Citation: Old Head. "Subtle But Beyond Amazing: An Experience with Kratom (exp112928)". Erowid.org. Apr 6, 2019. erowid.org/exp/112928
I am probably a bit different than the average trip reporter but thatís okay. I think my story still has great value. I am a 52 year old male and this retrospective commenced shortly after my 50th birthday and, yeah, my age is what I was referring to when I said I was different than most. I am 6í4Ē tall and around 250 lbs.
My past drug usage has direct relevance to the story I am going to tell so I will go into more depth than most. Iíve done my fair share of psychoactive substances. In my youth (through the age of 22), I did just about anything you would expect from a child of the 80s, except psychedelics, which for whatever reason werenít my thing. Booze, which started with steal an occasional shot or three from my parent liquor cabinet in my early teens was always the common denominator but in my mid-teens, I mixed in pot with some regularity and in my later teens, I popped a wide variety of pills including benzos (all of them but primarily Valium), tuinal, opiates (percocets were my special favorite but I did them all) and probably a few of the last remaining quaaludes to legally roll off an assembly line (or a few of the first completely illicit ones to be manufactured in a basement somewhere). During my college years (but mostly in my hometown during breaks), I discovered stims, and spent more than a few pre-dawn hours peeking out the windows convinced an imaginary army of government agents was preparing to bust into my apartment and arrest me because I knew too much. After college, I pretty well quit everything but heavy weekend drinking.
This continued until I was in my early 30s I stumbled into a semi-regular source for my old favorites, Percocet. This started a 15 year dance with opiates. The substance varied based on availability and somehow, I remained marginally functional (I never got high at work for example), throughout but I was a daily opiate user from about the age of 32 to 48. I never gave up booze, which was a perfect potentiator for my pills and allowed me to stretch my supply when nothing much was available from the usual places so, for the entire 16 years I danced with opiates, I also drank several very large, very stiff drinks every day. Finally, at the ripe old age of 48, my last source for opiates got out of the business so I decided it was time to get clean. I went cold turkey. I dealt with withdrawal and the misery by continuing to drink large quantities of alcohol, and somehow I removed opiates from my life. Oh, I thought about them every day and continued to drink heavily in hopes that it would be sufficient to keep my opiate thoughts from turning into actions.
I thought about them every day and continued to drink heavily in hopes that it would be sufficient to keep my opiate thoughts from turning into actions.
That takes me where I was when kratom entered my life: Drinking daily in fairly heavy amounts, teetering on the edge of driving to nearest inner city neighborhood in search of opiates and, if not quite spiraling into the gutter, I was probably only one bad day or one bad decision away from it.
At this point, I read something about kratom. And, make no mistake, it was the potential for opiate-like effects that suckered me in so I made a purchase. My plan was to test it out just like Iíd done opiates for some many years, potentiated with alcohol. I didnít know much about it but, in my mind opiates, were opiates. Iíd used them all at some point and was masterful at starting slow with a new one, taking enough to ward off withdrawal and titrating up until I found a good dose. So I ordered some kratom and started experimenting.
I knew little about it so I started out taking doses that were much too small for my body type and washed it down with alcohol. Then I read somewhere that kratom was relatively slow acting (it takes 45 minutes or so), which convinced me to take my kratom first and drink my booze starting 45 minutes later when the kratom was theoretically starting to hit me. Over the course of a week I did this, gradually increasing my kratom dose each day. At first, I felt nothing. Then, for a few days, the combination of the two started to do something but it was mostly bad. I can only describe it as nauseous, headachy dysphoria. But I soldiered on. I was convinced there was an opiate in that kratom powder and I had to unlock it.
Then, something miraculous happened. I continued to bump up my kratom dose each day, until one day... No more than 10 days after starting... I took my kratom dose and went to watch TV and kill 45 minutes before I could chug my first drink of the evening. I was watching Seinfeld reruns. Iíve seen every one a million times yet pretty quickly I found myself really enjoying them... Like I did when they were new. Before I realized it, more than an hour had passed, and I had totally forgotten to go make my first drink. In the past, I would be staring at the clock waiting for whatever arbitrary deadline I set to arrive so I could drink and, on that day, I totally forgot.
Mostly as a reflex, I jumped up to make my drink and sat back down to watch more Seinfeld.... I took a few sips of the drink but that was it. I barely dented it. ...and never got around to drink #2 or 3or 4. That was probably the first night in 20 years (discounting a couple of days in there where I had the flu and was barely coherent) that I basically hadn't drank any alcohol. I woke up the next morning feeling... Well... Good. I was in as good a mood as I could remember since... Ever. At that point, I hadnít quite put it all together and just figure the previous night was just some oddity. Well, that night, I did my dose of kratom and found myself feeling so good... NOT ďhighĒ, but rather just an all around feeling of positivity where everything feels just right that again, I didnít even think to make that first drink at 45 minutes. This time I didnít even bother making it when I realized it was time. I neither wanted it nor needed it. And just like that, in the space of two days, totally unplanned, I quit drinking and have not had a drink since.
And just like that, in the space of two days, totally unplanned, I quit drinking and have not had a drink since.
20 years of drinking and less than two weeks of a single evening dose of kratom (most of which was spent toying with doses that were too small) and the craving was gone.
For several more weeks, I toyed with doses until I found a perfect one for me: 12 grams taken as soon as I got to my car after work and no more until the following day. By the time, Iíd get home and putter around the yard for a few minutes, the kratom would do its thing. Again, it is NOT a ďhighĒ in any traditional sense. It starts out feeling like a really strong cup of coffee felt when I was a caffeine virgin, and I just wanted to talk to whoever was around who will listen (and, make no mistake, I am lifelong introvert so it was an odd thing for me to wrap my brain around). After an hour or so it morphed into a less edgy general feeling of positive vibes that gradually faded until I went to bed at a reasonable hour and slept soundly.
Over several months, I lost a significant amount of weight (partly due to no more drinking but I was also eating better and less). I began to perform like a superstar at work. I renewed friendships Iíd allowed to fade for many years and began interact with co-workers, neighbors and even the clerk at 7/11 like... Well... Not me. Moreover, I never even craved a drink in all the months since. My craving for opiates, which started me looking at kratom to begin with, also disappeared. Right now, I have a full prescription for 10 mg percocets (legitimately prescribed) that I havenít touched in over a year. Thatís never happened!! I used to joke with people that they werenít normal if they didnít take every narcotic they were prescribed as soon as practical... And now I am watching full bottles of narcotics expire.
Clearly, Iíd been in a deep depression for a very long time. I canít answer the chicken or egg argument... I donít know if depression led to drinking and drugs or drinking and drugs led to depression or the two fed off and worsened each other. I just know that kratom, like a miracle, seemed to fix whatever was broken. I donít know what exactly the science is behind it, but it seems to be repeatable.... At least anecdotally. My personal theory is that it has some dopaminergic effect that both levels mood and sufficiently tickles the receptors that would otherwise be whispering in my ear to take a drink or pop a pill.
Best of all, Iíve taken long-term breaks (months at a time) from kratom since starting in order to reset tolerance and neither the cravings nor the old miserable version of me ever returned.
Again, without knowing the science or safety profile, I hesitate to tell everybody to try this herb before itís too late. Whatever makes it work, it was a subtle, yet incredibly powerful gift from God to me.
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