Kratom and alcohol are both federally legal in the United States (though kratom’s banned in 6 states), so they can’t be too dangerous to mix, right? Unfortunately, there’s not a clear answer.
Plenty of people report mixing the two without much issue, but there are reports of kratom-related overdoses and deaths. Almost all of these reports involve the use of kratom alongside other substances, including alcohol.
Until we know more about kratom, it’s best to avoid using it with alcohol.
Healthline does not endorse the illegal use of substances. However, we believe in providing accessible and accurate information to reduce the harm that can occur when using.
On its own, kratom appears to produce some good and bad effects, depending on the dose.
Doses of up to 5 grams (g) of kratom tend to be associated with fewer negative effects than doses of 8 g or more.
In lower doses, some of the positive effects that people have reported include:
- increased energy and focus
- decreased pain
- elevated mood
The not-so-positive effects, according to various reports and user accounts posted online, include:
- increased urination
Most kratom-related hospitalizations, adverse effects, and overdoses are linked to using kratom with other substances, according the various
These adverse effects can include:
There are a few risks to consider when using kratom and alcohol together.
There may be a higher risk of overdose when you mix kratom with alcohol. Both are depressants, so when you take them together the adverse effects of each may become more intense.
This can result in:
- respiratory depression or respiratory arrest
- kidney failure
- high bilirubin levels
- cardiac arrest
Contamination is a big risk with kratom.
Long-term or heavy kratom use may increase your risk of heavy metal poisoning, which can result in:
- high blood pressure
- kidney damage
- nervous system damage
- certain cancers
In 2018, the FDA also announced
Salmonella bacteria can cause:
- severe diarrhea
- abdominal pain and cramping
- muscle pain
- bloody stool
Kratom might cause dependence and physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.
Experts know very little about how kratom interacts with other substances, including over-the-counter and prescription medications. Same goes for herbs, vitamins, and supplements.
It’s hard to say whether it’s safe to use kratom and alcohol at the same time, but what about using kratom after a night of drinking? Again, there’s not enough evidence to give a definitive answer.
People have reported using anywhere from 2 to 6 g of kratom to deal with hangover symptoms. Some swear it works wonders and perks them up enough to get on with their day. Others say it worsens a hangover and causes nausea.
Remember, low doses of kratom are associated with increased energy and pain relief. High doses, on the other hand, are associated with some unpleasant side effects. This could explain why some find it makes them feel worse.
If you have a hangover, your best bet is to stick with the usual protocol of hydrating and getting plenty of rest. If you are going to use kratom to manage your symptoms, stick with a low dose.
You can find anecdotal testimonials online from people who’ve used kratom to manage symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. There’s no evidence to back up these claims, though.
Again, kratom also has the potential to be addictive. In addition, withdrawal is serious business that should be overseen by a qualified healthcare provider.
Cutting back on alcohol abruptly or quitting cold turkey can contribute alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) for some people.
If you’re going to use kratom on its own or with alcohol, there are some important safety precautions to take:
- Have a small amount of each. Not mixing them is ideal, but if you do, be sure to limit the amount of both kratom and booze to reduce your risk of serious effects or overdose.
- Get your kratom from a reliable source. Kratom isn’t regulated, making it prone to contamination with other substances. Make sure you’re getting kratom from a reputable source that properly tests their products.
- Drink water. Both kratom and alcohol can cause dehydration. Have water or other nonalcoholic beverages handy.
Mixing kratom with other substances, including alcohol, may increase your risk of overdose.
Call your local emergency number right away if you or someone else experiences any of the following after taking kratom:
- slow or shallow breathing
- irregular heart rate
- nausea and vomiting
- pale, clammy skin
- loss of consciousness
Kratom hasn’t been studied in-depth, so there are still a lot of unknowns around its effects, especially when combined with alcohol.
Based on the data that’s available, mixing kratom with alcohol carries several potential risks. While more research is needed on the topic, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid using them together.
If you’re concerned about your drug or alcohol use, you can find confidential help a few ways:
- Talk to your primary healthcare provider
- Use SAMHSA’s online treatment locator or call their national helpline at: 800-662-HELP (4357)
- Use the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow, or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddleboard.