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Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) dependence, withdrawal symptoms andcraving in regular users

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) dependence, withdrawal symptoms andcraving in regular users

  1. NeuroChi
    Background: Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) preparations have been traditionally used in Southeast Asia forits medicinal properties. Lately, Kratom use has spread to Europe and the US, where abuse potential andhealth hazards increasingly emerge. This study is the first to measure systematically Kratom dependence,withdrawal symptoms, and drug craving in regular Kratom users in Malaysia.Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 293 regular Kratom users was conducted in the community acrossthree northern peninsular states of Malaysia. The Leeds Dependence Questionnaire, Marijuana With-drawal Checklist, and Marijuana Craving Questionnaire-Short Form were used to measure Kratomdependence, withdrawal and craving.Results: More than half of the regular users (>6 month of use) developed severe Kratom dependenceproblems, while 45% showed a moderate Kratom dependence. Physical withdrawal symptoms com-monly experienced include muscle spasms and pain, sleeping difficulty, watery eyes/nose, hot flashes,fever, decreased appetite, and diarrhoea. Psychological withdrawal symptoms commonly reported wererestlessness, tension, anger, sadness, and nervousness. The average amount of the psychoactive com-pound, mitragynine, in a single dose of a Kratom drink was 79 mg, suggesting an average daily intake of276.5 mg. Regular users who consumed ≥3 glasses Kratom per day, had higher odds of developing severeKratom dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and inability to control Kratom craving.Conclusions: The findings from this study show that regular Kratom use is associated with drug depend-ency, development of withdrawal symptoms, and craving. These symptoms become more severe withprolonged use and suggest a stronger control of the drug.