Mixing Kratom and Alcohol: What are the Risks?

Alcohol beverage in a glass with kratom leaves on the back
Written by Nina Julia | Last updated: December 3, 2022

Alcohol is among the most extensively used psychoactive substances in the world. Along with kratom, they both serve to mitigate anxiety and improve sociability.

However, despite their popularity and place in popular culture, their combined use comes with serious health risks that you should avoid.

In this article, we’ll look at how kratom and alcohol work together and the possible risks and benefits of combining both substances.

Is Mixing Kratom and Alcohol Safe or Risky?

Mixing kratom and alcohol isn’t safe, and you should never do it.

Both substances significantly strain your digestive and cardiovascular systems, and taking both simultaneously could lead to unpleasant side effects like dizziness, nausea, and muscle weakness.

Moreover, they are dehydrating diuretics — they increase the body’s rate of urination. Consequently, kratom and alcohol dry your body out, so you’ll need to drink a lot of water if you use these substances together.

Furthermore, taking both could significantly damage your body, especially with long-term use. Below, you’ll find some of the associated risks.

Related: Is Kratom Safe? Safety and Risks

1. Liver Damage

Alcohol can cause liver damage in the long and short term [1]. For long-time users, the damage tends to be irreparable and permanent. Regarding kratom, its chronic use has been linked to rare instances of acute liver injury [2].

While the toll on the liver placed by kratom is much less severe than alcohol, the combination of both certainly poses a much higher risk of damage.

This is partly due to alcohol and kratom acting on the liver simultaneously, but also because of them negating the effects of each other. As a result, people tend to take more of each substance to achieve the desired effects.

This increased consumption is, in turn, more strenuous to your liver, causing greater damage and also aggravating other dangerous symptoms, like dehydration. You’ll also experience even more painful headaches and stomach cramps during hangovers.

2. Overdose Risk

Both alcohol and kratom have a relatively low risk of overdose, especially when compared with other substances. However, when combined, the risk of overdosing increases exponentially.

Kratom’s low risk of overdose mainly comes from one of its self-limiting characteristics. Heavy doses of kratom result in feeling dizziness and vertigo, among other physical discomforts.

Continuing to take it induces nausea and vomiting, effectively eliminating excess from your body. For this reason, dangerously overdosing on kratom alone is practically impossible unless someone actively tries, and even then, it’s hard to do.

In the case of alcohol, similar side effects occur, except dizziness and disorientation appear much sooner. Also, it is common for users to pass out after a high alcohol intake, and vomiting occurs while sleeping.

However, you’re more likely to use too much when using them simultaneously, which increases their risks.

3. Polysubstance Abuse

Yet another risk appearing after mixing kratom and alcohol — especially when enjoying the experience — is the chance of incorporating more substances into the mix.

When using alcohol for too long or in high doses, it is common to experience unpleasant side effects. Also, the body generates tolerance, which means you’ll need higher doses to achieve the same effect, and taking higher quantities will only worsen those side effects.

Consequently, it is common for people to incorporate new substances to counter those unpleasant effects and increase the positive feelings that alcohol provides them. This could mean the beginning of a dangerous cycle of addiction.

Physical symptoms of substance abuse:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Abrupt weight changes
  • Insomnia

Psychological symptoms of substance abuse::

  • Social withdrawal
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Changes in personality and attitude

Why Do People Mix Kratom and Alcohol?

Alcohol in a glass and Kratom leaves in white background

There are different reasons for this, but people typically do it to balance the depressant effects of alcohol with the energy boost commonly provided by kratom.

In small doses, taking kratom and alcohol together provides a soothing, pleasant feeling and induces mild euphoria mixed with relaxation.

However, as the dose increases, alcohol has the undesired side effect of making you sloppy and disoriented. Kratom, with its stimulant and energetic properties, will increase your focus and coordination, reducing or negating this side effect of alcohol.

Moreover, kratom has recently become popular for recreational purposes, and many people mix them out of boredom.

What’s crucial to keep in mind is that it is easy for you to lose track of the amount taken when mixing these substances. As a result, you’ll likely take higher doses of them, leading to unpleasant, potentially dangerous side effects.

Can Kratom Help Alleviate Hangover Symptoms?

Hangovers are caused mainly by dehydration, but that’s not the only reason. Alcohol also drains the body of several nutrients and minerals, including vitamin B and magnesium. The lack of these significantly increases the severity of headaches and other symptoms.

Kratom can help deal with headaches and other ailments related to hangovers. However, it will also contribute to dehydration because of its diuretic properties, so you should drink plenty of water to compensate.

An advantage of kratom over other painkillers and medicine commonly sold to alleviate hangovers is that it has few side effects — when used responsibly. In addition, as a natural supplement, it requires no prescription, and you can freely purchase it in most states.

Best Kratom Strains for Alcohol Hangovers

Choosing a kratom strain will depend on the symptoms you need to alleviate, though most hangovers are practically similar for everyone. All kinds of kratom strains will help you manage the headaches, boost energy, and even uplift your mood.

For this reason, virtually any kratom you take will help you get through a hangover. Still, there are specific strains that have benefits that make them better choices when you need to overcome the adverse side effects of the previous night’s drinking.

1. White Thai Kratom

White Thai Strain

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The White Thai strain is primarily an energy booster and mood enhancer with mild painkilling properties. It’ll help you manage mild hangover headaches and keep you productive during the day.

2. Green Borneo Kratom

Green Borneo Strain

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This variety will provide a balance between pain relief, energy, and mood-boosting effects, which will tackle all your hangover symptoms at the same time. The Green Borneo type of strain is also easy to find and highly affordable.

3. Red Borneo Kratom

Red Borneo Strain

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This potent Red Borneo strain is probably your best choice if you mostly have a headache or feel pain but have all day to recover. It is a powerful painkiller with sedative effects that will help you get rid of your headache and achieve a much-needed recovery sleep.

Kratom & Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol is undoubtedly addictive, both physically and psychologically. Kratom is addictive but to a much lesser extent and carries milder withdrawal symptoms [3].

The truth is that any substance that helps you overcome stress, anxiety, insomnia, or pain has the potential to become addictive because they trigger a reward mechanism in the brain that you become accustomed to.

To continue experiencing this reward, people will increase the doses and the frequency of usage, which leads to addiction. At a certain point, the brain is so used to the external influx of endorphins that it no longer produces any of its own.

In this stage, the brain has become dependent on the substance, and stopping its use will produce withdrawal symptoms, which can be pretty severe in some cases.

Kratom for Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol withdrawal has intense physical symptoms, which can get very serious and debilitating, depending on the severity of the addiction. They’ll appear when someone stops drinking after developing a dependence.

These symptoms include headaches, shivers, sweating, irritability, depression, and insomnia. Kratom can significantly alleviate many of these manifestations, although certain strains will be more effective at it than others.

Red-veined strains, for example, will help with sleep and manage headaches, whereas white and green-veined varieties will improve coordination and brain function. Kratom may also increase your motivation, thanks to its mood-enhancing properties.

While kratom is not a cure for alcohol withdrawal, it can help manage or overcome the symptoms while the patient receives proper help from a professional.

Kratom and alcohol have many similar effects but act through entirely different mechanisms. This means that while kratom will increase your well-being in the short term when you’re going through an alcohol withdrawal, it will not reduce the craving.

Moreover, neuroreceptors stimulated by alcohol will be ignored by kratom, making the herb not as effective against alcohol addiction as it is for managing opiate addiction.

Scientists in Canada even stated in recent years that kratom could help combat the opioid crisis that is rampant in North America. However, its use against alcohol addiction is reduced to managing withdrawal symptoms and not much more [4].

Standard Treatments for Alcohol Addiction

Below, you’ll find the three main ways alcohol addiction is treated nowadays. Kratom is by no means a replacement for any of them, and you should consult with a professional before using kratom during any stage of addiction recovery.

1. Detoxification

This is the first step to overcoming any type of addiction. Detoxification is often the hardest step, and patients should seek professional help. Prescribed medication can assist with this.

2. Counseling

Counseling, therapy, and other psychological assistance can help ensure a successful recovery. The patient can learn to cope with the craving and withdrawal more healthily during this step.

3. Group Support

While not everyone goes through this step, sharing your negative experiences with others is extremely helpful in overcoming an addiction. Group support provides much-needed encouragement, not to mention socialization.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom, also known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a tree native to forests in Southeast Asia. In this part of the world, its leaves were traditionally used as medicine to help reduce physical pain and gain energy for long, hard-working days of physical labor.

Originally, natives would chew the raw leaves, and while nowadays some laborers still take it this way, millions choose to take it in powdered form, capsules, or as a liquid extract.

It is a potent painkiller and energy booster, increasing focus and concentration. Kratom also provides powerful sedative effects that significantly improve your sleep quality and help you relax after a tiring day.

Kratom Strains 101

Kratom comes in different strains, named after the color of the leaf’s veins. Each variety has a different effect, so people will choose which one they prefer based on the different benefits they provide.

1. White Vein Kratom

White Vein Strain

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This kratom strain is considered the most energetic variety. It provides impressive energy boosts and enhances cognitive functions while uplifting your mood. These White Vein strains help people get through long study sessions and are even used as a workout supplement.

2. Red Vein Kratom

Red Vein Strain

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Red-veined kratom is the most sedative strain, mainly used to combat insomnia. It is also a potent painkiller. Most people who choose these Red Vein types use them to fight chronic muscle or nerve pain and improve their sleep quality.

3. Green Vein Kratom

Green Vein Strain

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The Green-veined kratom provides a balanced effect that combines the typical sedation of red strains and the energetic properties of white strains. They are easy to find and the most affordable of all other types. They are also perfect for beginners since they are milder.

4. Yellow Vein Kratom

Yellow Vein Strain

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Yellow-veined kratom is a blend of different strains that combines their benefits in one. These varieties are hard to find and typically more expensive than other strains, though they are impressively powerful.

Conclusion: Can You Mix Kratom With Alcohol?

Generally, it is not recommended to mix kratom with alcohol. It can be done with relatively low risk in small doses, but using both substances together greatly strains the liver, kidneys, and heart, leading to severe damage in the long term.

Still, taking kratom on its own is entirely safe, as long as you use it in moderation and avoid mixing it with other psychoactive substances. It is also tremendously helpful in managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.


  1. Ohashi, K., Pimienta, M., & Seki, E. (2018). Alcoholic liver disease: A current molecular and clinical perspective. Liver research, 2(4), 161-172. [1]
  2. National Institutes of Health. (2017). LiverTox: clinical and research information on drug-induced liver injury. [2]
  3. Henningfield, J. E., Fant, R. V., & Wang, D. W. (2018). The abuse potential of kratom according the 8 factors of the controlled substances act: implications for regulation and research. Psychopharmacology, 235(2), 573-589. [3]
  4. Ismail, I., Wahab, S., Sidi, H., Das, S., Lin, L. J., & Razali, R. (2019). Kratom and future treatment for the opioid addiction and chronic pain: periculo beneficium. Current drug targets, 20(2), 166-172. [4]

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.