The Dangers of Kratom and Alcohol

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While many people have not heard of kratom, it has become a popular source for a lot of people who are looking for an alternative drug. While it is not yet illegal in the United States, kratom can be addictive and dangerous to users. When combined with another substance, the risk for harm increases, making the dangers of kratom and alcohol a real concern for people who use them together.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom is a substance originating from a tree native to Southeast Asia, the Mitragyna speciosa. People put the leaves from this tree in tea, on food, in cigarettes, and pills. Kratom users purchase kratom as a powder, an extract, or a gum.

Kratom is classified as a mind-altering substance, due to the psychotropic reaction users experience after ingesting it. While not illegal in the U.S., the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies it as a “drug of concern.” Meanwhile, many other countries have outlawed kratom.

Kratom is sold on the street, in some shops, and over the internet. Advertisements often describe Kratom as an herbal supplement or dietary aid. Street names for kratom include Ketum, thang, and Thom.

Compared to other substances, the medical community knows very little about kratom. There is little information about how kratom interacts with other substances when ingested, including over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and allergy medications. Also, little is known about how kratom interacts with prescription medications, other herbal supplements, and vitamins.

The Dangers of Mixing Kratom and Alcohol

Many people who use kratom combine it with other substances. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that from 2011 to 2017, around eight out of ten deaths involving kratom happened to a person with a history of substance abuse. Also, the CDC went on to state that most recorded deaths from kratom overdose involved at least one other substance.

One of the more popular ways of using kratom is to combine it with alcohol. The practice of dangers of kratom and alcohol has become a concern among those in the addiction treatment community.

Combining kratom and alcohol is dangerous is because alcohol is a depressant that alters a person’s perception, motor skills, and other senses. Meanwhile, kratom provides stimulant effects while also acting as a sedative. Moreover, when an individual combines a depressant with a sedative or stimulant, the results can be deadly.

Side Effects of Kratom and Alcohol

A person who combines kratom and alcohol may experience dangerous side effects. Because both are legal in the U.S., people tend to underestimate the side effects of either drug. Side effects of kratom and alcohol can include:

  •     Dizziness
  •     Sleepiness
  •     Elevated heart rate
  •     High blood pressure
  •     Loss of coordination
  •     Poor muscle control
  •     High blood pressure
  •     Shaking
  •     Altered perception of time and events

What Are the Risks of Mixing Kratom and Alcohol?

Many people use of kratom to help intensify the effects of alcohol. However, they often don’t realize that alcohol’s depressant effects reduce kratom’s stimulant effects, and so they consume more kratom. After all, repeatedly piling one drug on top of another can lead to dangerous medical symptoms, including overdose.

A person who has overdosed on kratom combined with alcohol may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shallow or slowed breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations   
  • Seizures

Kratom Contamination

Like other controversial supplements sold in the U.S., no federal or state agencies monitor the production of kratom products. For this reason, kratom is often cut with dangerous substances like salmonella and heavy metals. The side effects of using kratom that have been cut with such substances include cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, fever, and kidney damage.

Treatment Options for Kratom and Alcohol Addiction

If you or someone you love is experiencing the dangers of kratom and alcohol abuse, Launch Centers can help. We offer proven substance abuse treatment that includes clinical and holistic treatment. We provide options for outpatient and inpatient programs that include high school and college courses. Contact Launch Centers in Los Angeles today to get started on a life of recovery and wellness.

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

staff member drug alcohol treatment los angeles

Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

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Eric Chaghouri, MD


chloe kruskol los angeles rehab team

Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • HO

    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

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    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful!!! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

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  • Ben

    This treatment facility has changed my life. I have always struggled with my mental health and this young adult program provided me with the necessary skills to launch to adulthood. I commend anyone who struggles with mental health or substance use (which was not me) to try this program out. It will change your life.

  • Conner

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me. I am very grateful that I was able to have such a wonderful experience with Launch.

  • Adam

    In no uncertain terms Launch Centers changed my life. The staff at Launch are professional, knowledgable and relatable. They keep the format diverse and interesting which kept me engaged in the process. The greatest thing we can do in life is seek to improve ourselves. Launch gave me a skill set I consider to be invaluable in the journey of becoming the best version of myself. I would implore anybody considering Launch to step outside their comfort zone and go, you will not regret it.


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