The growing spread of the use of Opioids all over the world especially the United States of America has made the officials highly concerned.The growing use of Opiates is termed as a disease and referred to as an ‘Opioid Epidemic’.
High officials in the country have united to pay special attention to this matter at hand and to end the Opioid Epidemic.
However, to our surprise, things aren’t working as they should be. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of deaths due to drug overdose involve an opioid, to be approximate 6 out of 10 deaths.
Each day, 91 Americans die from an Opioid overdose. These statistics are a major concern for the politicians and ruling party.
The use of policies for controlling drug cartels may be a way to get hold of this epidemic, but let’s look at the other side of the picture! Is Kratom the solution to the Opioid Epidemic?
Is Kratom the ray of hope in this time of dismay and misery? Will Kratom be able to save millions of lives at stake? Let’s find it out together.
What is the Opioid epidemic?
The opioid epidemic is a term that refers to the rapid increase in the use of prescription and non-prescription opioid drugs in the United States that began in the late 1990s and continues to this day.
Overdose deaths from opioids have reached epidemic levels, therefore, it is labelled as an epidemic.
Overdose death from heroin had surpassed deaths by road traffic accidents and guns by the year 2015.
Recent reports of CDC have shown shocking statistics, which is why Donald Trump the president of United States has declared opioid epidemic as a national public health emergency.
He stressed on further enforcement to stop illegal drug trafficking into the country and also to find a way to help opioid addicts.
The scale of the opioid epidemic has increased sevenfold since 1999. Only in 2016, more than fifty-three thousand people died due to opioid overdose.
What has been the US government doing so far to counteract Opioid epidemic?
The government has been focusing on illegal trafficking of Opiates and controlling the use of prescribed Opiates.
For those who are Opioid addicts, large grants have been given for their treatment i.e. to make naloxone readily available (this treats opioid overdose in emergencies).
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is focusing on promoting the use of drugs which can reverse an overdose of Opioids, and they are focusing on better practices for pain management.
They are also looking for innovative medications and technologies to treat Opioid use disorders.
The government has spent million dollars on these treatments and it is an economic burden.
It’s time they look for cheaper options that have fewer side effects and provide prompt relief from pain and addiction. One such option is Kratom.
Why is Kratom so popular in the US?
Kratom has been popular in the United States for quite some time now.
The reason is that people are addicted to Opioids and they understand the adverse effects associated with the consumption of Opioids.
This is when they look for alternates because one can’t just simply get rid of the Opioid addiction.
Kratom provides a safe harbour to those opioid addicts who want to recover. As noted by users, Kratom has less addiction potential, and it is way cheaper than Opioids.
It manages pain in a similar way as that of Opiates and it also gives you high (for those who take Opioids for recreational purposes)
Why are FDA and DEA so rigid about the use of Kratom though it has proven a benefit for Opiate withdrawal?
We all know that Kratom use and even overdose has never caused any death.
It is a painkiller and gives you stimulation comparable to that of coffee, so then why does the FDA feel the need to crackdown on Kratom?
The FDA agrees that they do not have proper resources to prove that Kratom is not safe. The FDA depends on the DEA for scientific reporting about the safety of the drug but so far the DEA hasn’t produced any scientific reports that prove anything against Kratom.
The DEA can ban Kratom if it proves scientifically the adverse effects of Kratom and proves the history and current pattern of abuse.
The FDA and DEA need to understand that Kratom, unlike Opiates, doesn’t have abuse tendency and its overdose has never caused any deaths.
The death of the police officer that was associated with the overdose of Kratom, was later proven that it was because of a combination of drugs taken simultaneously.
It’s necessary that all the negative hype against Kratom comes to an end so that one may deal with the actual facts instead of the hysteria.
More research is needed in the field of Kratom and if it is labelled as a schedule I drug then serious concerns can be raised about one of the world’s most celebrated addiction i.e. caffeine.
How can be Kratom the solution to the Opioid epidemic?
A narrative of an Opiate addict ‘Kristofer’ says that he was severely addicted to poppies and heroin and when he started taking Kratom, he had no desire to quit Opiates but he totally stopped using Opiates and Kratom allowed him to quit heroin cold turkey.
He remains Opiate free since six years. This narrative proves that Kratom can be one of the solutions to the Opioid epidemic.
It is a well-known fact that the prescription opioids are powerfully addictive for eg fentanyl is 50 times more addictive than heroin. Prescription medication leading to addiction is a grave concern.
Here comes the role of Kratom as a potent painkiller. Kratom can be prescribed as a treatment for pain and thus limit the addictions caused by the use of Opioids medicine.
Kratom has been used for withdrawal of Opiates and even DEA acknowledges this fact.
Deaths by Opioid in 2015 were 1100 in number according to the CDC’s latest data and the DEA could only point to 30 recorded deaths that had anything to do with Kratom. This once again proves the safety of Kratom.
What are the benefits of using Kratom as a solution to an Opioid epidemic?
Kratom has analgesic properties that can get Opioid addicts rid of the withdrawal pain of Opiates. Kratom due to its analgesic properties can be used as an alternative to Opiates.
As compared to Opiates, Kratom is fairly inexpensive. A dose of 2 grams of Red Bali Kratom costs only $1 or even less which means if you are getting treatment for any disease, say fibromyalgia you do not need to break into the homes of people to finance your Kratom medication.
Kratom is relatively safer than Opiates and it just causes mild dependence. It has stimulatory effects at low doses.
The bottom line
Banning Kratom or labelling it as a Schedule 1 drug will bring an end to the research that is being done on the beneficial effects of Kratom, which means many patients will be deprived of a potent analgesic.
This also means that Opiates will be used in the treatment of pain and which will result in increased addiction. Most scientists have access to drugs from Schedule 2 to 5 for research but not Schedule 1.
It is an understood fact that many medicinal properties of various herbs were first discovered by trial and error method.
Kratom is no different. It has been used for centuries by people from Southeast Asia to relieve their pain and to reduce their fatigue and lethargy.
Kratom’s use can be regulated by the FDA and DEA but it shouldn’t get banned as it has strong medicinal properties that if used clinically can prove the best solution for this Opioid epidemic.