small doses of both. For example, one beer after a low dose of Kratom is unlikely to cause any side-effects, but almost anyone who drinks 4-5 beers after a regular dose of the herb will probably end up vomiting the entire mix in an extremely unpleasant experience.
Should You Use Kratom for Alcohol Withdrawal?
The majority of testimonials from Kratom users who mix the herb with alcohol come from those who are suffering from alcohol withdrawal and are looking for a way to ameliorate the symptoms. According to them, it is possible to use Kratom for alcohol withdrawal, which makes sense considering that the herb is known to have a number of positive effects on the body.
- A Boost in Mood. Many people turn to alcohol to improve their state of mind, but Kratom can do this for you without many of the negative side-effects associated with alcohol. If you feel good already, you’re more likely to avoid drinking.
- Sociability. Other people feel anxious in social situations and feel that alcohol helps them overcome their fears. In small doses, Kratom is known to improve sociability and make you less anxious when interacting with other people.
- Relaxation. Depending on the strain and the dose, Kratom can induce a state of deep relaxation and calm, which means you don’t have to rely on alcohol to achieve the same effect.
- Drinking less. Many consumers claim that if they take a small dose of Kratom before drinking alcohol, they do not drink as much.
Given these benefits, it’s easy to see why Kratom is sometimes used to self-treat alcohol withdrawal. But again, it’s essential to understand that moderate consumption is the secret here. If you take too much Kratom, drink too much alcohol, or both, this is more likely to cause harm than good in the long run.
Pro Tip 1: Mixing Kratom and alcohol can lead to severe dehydration. If you consume both, make sure to drink a lot of water as well.
Pro Tip 2: Every body is different. Even if some consumers say that they are fine drinking a couple of bears after taking Kratom, this might not be the case for you. If you’re bent on consuming them together, you have to conduct your own experiments to find out what you’re comfortable with. To avoid dangerous side-effects, always work with small doses.
Pro Tip 3: Never mix Kratom with artificial drugs or prescription medication. Kratom is a safe, natural supplement, but when taken in combination with other substances, it can lead to life-threatening situations.
Stay Safe: Don’t Mix High Doses of Kratom and Alcohol
Until more research is published on the issue, mixing Kratom and alcohol will likely remain a controversial topic. If you take Kratom for pain relief or in order to manage some other chronic condition, my advice is to avoid alcohol as you would with any other analgesic.
If, on the other hand, you take Kratom for recreational purposes and you’re curious about whether alcohol can improve your experience, remember that, to stay safe, you should use these substances responsibly. Your actions affect not only your body, but also the outlook of the entire Kratom movement.