The Opioid Crisis and Kratom

The Opioid Crisis and Kratom

Michael Ayzenshtat

According to NIH(National Institute on Drug Abuse) 50,000 Americans died in 2019 due to the misuse and addiction to opioids.  So what are opioids? Opioids are a class of drugs that range from the illegal drug heroin to synthetic opioids like  fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, like that of oxycodone hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and many others.  According to the NIH 21-29% of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse opioids. 80% of people who use heroin started of by misusing prescription opioids.  This misuse of opioids is creating an economic burden that is costing the American tax-payer $78.5 Billion a year and the number keeps growing.

 

While the opioid crisis is raging in America a potentially safer drug has come under fire by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) due to its increase in popularity.  In the United States 10-16 million people are using Kratom to alleviate chronic pain in a natural or holistic way. Kratom, contains Mitrogyna speciosa, which has a centuries-long history of use in herbal medicine in Southeast Asia, notably as a substitute for opium. 

 

In high doses Kratom can cause a deadly overdose but according to a 2017 study by the CDC, of the overdoses that took place between 2016-2017 found that less than 1% of the 27,000 deaths attributed to overdose were the result of Kratom. Of those that had Kratom in their system also had stronger drugs in their system which could have attributed to the death.

The FDA is now asking for public comments on whether the U.S. should support a ban on Kratom.  

Please read through the FDA and HHS published document on the matter and submit your formal comment online that you do not support this ban. Click Here to Support Kratom

Public comments are open until Aug 24th as the overwhelming demand has created an extension from the original comment close date of Aug 8th.

Sources:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-fda-shouldn-rsquo-t-support-a-ban-on-kratom/