Is Kratom The Answer to Opioid Addiction?

There are so many suggestions or theories on what could help with opioid addiction and what could help reduce the need for painkillers in that sense as well. So, the question is “Is kratom the answer to opioid addiction?” and the answer is simple it isn’t. First, let’s dive into what exactly is kratom. Kratom is a tree that grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, and its leaves have been used as medicine as well as a recreational drug. Doctors believe that some of the substances in kratom attach themselves to the same nerve cell receptors as opioids and create a similar effect in the brain. 

Masking the problem

With that information alone you can deduce that replacing one pain killer with a derivative of that same pain killer doesn’t solve the problem it rather masques the problem keeping the underlying issue of addiction still in effect not really helping the patient long term.

Kratom’s Effects

Before The leaves were used by either chewing it, brewing it into a tea, or used in cooking. Today it is ground up into a pill form or crushed and smoked like tobacco. The effects of this varies depending on the dosages it is taken at and can put the person using it into a sleepy mood or a dreamlike state. This method does not come without side effects and the most common are nausea and constipation with others such as:

  • Muscle tremors
  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth 
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations 
  • Liver damage

With all of those side effects people should be aware of this type of treatment for opioid use as it doesn’t show many positives to outweigh the negatives. 

Is Kratom Safe?

People also ask, is Kratom addictive? This is tricky to be exact because this is not regulated by the FDA there have been cases of people who used this to have issues with pain, trouble sleeping, diarrhea, and fevers when they stopped taking it regularly. 

Dangers of Kratom

People also ask if this is safe to take. More research needs to be taken in order to come to a more conclusive answer because the FDA says there are no approved uses for Kratom and needs the extra research to determine if it has any medical use or value. The FDA has even cracked down on companies who used this as a treatment for withdrawal from opioids. The FDA has even reported that there have been 44 deaths among people who have used kratom alongside other drugs. Since there is no regulation or checks and balances of the production a lot of the substances can have cross-contamination with other harmful chemicals or substances. 

Kratom is not the answer

So, with all this information we can say that kratom is not the answer to opioid addiction. It is at best just a replacement substance that doesn’t really address the root of the problem, just gives the patients another outlet to experience the same effect as opioid or at least similar because it’s more easily accessible. So please talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the matter or if you are just looking for more information.