Is Kratom The Answer To The Deadliest Drug Epidemic In History?

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While at times the United States has had issues with drug usage, nothing in the past can begin to compare with the current opioid crisis that has been sweeping the nation for the better part of the past decade. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, opioid-related deaths continue to increase at an astonishing rate. In fact, just between 2015-2016, opioid-related deaths rose 64 percent. With 53,332 victims, deaths in this area were more than those in motor vehicle accidents, gun-related violence, and those who died from AIDS. As a result, physicians, scientists, politicians, and many others have been looking for solutions to the problem. While many possibilities have been discussed, one treatment that is showing promise with many opioid addicts is Kratom. While still considered relatively new, more and more doctors are beginning to point to data suggesting opioid addicts who take a regular Kratom powder dosage have a far easier time managing and eventually kicking their addiction.

Current Treatments Falling Short

Since many emergency room physicians are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, they see firsthand the devastating effects. Unfortunately, by the time many people reach the ER, it is too late to save them. Frustrated by this, many ER doctors are now saying current treatments being used are falling far short of what needs to be done. For many opioid addicts, methadone is the drug commonly prescribed by doctors to keep them from injecting heroin. However, since data from the CDC states methadone itself is responsible for more than 30 percent of prescription painkiller overdose deaths in the United States over the past decade, this clearly is not the solution.

What is Kratom?

As methadone is being shown more and more to not be an effective solution to this ongoing public health crisis, many patients have reported positive results when using kratom. Since it is neither an opiate nor a narcotic, it is non-addictive for patients using it. As a result, many patients report taking a regular kratom powder dosage allowed them to fight their cravings for heroin, while at the same time making the heroin withdrawals much more tolerable. In fact, some have reported that by taking kratom each day, they have been able to stay off heroin for six months or more, many times making this the longest period of time they have been heroin-free.

Why is Kratom Effective?

As for the reasons why kratom is proving to be so effective with patients, there are many. To begin with, researchers have discovered kratom possesses two very important naturally-occurring compounds, those being mitragynine and 7-hydro mitragynine. When these two compounds combine and work together, the result is they are able to partially bind various opiate receptors, which leads to a mimicking effect of opiates, one of which is pain relief. This, coupled with the finding that users can easily substitute it during treatment without suffering the debilitating withdrawal symptoms usually associated with heroin, make kratom appear to be a very viable treatment option.

FDA Warnings about Kratom

Despite the many positive findings of kratom and how it has been able to help numerous patients fight their addiction to heroin, many doctors and researchers have been surprised to see the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a variety of warnings about using kratom. In November 2017, a public statement was issued by the agency regarding 36 deaths that were reported to be kratom-related. While this may sound alarming to some people, others looked at the data from a different perspective, especially ER doctors. As doctors began to examine the data, many found some key facts were left out of the findings. Among the most important were those stating that many of the kratom-reported deaths were ones in which the victims also had various other drugs in their system at the time of death, including cocaine, methamphetamine, and alcohol. According to doctors and researchers who examined the FDA findings, dying while having kratom in one’s system is not considered the same as dying due to using kratom. Because of this, researchers have concluded that to their knowledge, no deaths have ever been attributed to a person solely from using kratom.

Why Would There be Opposition to Kratom?

Since it appears kratom has been proven to be a very effective treatment option for those trying to kick their heroin habits, many are left to wonder why there would be any opposition whatsoever to kratom. While some doctors and researchers point to perhaps the relative lack of data about the positive effects of kratom, others believe it comes down to various pharmaceutical companies becoming worried about the profits they may be deriving from the sales of methadone. Simply put, since the pharmaceutical industry is an extremely profit-driven industry, many wonders if companies are once again willing to put profits ahead of what may be the best treatment option for patients.

A Natural Alternative

As many people have started to look for natural alternatives to treat diseases and other conditions, kratom has become very popular for those seeking help with heroin addiction. A plant that is closely related to the coffee bean tree, it has been used as part of traditional Asian medicine since the 19th-century. Taken most often in pill, capsule, or powder dosage, those who rely on it as part of opioid addiction treatment like the fact that not only is it a natural alternative, but also allows them to begin feeling the effects immediately. In fact, most patients report starting to feel better within 10 minutes of taking their dosage, and having the effects last five hours or even more.

While there is still much debating that will take place regarding the effectiveness and safety of using a kratom powder dosage to help in treating opioid addiction, it is hard to ignore what many patients are saying about how it has helped them along the way. Because of this, doctors and researchers will continue to study kratom for its various benefits and much more.