The FDA recently issued a warning that Kratom isn’t a safe way to withdraw from Oxycontin or other opioids — or use for pain management. The plant that has been consumed for thousands of years by indigenous people, has made its way to America via the internet, marketed as a cure for opioid addiction, pain, and over a dozen other maladies that have normally been treated with pharmaceutical medication. One of the most storied uses of Kratom, however, is that it was once used as a “substitute” in East Asian countries during the opium epidemic.
Users of the drug don’t believe that Kratom is not safe and tout the benefits of daily usage. Sure, some people use it heavily and experience withdrawal, they will admit, but this is no worse than caffeine withdrawal. Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration tried to temporarily place the main psychoactive component found in Kratom into the schedule I category of the Controlled Substances Act, only to get a large amount of pushback from chronic pain advocates, Kratom users, and people who have used Kratom to detox from opioids. The FDA hasn’t backed off with banning the substance altogether and has
According to the FDA’s research, use of Kratom as a supplement raises “significant concerns,” and there have been at least 36 deaths linked to the use of products since they have started tracking. Calls to poison control centers regarding this s have increased 10-fold from 2010 to 2015, as the drug has become widely available for sale on the internet.
Side Effects of Kratom
Taking this supplement can be linked to serious side effects like seizures, liver damage, and withdrawal symptoms, not to mention the danger of anaphylactic shock in people with severe allergic reactions. People who use it to treat depression, pain, or withdraw from opioids may be putting themselves at risk for a whole other list of maladies. “Patients addicted to opioids are using Kratom without dependable instructions for use and more importantly, without consultation with a licensed health care provider about the product’s dangers, potential side effects or interactions with other drugs,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says in the new advisory. While he encourages research through a legitimate pharmaceutical company for the development of drugs, the FDA says that it’s simply too dangerous for consumers to use this plant directly.
The advisory that was issued is a standard action that usually precludes the banning of certain substances. Kratom is a very popular substance, and it is expected that people who use it will put up a big fight. However, the FDA has also asked Customs to prevent any new shipments from entering the US.
If you’re planning on withdrawing from heroin or other opiates, there are safer ways to get and stay clean. Kratom is not safe and you may very well be trading one drug for another. If you need help, it’s available – and it’s safe. Call one of the treatment centers on this website or go to a 12 step meeting. You don’t have to go it alone.