Herbal 'Opioid Alternative' Leads to Addiction, Severe Withdrawal Symptoms

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report indicates that since 1999, over 165,000 people have died from prescription opioids, prompting the CDC to tackle this public health issue with new guidelines for opioid prescribing in chronic pain.1 Given the current climate surrounding the use of these agents, clinicians may be hesitant to prescribe opioids and patients may turn to alternative sources to help deal with their pain. A recent case published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal shows that these sometimes easily accessible alternatives may carry substantial risks as well, leading to another type of addiction, one without much regulation.

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Diabetic Treatment with Kratom?

Kratom, the leaf of a tree that is indigenous to Thailand, has been traditionally used to treat diabetes there since before recorded history. Evidently no drug company was interested in the possibility of creating a blockbuster drug to more effectively treat diabetes a major epidemic disease that affects people worldwide.

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Still Mostly Legal: Kratom May be a Better Choice for Heroin and Pain Pill Users?

A Southeast Asian herb is gaining popularity among addicted heroin and prescription opiate users, pain sufferers, and hipsters looking for a nice buzz, and it's legal—at least for now. It's usually consumed as a tea, and is now available at non-alcohol kratom bars in several states, as well as in powdered from in specialty shops and on the Internet.

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Is Kratom the New Bath Salts?

The botanical substance is both a stimulant and a sedative. It is touted as a safer alternative to heroin but it, too, is addictive and potentially life-ruining. It is common and illegal in Thailand, where it grows naturally, but little-known and largely legal in the United States. It has a long and confusing list of possible side effects. And for now, it is relatively easy to obtain—but perhaps not for much longer.

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Boyer to New York Times: Beware of kratom

A medicinal herb from Southeast Asia called kratom is being sold as a healthier alternative to opiates for recovering addicts, but a UMass Medical School expert who has studied the drug warns it may be just as dangerous, according to a Jan. 2 story in The New York Times.“It’s a fascinating drug, but we need to know a lot more about it,” Edward W. Boyer, MD, PhD, professor of emergency medicine and a co-author of several scientific articles on kratom, is quoted in the story. “Recreationally or to self-treat opioid dependence, beware—potentially you’re at just as much risk” as with an opiate.

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Kratom, an Addict’s Alternative, Is Found to Be Addictive Itself

Kratom, the plant known to southeast Asia has been taking over America by storm showing up in gas stations and head shops all over the country. Traditionally Kratom is used as a pain reliever and mood enhancer. There are also many who have used the plant as a treatment for opiate withdrawal.

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