It's all too easy to picture; you've just smoked some of your new, fresh Kratom flower when your friends pass you a beer to keep the party going. Thoughts rush through your mind as you make the calculations. Kratom is a natural herb, and the dose you just took is pretty small...is it really that big of a deal to mix Kratom and alcohol?
The truth is, it can be quite dangerous to mix any two controlled substances, Kratom included. Understanding the risks when combining substances is vital to keep your body safe.
In this article, we'll discuss what happens to your body on different doses of Kratom and if it's safe to consume alcohol when your body is still processing Kratom. Read below to learn more.
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What Happens on a High Dose of Kratom
When you take a high dose of Kratom, the active compounds bind to your opioid receptors and the Kratom has more of a soothing effect on the body. But that soothing effect is because the Kratom is acting as a depressant.
If the body has too many depressants, your respiratory system can shut down, and you run the risk of an overdose. Symptoms of an overdose include heavy breathing, drowsiness, and vomiting.
Because it can elicit sedative reactions, mixing high doses of Kratom with alcohol is ill-advised. If you believe you or a loved one is suffering from an overdose, seek medical care immediately.
By that logic, surely alcohol is safe to assume when you've taken a low Kratom dose, right? After all, the body reacts differently to low doses of Kratom, and it usually acts as more of a stimulant than a depressant.
Think of it this way: alcohol is a depressant, and low doses of Kratom acts as a stimulant. When you mix the two, you won't feel the effects of the Kratom because the alcohol will have canceled it out. As a result, many people consume an excess of Kratom, hoping to feel some of the effects.
What ends up happening is the newer dose, combined with the existing amount in the body, turns the Kratom to producing a sedative effect, which can shut down the body.
Even if you don’t take another dose of Kratom and leave the dose as a true low dose, mixing stimulants with alcohol can cause an increased risk of seizures, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Related: How Kratom Affects the Heart
Kratom and The Liver
Here’s the deal with the liver: it's the organ that breaks down and processes all those toxins we introduce into our body on a daily basis. Alcohol, antidepressants, prescription medications, you name it, and the liver processes it. The heavier or more potent the substance, the more your liver works to process it fully.
Alcohol is one substance that, when used in excess or regularly, can enact heavy damage to the liver. Additionally, though the research is limited, some studies warn that heavy, long-term Kratom users also risk developing problems with their livers.
If you combine Kratom and alcohol, you're putting quite a bit of strain on your liver. Since we know alcohol strains the liver, using Kratom and alcohol together seems like it may be a hazardous situation.
Is It Safe to Take Kratom?
In small doses, it is safe to take Kratom. Many people report having positive experiences using Kratom and that it drastically improves their quality of life. However, the stronger the dose you take, the more dangerous the drug can be.
Additionally, it’s important to be aware that since Kratom is such a new drug, or at least it’s new for recreational use in the United States, there aren't enough studies that tell us what the long-term effects of regular Kratom use are.
If you plan to use Kratom regularly, consult your physician to make sure it is the right choice for you. It’s also important to not take Kratom while pregnant as it increases the risk of the baby developing fetal abnormalities.
And if you’re new to Kratom, make sure to do your own research to take it safely and empower your Kratom use.
Can you overdose on Kratom?
There are dangers when it comes to Kratom use, and it is possible to fatally overdose on Kratom --- though this is very uncommon.
It's important to note that fatal cases of Kratom have seen the Kratom acting more as a contributing factor. This means that the deceased took the Kratom in conjunction with prescription drugs, alcohol, or other controlled substances.
Is Kratom legal in the United States?
Kratom is not federally regulated and has no federal oversight in the United States. However, that doesn't mean it's legal in every state. Different states have different regulations, so you should check out your local laws to ensure your use is law-abiding.
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The Bottom Line
While enjoying Kratom is fine on its own, things can get dicey when you add other substances into the mix. The bottom line is that we simply don't have enough information to have hard answers if Kratom is harmful when mixed with alcohol.
However, based on our information, we know that mixing Kratom with alcohol elevates your risk for liver damage, respiratory failure, and overdosing.
It's easy to feel tempted to knock back a shot at the bar with your friends. But if you've taken Kratom in the past few hours, it's best to skip those drinks until the next night out with your friends.Related: Kratom Drug Interactions to Know for Safety