Addiction to heroin has been so rampant in the United States that it has become a major contributor to the nation’s opioid epidemic. Even as researchers continue with their efforts to develop a magic pill that can erase one’s dependence, many people are taking to herbal supplement kratom to self-medicate their addiction to heroin. The fact that more and more people across the nation rely on it to douse their cravings for the illegal opioid or to self-medicate their pain, thus increasing its consumption, raises a pertinent question – will the use of kratom fuel another addiction problem.
Concerned health care experts are now questioning the validity of kratom’s use to treat heroin addiction. Use of the drug derived from a Southeast Asian plant is currently allowed in New York and 42 other states in the U.S., though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still weighing options about labeling it as a dangerous drug or just another herbal remedy available over the counter. The federal agencies have so far designated kratom as a “drug of abuse” and a “drug of concern.”
While proper labeling of the drug is yet to be done, hipsters have been shelling out as much as $5 for a packet of 2 grams of kratom. The nature of strain sold depends on the users’ needs, such as recreational, to relieve pain or just as a replacement for more dangerous drugs like heroin. Kratom dealers say they frequently come across first-time buyers, while they continue to cater to those who prefer to buy in bulk.
Regular use of kratom is making many dependent on it. More and more people are turning to pharmacies to buy the drug in larger quantities. The rapidly growing demand for the drug has left the authorities concerned. Taking note of its rising popularity, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has warned against ignoring the possible damage of the excessive and long-term use of kratom.
Though there is still a need to look into the constituents of kratom and its prolonged impact, DEA officials maintain how continued use of the drug is initiating a new cycle of addiction that may be more hazardous than others or difficult to recover from. Studies on the drug in the past have indicated how its extensive use apparently led to suicide, psychosis, lung bleeding, rapid heartbeat and seizures. Some untimely deaths in New York and Florida in 2016 were also attributed to kratom use, though validity of the reports is still under scrutiny owing to unsupported facts.
While some people continue to support kratom use, terming it as nothing short of magical substance that helps get rid of heroin addiction, medical experts continue to warn people till a comprehensive research is carried out on the drug. On the other hand, its advocates support the drug citing its effects in dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. A study has also pointed out how Mitragynine, a chemical in kratom, helped stop withdrawal symptoms in mice addicted to opioids.
Fight against addiction
The rationality and viability of kratom use is still a subject of careful examination. However, given the seriousness of the ongoing battle against heroin and opioid addiction, we need to tread carefully while experimenting with new drugs that may lead to a new addiction. An addiction to heroin may prove to be fatal. However, the problem can be addressed through timely intervention.
Sovereign Health is a leader in providing effective addiction treatment. Our El Paso facility is one of the best in heroin abuse treatment centers in Texas. With the number of addiction patients outnumbering the number of rehab centers available, the nation’s addiction problem is only aggravating. For more information about our heroin addiction rehab in Texas, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representatives.
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