Quitting Kratom

A Community on the Stairs of Recovery

Testimonials

ADAM

Member since October 2020

When I first joined the Quitting Kratom meeting group, I had just stopped taking kratom. Four days after my quit, I joined the first meeting, when the group was just getting started. Since then I have managed to stay off kratom, which was in part made possible by the incredible support the group has provided me. If you are a part of this group and need some assistance, it almost seems as if people are waiting for your vulnerable share with ideas and perspectives you may not have noticed, being caught up in it yourself. The support is truly incredible.

From guiding me through the initial withdrawals to helping me keep my head up during the emotional lows that follow the acutes, the group made getting those toughest first 30 days easier, and I have no idea whether I would have made it past day 30 without them. After about day 30, as I began to get accustomed to my new clean state of being, I felt more comfortable with myself and relied a bit less on the group for support as I was learning how to emotionally support myself.

I have heard amazing and inspiring stories, and every so often one comes along that reminds me of just how awful it was to be in active addiction to kratom. Both of these things help keep me strong, and seeing the new quitters overcome their obstacles and fight to get their lives back inspires me to never quit quitting. Some of the techniques and activities that helped me quit:

DRAKE

Member since October 2020

I’ve been fighting opiate addiction one way or another since I first tried painkillers at the age of 13. Over the next 19 years, my addiction evolved around everything from pain pills, to heroin, to Kratom. Quitting the pills and heroin was a very difficult battle. Little did I know that physical dependency on Kratom was just as extreme. So, for the last 7 years, I’ve been fighting Kratom addiction.

I had only found this group a few months ago, but this group of people has made this battle so much more bearable. I don’t feel alone in this anymore. I feel understood and accepted. I’ve made connections with people that I never thought possible, some I now consider friends. The meetings keep me held accountable and in the meantime I’ve gained so much knowledge. Exercise and communication are also key. There’s a lot of love and care in this group and I’m forever grateful to have found it and to be a part of it.

Jimmy

Member since October 2020

One of the most harmful behaviors of mine as an addict has always been to isolate. In active addiction, I chose kratom over socializing with friends, I chose kratom over my wife, I neglected exercise and my own health and my own body. I withdrew into my own little bubble, always escaping responsibility and avoiding reality and decisions. I withdrew because I was ashamed of myself and afraid to confront my addiction, so I just kept taking kratom and isolating further.

The Quitting kratom group (I refuse to use a capital K for kratom, I won’t give it that level of respect anymore) but the Quitting kratom group has shown me that I don’t have to be alone. I don’t have to be isolated, and I don’t have to be ashamed. In fact, I can feel proud of myself— just like we can all feel proud of ourselves— for having the courage to open up, seek help, and eventually be able to provide help to someone else who is also suffering. This group is liberating. It’s not just me. I don’t have to carry around the weight of the world on my shoulders, because there are other people who are going through exactly what I went through. We can help each other get out of this hell. And for me, just knowing that I’m not alone, just knowing that it’s ok to be myself, knowing that there are people who really do “get it”— that’s what it’s all about. That’s why this group is so amazing.

Joe

Member since December 2020

I'm writing this to let others know it's possible to get off this green stuff! I've been a heavy kratom user for almost three years. I had no choice to stop because it was doing the complete opposite one day and I ended up in the hospital with bad adverse reactions. So when I left the hospital that night I decided to stop cold turkey. I didn't know there was help out there until I thankfully stumbled upon Jess from reddit. Her meetings were a life saver from hearing all the similar stories. She was a life saver!! Just the thought of being stuck alone in this was overwhelming. Hearing the stories on the zoom meetings is what kept me strong minded and reminded myself I'm not in this alone. Jess is willing to work with you one on one if you want. I can't emphasize enough how important these meeting were and are to me especially in the early days of quitting. I'm now almost three months off kratom. I still go to the meetings regularly and speak with Jess. What she is doing is changing lives and helping them. Thanks so much for being ingenious and starting all these quitting kratom awareness groups!

Mike

Member since December 2020

For over two decades I searched for non-opiate ways to alleviate my chronic back pain and finally eight years ago discovered kratom and thought I'd entered the pain-free promised land. Having completely bought into the "non-addictive plant" fallacy, I took six gpd every day for eight straight years never missing a day. I was so deceived by the demon that it took me over seven years of daily use to finally acknowledge that I was a broken down shell of my former self and more importantly that I was a kratom addict. Being a rookie in addiction circles, I didn't know where to turn so stumbled onto Reddit and found the Quitting Kratom subreddit. It was there I realized I wasn't alone with the wrath that kratom inflicts and was stunned to find out I was in for a world of hurt upon quitting.

In the midst of a sizable freak out, I was contacted by two angels masquerading as women (Jessica and Marie) who provided ongoing, invaluable words of encouragement and turned me onto the Quitting Kratom Support Group. Without that angelic duo's support and that of my awesome comrades in the support group, there's no way in hell I jump, let alone get through the hellish acutes and battle with PAWS enroute to 87 days kratom-free which is where I reside at the time of this testimonial. Here's wishing those of you in the throes of kratom addiction all the best in your recovery quest. It certainly ain't easy but if you're like me, you'll take enormous pride in having the courage and strength to get off and stay off the sludge. I strongly recommend the Quitting Kratom Support Group and hope to see you there!

KRISTEN

Member since December 2020

I felt blindsided when I realized that I was addicted to Kratom. It all started very innocently when I initially started using kratom to wean off of a painkiller addiction that had consumed my life for over a decade. I had been taking kratom in powder form for years, with the last two years adding in the liquid kratom extract shots. By the end of my kratom addiction, I didn’t know who I was and I was just miserable. I felt so alone. I started attending the biweekly Quitting Kratom meetings and I found I wasn’t alone. So many people were struggling with the same plant.

I found a family within the group meeting and a safe place to share what I was feeling. I learned to reach out to others and when I did, I found comfort in knowing that someone was always available in the WhatsApp group. There is a wealth of knowledge among us kratom addicts in that group app. As a result of attending the Quitting Kratom meetings, I started to incorporate a healthier life style by attending daily NA meetings and working the 12 steps. I quit drinking alcohol completely. I started to deal with my mental health. I incorporated mediation, massage, therapy and cool showers into my routine. But hands down, it is the fellowship and friendships with other addicts, that have been built through the Quitting Kratom meetings that I attribute my clean time to. I would not be here without my QK family- I tried for a long time to do it on my own and I have found that one Kratom addict can best help another addict. I will forever be grateful for the jumpstart to a new way of living that Quitting Kratom has given me.

Mari M.

Member since October 2020

The Quitting Kratom group has been an integral part of my recovery from kratom. During my nearly three-year severe kratom addiction, I felt completely isolated and alone as I had never met another person struggling with a kratom addiction. I attempted recovery numerous times but kept relapsing because I had no support at all. I started attending 12-step meetings which were incredibly helpful, but most people there had never heard of kratom so I continued to feel alone in my recovery. One week before my last quit from kratom I discovered the Quitting Kratom group. I attended my first Zoom meeting where there were dozens of other people who understood exactly what I was going through. I finally felt seen and validated in this group where others spoke openly about the horrors of kratom addiction. I burst into tears of joy during that meeting as it was such a relief to have the support of others who’ve been in my shoes. I am grateful to say that today, I have over four months clean and sober from all substances, including kratom. I believe that my involvement in the QK group is a major factor contributing to my success in sobriety this time around.

I continue to attend the weekly QK meetings because they help me to stay sober and free from kratom addiction. I can now pay it forward by helping others who are in the midst of kratom addiction and seeking a way out. Being of service to others in this way helps me to stay sober myself. The unending support and inspiration that comes from this group is incredible. It feels like a family of warriors who are battling this insidious addiction together, instead of alone. I am so grateful to be part of this amazing group of people and look forward to meeting more people who are ready to take the leap into recovery from kratom.

JAY

Member since November 2020

When I first decided to quit Kratom after an 11 year habit, I realized I had a huge mountain to climb in order to get sober. I knew it was going to be a long and painful journey and, truth be told, at first I didn't think I would ever be successful. I joined the Quitting Kratom support group shortly after I made my resolve to quit Kratom and it has been deeply instrumental in my recovery. After two months clean I look back now and honestly don't know if I would have ever made it this far without this group. I feel like each and every member of the group was with me on my journey over that mountain, supporting me every step of the way. Words can't express how much this group means to me and how grateful I am that Jessica reached out to me at the beginning of my quit!

Santiago

Member since October 2020

I am here writing this testimonial on day 150 Kratom Free. Although this feels like a great achievement, given my experience with relapse I remain vigilant and practice staying on the path of recovery one day at a time, sometimes even one minute at a time. My story of being addicted to opiates dates back to when I was 17 years old in 2008. Painkillers ruled every waking moment of my life and I could not for the life of me get off. They robbed me of so many things, including my older brother who transitioned from this life to whatever is next.

It was around 2011 when I discovered Kratom and I was initially glad to know there was a backup plan if I could not get a hold of painkillers. However, when my brother passed, I gave up painkillers entirely and shifted to just Kratom, thinking it would be my long-term solution. This created its own special version of hell and has been for the past several years a horrible cycle of wanting to get off, accumulating a few weeks, and then relapsing all over again. The more this happened, the harder It became and the less hopeful I was that I would one day be rid of this addiction once and for all. Even years in the AA program, and really trying to take suggestions and try new things did not seem to work fully.

Life keeps teaching you the same lesson again until you learn it, and I would find new ways to fail it repeatedly. Relapse in my life, has for whatever reason, just been part of my recovery. However, I have never given up on trying. I have always come back to see where it is that I failed, and how I can start again. It is by some miracle that I discovered the Quitting Kratom support reddit thread at a challenging time in my life. There I met a woman named Jess who was also fighting my same battle. We connected and helped each other understand why we wanted to leave the life of being a slave to a substance. This helped tremendously, and when she decided to start a recovery group specifically for Kratom, I jumped on board. Her dedication to helping me and others by starting this group has had a cascading effect on my recovery and the recovery of many others. I do not know where I would be in my recovery had I never discovered this group, but what I do know is that I am immensely grateful I did and I look forward to, now more than ever, my life without a Kratom addiction.

There are still challenges, and I often have thoughts in my head that want to take me out of this path and back into the throes of addiction. This is especially where this group, the meetings, and the contacts I have made in here have functioned as lifesavers. I will continue to reach out and stay honest because I am certain that life will only improve without this crippling addiction. Despite the struggles, I desire to continue this journey of staying strong and striving for a life that is happy, healthy, and free. I look forward to others joining us and regaining control of their lives. One moment at a time.

Skye

Member since December 2020

Isolation is the soil from which addiction grows. Without fellowship, we are left to our own limited thinking, unbearable burdens, and unchecked temptations. Left alone, we will eventually default to our set ways. When I set out to give up a serious kratom habit, I had no shortage of determination. I was convinced and clear that my life needed to take a different direction and that my slavish dedication to the drug habit had been using up all my bandwidth, much of my sense of presence, and mental-emotional resources that would otherwise fuel a generative life. I wanted a life with more traction, more of a future that wasn't available to me as an addict who was actively using -- so I went to give it up.

In terms of sustainable support, nothing has been as useful to my recovery in helping me find the courage to quit, the endurance when it's gotten tough, the willingness to continue, and a sense of purpose in helping others (which helps my own sobriety) as the fellowship found in the Quitting Kratom Support Group. I say this as someone familiar with transformative learning communities and also the limitations of online forums for keeping in touch. The Quitting Kratom Support community is unusual.

Our meetings feel special, personal. There is a tremendous amount of wisdom and perspective in the rooms. The people in the group are attuned to each other and help keep each other accountable. I have found that the shares during meetings tend to build on each other and each meeting has a certain coherence to it unlike what I have seen in other fellowships. This sort of cohesiveness has added to the depth of my experience in my own recovery and fueled my dedication. I find I am touched and changed by the emotional texture of every meeting -- without exception.

What the Quitting Kratom Support Group offers, I think, is an opportunity not just to not go at it alone, but to have a support system that you carry with you throughout the day. Imagine experiencing the urge to use and having the faces of three friends who intimately know your struggles with kratom addiction, come to mind and talk you out of using the drug. Imagine being known and held by an entire community.

Recovery from kratom addiction is no less than a path of radical self-transformation, in which the sacrifice becomes about more than giving up a drug -- it becomes about gathering back the pieces of your soul life that were scattered, and becoming whole and new across the board. Sometimes it takes a community to find all the pieces and put you back together, but new. That, I think, is what the support group offers to those that are receptive to it.

OLGA

Member since December 2020

I used kratom for about 6 years. Starting in 2015. I was saying to myself that this is just something that helps me deal with my anxiety and depression. When I first started taking kratom, I felt like it made me more creative, productive and calm. I just wish I could have fast forwarded to see what awaited me. I would have seen that all of those creative ideas born in my dopamine flooded brain, would never be embodied, and that my productivity was just an illusion. Slowly but surely, kratom was occupying more of my thoughts. I was confusing calmness for the lack of care.

Using kratom became my escape from dealing with any uncomfortable feelings and emotions I didn’t want to experience. With every passing year, it became more apparent how much destruction this insidious drug was bringing into my life. These negative changes were building up slowly. While I appeared quite functional, it was hard for me to notice the damaging effects of this obsession. There wasn’t an area of my life that didn’t take a blow. The health problems I developed in the last year of using were hard to ignore. It only kept getting worse, and yet the worse it was getting, the harder it was to find the strength to stop using it. The burning desire to quit would never translate into action. I kept postponing my quit day every time I would get close to it. I felt incredibly alone in this battle, as if I was the only one abusing kratom in this way. I felt like I was the only one out there who couldn’t stop obsessing about it, building my whole life around it and was spending most of my earnings on sustaining this habit.

I was very hesitant to join AA/NA meetings, as I felt like I would not be completely understood. My first step in the right direction was joining the Reddit community dedicated to quitting kratom, where I learned that there are thousands of people out there who are facing the same struggle. I got an invitation to join the Quitting Kratom Support group that meets through Zoom. At that moment it felt like a miracle I was waiting for all along. From the first meeting that I joined, I knew right away I was in the right place. I felt an instant connection to the main speaker sharing that night. The tears streamed down my face as her story reminded me so much of what I was going through. And what was so inspirational about that moment, is that person I could relate to so much already had 60 days Kratom free and was in the midst of getting their life back together. In that moment I knew I could do it. It takes time and work, but it is possible.

While the Reddit community was a great resource, hearing somebody share their experience live made all the difference. The host of the meeting was incredibly supportive and attentive to all of those who shared. No matter what stage of recovery you were at, or even if you were still in active addiction, there was a place for you in the group. This sense of belongingness created by admins and members made me feel like I wasn’t fighting this battle alone and that made a huge difference for me. I know I wouldn’t have had the courage to make a final jump if I was doing it on my own. All the love and support I received always felt so genuine and authentic; I could really feel like I was becoming a part of a big family. I am really looking forward to every meeting, I amlearning something new about myself and recovery process every time. It helped me build strong connections with the people that understand and care, something I was missing out on all these years in active addiction. I am almost two months sober and this community is helping me to grow every day.

We have a group chat that allows us to talk to each other daily, and it’s a great way to stay connected and encourage each other to keep going. Thanks to this group I’m finally finding the way back to my true self, feeling more genuine and deep emotions and re-discovering my desires and passions that were somehow lost during my active Kratom use. Life didn’t become perfect all of sudden, and there are still challenges that I am facing daily. But I am not in my shell anymore and I have the ability to do something about it and keep moving forward. I have so much more to give to the world, and my life doesn’t feel like it’s on pause anymore. And having all that support from people that know what I am going through has proven to be invaluable in this fight.

STEPHANIE

Member since December 2020

My name is Stephanie and I was an absolute slave to a substance known as Kratom. My relationship with Kratom lasted for 3 years and from the first day that I had tried it, I was never able to quit. Not a single day went by that I could refrain from putting this drug into my body. It got out of control real fast and I became a complete stranger to myself to the point I hated seeing my own reflection. I hated the person I had become and for well over a year I had tried every way possible to quit, but was unsuccessful.

Fast forward to one day I was invited to a Quitting Kratom Support and Awareness meeting to which I watched quietly on Zoom and just listened. At that point, I was in tears and sobbing because all of a sudden, for the first time in 3 years, I was listening to a group full of people that actually understood what I was going through. For the first time I wasn't in this horrible battle alone and isolated. It absolutely was a complete game changer for me. I continued to come and just listen to the meetings every week until I finally spoke up about where I was at with Kratom. The love and understanding that was so freely given to me was beyond measure. Finally, for the first time I had a group of people I could call on without judgement that understood my personal struggle. I was finally able to quit this horrible substance with the support of this group that provided all the love and understanding that was needed in that time. I honestly don't think I would of been able to quit as I did without the group. That was over a month ago.

Life has been so much better since quitting. I am free of the horrible withdrawal and am able to be the wife and mother that my family deserves. For me, it was not easy but having the support made all the difference in the world. Today I am able to wake up with the option every morning to say no, when just over a month ago it was not a option. I wouldn't trade where I am at today for this horrible substance. Today I am able to live a meaningful life and be there for people when needed. While on Kratom, I was unable to care for myself much less anyone else. I know in my heart it was this amazing group that fell into my lap when I needed it the most. I am so thankful and grateful that today I am able to stand for something and when I lay my head down at night, I know that I never have to go through this alone.

TAYLOR

Member since November 2020

The quitting kratom support group has been an invaluable source of community and inspiration for me, especially during quarantine. Addiction is already an incredibly isolating experience, so without the fellowship provided by the support group I don’t think I would have been able to stay clean for as long as I have during this stressful and isolating time. Everyone in the group is so kind and supportive, and it helps immensely to know I have a crowd of people cheering me on in my journey toward recovery. I feel like I can be truly honest with them, without fear of judgement or negative repercussions, and that helps me stay accountable and honest with myself. On the flip side, it is so rewarding to be able to support and advise others who are going through the same things that I went through when I quit. Whenever someone reaches a milestone, I feel genuinely happy and proud, because it feels like something we have all accomplished together.

Kratom addiction is uniquely difficult in a variety of ways, from its relative obscurity (even among health professionals), to its ease of access in many places, to the highly nonlinear trajectory of its withdrawals. Everyone in the group understands the very particular struggles of kratom addiction, and I have never felt like I need to explain or justify myself when talking about my experiences. We all share this one thing in common, despite living in different parts of the country and coming from all different backgrounds and life experiences. On the one hand, the diversity of the group has been refreshing, offering up unique perspectives and coping mechanisms that have helped me in my effort to lead a healthier, more balanced life. On the other hand, despite all our superficial differences, I am constantly amazed by how much we all seem to have in common, even outside of addiction. I constantly hear my own story reflected back at me in the stories of others in the group, and it helps me feel that much less alone. I am truly grateful for everyone in the group, and I can’t wait to see what life holds in store for us.

SAM L.

Member since December 2020

I first started messing around with Kratom in the spring of 2017. I should have known better because at that point I had 15 years of sobriety from drugs and alcohol. However, I had stopped going to AA meetings several years earlier. I never made a conscious decision to not go to meetings, they just sort of drifted out of my life. Kratom immediately became a huge part of my day to day existence. It was relatively safe, legal and really changed the way I felt. It alleviated emotional and physical pain. It provided energy and drove away depression. Kratom became a secret vice. I’ve never used Kratom with anyone else. Generally my usage was to take pretty high amounts through the day and evening, not really sleep at night, and continue this until my tolerance was such that I wasn’t getting high anymore. Then I’d crash and not use for a couple days then start again.

In November of 2018 it became absolutely clear that I was addicted and thatKratom was causing physical damage. I made a decision to quit, went to my doctor and got helper meds, and became a regular on the quitting Kratom redditt. I thought I was done. I managed to get maybe 45 days clean and then I picked up again. The madness had just begun. I’ve had at least ten days clean at least a dozen times over the past 2 1/2 years. Every single time I go through WD, convinced this is the end, and then a few days or a few weeks later I convince myself that it’s ok to “treat myself” and pick up some Kratom. Often it’s a Friday afternoon, when the workweek has gone well. And then I’m back in the middle of a binge. I lost all pretense of using “responsibly”. Several times I took so much Kratom that I lost basic motor function and couldn’t do things like eat a sandwich. I vomited a bunch of times just because of the amount of Kratom I had in my stomach. The constant cycle of binging and quitting really was hammering my body. But still I went through the cycle over and over again.

On 11/22/20, I woke up in a really tough spot. I was physically and emotionally at the end of my rope. And I knew that I wasn’t going to get high no matter how much Kratom I took. I was pacing around my bathroom and couldn’t tell if I was having a panic attack or having a medical emergency. I was whiteknuckling through the first couple weeks when I put a post up on the quitting Kratom sub asking if people were interested in forming a “Kratom Anonymous” group. The idea came into my head because I was texting with a couple other folks in the sub and it was really helpful in providing some much needed accountability for me. Out of the blue I got a message that such a group already existed. That’s how I found this group. It’s really made a difference in my ability to stay off Kratom. I have a connection with people who have gone through exactly the same experience. Most importantly, for me, I am 100% honest with a group of fellow addicts about my experience.

I have 90 days clean now but I’m far from being out of the woods. I’m starting to have those thoughts popping up that I can use “once a month” or “as a treat occasionally”. I need to have a connection with a group of people who understand how absurd a thought it is given my addiction history. It’s also super helpful for me to hear the stories of and engage with people who are still in active addiction. They’re a good reminder to me of what will happen if I pick up again. The proliferation of Kratom use really amazes me. When I started using there was one store where I could buy it. Now there are 5 within 20 minutes of my house. I have no opinion on the legality of Kratom. Like with liquor, I know there are people who can use Kratom responsibly. But I can’t. And I need the Kratom support group to remind me of that.

LUKE

Member since February 2020

I grew up playing sports had some injuries with soccer and football got in the Motocross had quite a few severe injuries reconstructive surgeries and then saber fencing as an adult. With all the injuries pain and inflammation I did a Google search on herbal supplements. I found kratom, and a lot of it looked really positive and seemed to be helping people so I thought I would try it. It started off great in the honeymoon phase. It worked really well managing my pain and anxiety helped with sleep and endless energy. Is it progressed I became physically addicted and was able to push my body way beyond it's normal measure. I could just take more Kratom and get more things done. I pushed my body with exercise and my landscaping work and ended up on my back for 3 months unable to walk with permanent nerve damage down my leg.

I was sneaking and hiding it from my partner. I caused lots of relational damage and trust issues. If you ever wonder if you're using is crossed into the unhealthy territory ask yourself if you're sneaking or hiding any of it. Withdrawals were pretty intense. I found several things that helped me along the way.I found I needed regular support and started attending recovery meetings. Online meetings. Addiction can never be beat in isolation. There is strength and numbers from shared experience and Hope. The groups have been vital for keeping each other supported along the way. I have found meditation to be a extremely valuable to antidote to addiction.

Addiction can be seen as a disease of the mind out of control. A mind out of control is your worst enemy. Meditation gives me the space to acknowledge all of my feelings and all aspects of myself as they arise. It also brings awareness to the drama and stories that I create around my experience. Meditation has a calming effect on my body mind and Spirit and feels very empowering as I activate my body systems in an efficient way. You can't solve our problems with the thinking we use to create them. So changing perspectives and ideas is vital . When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change. Another important pillar for me is creative expression. When I create or play a beautiful piece of music that moves me, it touches on some part of me in a healing way. I also I'm into visual arts and am able to process my experience in a very cathartic way. This connects me to myself, my feelings, my values, what I see as beauty.

Another very important part of recovery for me is nature. I find regular trips to the mountains or the beach important. I need to be camping, canoeing, around fire and water. Our bodies chemistry responds to being in nature because we can relax. Our parasympathetic nervous system is triggered and rest and repair starts. I have also found Wim Hof techniques very valuable. I started his breathing techniques and cold showers with very positive results. Accessing the tools to be in charge and command of my own bodies systems, where I can regulate my systems. Wow that's powerful. It has increased my capacity to deal with stress, I get better sleep, more energy, increases dopamine levels, and there's endless measurable benefits. Love this guy who is more about helping people than getting rich.

Another important thing for me is I needed to find a therapist to work through some issues. I wanted to find someone who is trained in noticing patterns and could help me unlock the dysfunction of my life. Also discovering who I am and building a new life that is in alignment with my values is extremely important. The positive energy and power from a meaningful purposeful life is beyond measure. I've found therapy helpful in identifying dysfunction, while promoting new growth in a direction I want to go. May each and every one of you find the beautiful pure essence that you are and celebrate that.

× If you or anyone you know is struggling with kratom addiction, please email quittingkratom@gmail.com