According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), at least 115 people die daily due to opioids drugs overdose. Kratom may provide one of the solutions to control or prevent opioid addiction and dependence.
Opioids Drugs | How Kratom Can Play a Huge Role to End the Epidemic
In This Article:
What Is Opioid Addiction?
Opioids drugs refer to a class of medications for pain relief. These can include both legal and illegal drugs such as heroin, fentanyl, and morphine. Another example is OxyContin.
Opioids may relieve pain, but it can also stimulate the brain’s reward center. It can increase the production and release of endorphins. These are feel-good hormones. It’s one of the reasons why there’s an opioids abuse.
What Is Opioids Epidemic?
There’s no doubt. Opioids drugs are good at what they do. In fact, they are effective, many doctors prescribe them. It also helped manufacturers vouched they do not lead to dependence and addiction. The widespread prescription and availability of these drugs, though, now lead to opioid crisis.
The opioid addiction statistics are mind-boggling. Over 2 million people now have opioid use disorder. About the same number misuse their prescription for the first time. It also costs the government more than $500 billion.
The problem on opioids drugs is so severe the US Department of Health and Human Services already declared it as a public health emergency. For those who suffer from chronic pain, the need to find an alternative becomes a must. One of the possible options can be kratom.
Kratom or Mitragyna speciosa is a type of supplement. It’s an evergreen tree commonly found in Southeast Asia. People use the leaves in different ways. They can be either a stimulant or a sedative depending on the dose. They can treat common conditions such as diarrhea. The leaves may also have components that can help in opioid addiction treatment. These include 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine.
How Can Kratom Help in Opioid Addiction Crisis?
To understand how it can help end the crisis, it’s important to know how these drugs work. Chemically, they attach to certain receptors of the brain. They also work with the nervous system. For instance, they can reduce the feelings of pain in both the brain and the spinal cord.
These two components of the nervous system play a significant role in pain. If a person suffers a simple cut, for example, the nerve cells send such information to the brain. The brain reacts to it by sending pain signals through the nerves. These are essential to encourage the individual to do something with the source of pain, which may be an injury.
Opioids drugs work by reducing the pain sensations. They, though, also activate the pleasure centers of the brain. People feel so good they tend to develop opioid addiction signs.
Using kratom for pain relief has been going on for hundreds of years. It’s only recently that the medical community explored its possible use to treat addiction on opioids drugs.
As mentioned, the kratom leaves contain specific alkaloid compounds. The 7-hydroxymitragynine has an analgesic effect. Analgesics are medications that help control the production of prostaglandins. These are chemicals that can induce pain. Mitragynine, meanwhile, is an agonist of opioid receptors. It works similarly as the opioids. The main difference is the type of receptor they bind to.
With these functions, kratom can reduce or relieve pain, but that’s not all. It can also be a supplement to reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms from opioids drugs.
Many factors contribute to the growing opioids drugs epidemic. Some of the common reasons are misuse and over-prescription. Kratom may provide both the alternative to the medications and the treatment for such addiction.
Do you believe kratom can help reduce dependence on opioids drugs? Tell us your thoughts about it in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: As with any natural remedy, please use discretion on the amount and frequency as it can have adverse effects. You can find our full disclaimer here.