The opioid epidemic may be treated with natural remedies instead of big pharma products like suboxone. So which strain is the best kratom for opiate withdrawal ?
Once the addiction is present, the will of the person can be altered, so that the day to day focuses on obtaining and consuming opioids. It is common for people, when they are in this phase, to feel out of control, as if they were dominated by drugs. For many of them, when this point is reached, treating dependence is an essential condition for regaining control of their actions and their health.
In the past, dependence on heroin had been linked to negative character traits such as weakness or immorality. Nowadays, thanks to the advances reached in the understanding of addictions, it is known that opioid dependence is a chronic medical disorder that can be conditioned by genetics. Thus, just as in the case of other chronic conditions of genetic origin such as diabetes or hypertension, opioid dependence can be treated with the .
Deaths related to opioid overdoses follow a worryingly growing trend in the United States and today represent more than 6 out of 10 fatal cases of drug abuse. From 2000 to 2017, more than half a million people died from drug abuse; every day 91 addicts die from opioid overdoses in the USA.
The US Center for Disease Prevention (CDC) published statistics regarding the current situation of drug use. Of a total of 20.5 million American adults who had a substance abuse episode in 2017, 2 million put their lives at risk for the abuse of legal drugs prescribed by doctors.
Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 60,403 deaths in 2015. Opioid addiction contributes enormously to this situation, generating approximately 24,101 per year.
, codeine, morphine and fentanyl are powerful drugs that fall into the category of opioids, are widely used for the treatment of pain and are drugs that are increasingly associated with deaths from overdoses.
CBD oil shows Promise in Opioid Addiction Treatment
The study by Harvard university found that CBD has the potential to help patients deal with environmental cue-induced craving and anxiety by reducing heart rate and the levels of anxiety stress hormones brought on by the sights, sounds, and people that trigger them.
Researchers conducted the study with 52 people in good health between the ages of 23 and 66 who had heroin use disorder. All the participants had to be abstinent from heroin both at the start of and during the 4-week timeframe of the study. Administering controlled amounts of water soluble CBD resulted in significantly reduced cravings and anxiety, compared to placebo. These effects also lasted up to 10 days after the initial administration of CBD. In addition, CBD reduced the environmental cue-induced physiological measures of withdrawals increased heart rate and salivary cortisol levels. Importantly, researchers found no significant effects on cognition and no serious side effects.
Why is this important?
Previous research from Harvard has shown that vaping commercially available marijuana left people more susceptible to opioid use disorder and more likely to start using heroin. Harvard’s research center has also shown that men carry THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana) in their sperm for 7 months. What the current study suggests is that while all this is true, it does not preclude marijuana derivatives from having any safe pharmacological value. Part of the problem today with medical marijuana is selective breeding that is taking the THC/CBD ratio to extremes. water soluble CBD, if tested and approved like other pharmaceuticals, can have lots of therapeutic benefits while maintaining a robust safety profile.
Harvard university is, however, very clear that despite the benefits of CBD, smoking cannabis or taking commercially available edibles is not a viable treatment option. Smoking is in and of itself very harmful, and a lack of dosage control makes commercially available edibles ineffective treatments for heroin use disorder. It is also known that in much of the legal and illegal marijuana and many available edibles, the levels of the therapeutic CBD oil are overreported, while the levels of THC are underreported – and often high enough to be harmful.2 Hurd and the other authors suggest that moving forward with a focus on CBD-only pharmacotherapies could offer safe relief not only to patients recovering from heroin use but other people suffering from anxiety-related illnesses.
The future of treatment
The opioid epidemic continues to claim more and more lives – we have lost 300,000 people in the last decade – and improving treatment options is more crucial than ever. Methadone and buprenorphine, and naltrexone, the current treatment options are opioid agonists, partial agonists, and antagonists that address the urges, or physical cravings, created by opioids. They don’t however, address the cravings and anxiety that environmental cues can cause. The currently available treatment options for opioid use disorder are also very limited, and they don’t work for everyone. CBD may fill these gaps in treatment need, and should be further researched, due to its potential to reduce cue-induced craving and anxiety – two factors that often play a large role in relapse for drug-abstinent individuals with opioid use disorder. The promising results of this study suggest there should be a focus on creating CBD-based pharmacological therapies to treat opioid use disorder.
Kratom, a plant originating in Southeast Asia, promises to position itself as a natural alternative to analgesics derived from opioids.
Unknown to the West until a decade ago, Kratom has been used for centuries in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia as a natural stimulant and pain reliever. In the treatment of pain, its potent effects are similar to opioids, but unlike these, its side effects and addictive potential is much lower.
Myrraginine is the main active component of Kratom, this substance has a high affinity for opioid receptors, especially for the μ (mu) receptor, it also acts on the δ (delta) and κ (kapa) receptors, however its action in these last is less. The action on opioid receptors exerted by mitraginine and other alkaloids present in kratom allows this plant to be used to mitigate the effects of opioid withdrawal.
The use of Kratom in the treatment of opioid dependence became popular for several reasons. Being a natural product, many people consider it a safer and more affordable alternative compared to attending a hospital or a detoxification center. In addition, many users have found that Kratom is very effective in relieving symptoms of withdrawal such as restless legs, diarrhea, sweating, bone pain, fatigue and irritability. The duration of use, tolerance, and idiosyncrasy of the individual are factors that determine the success of Kratom in opiate withdrawal.
It is important to bear in mind that many studies are still needed to determine if this type of pathology is completely safe. Some research has found that while kratom can be used to relieve withdrawal symptoms, its prolonged use can lead to its own withdrawal symptoms. Although it may be a safer substitute, it is not exactly a cure for drug / opiate addiction.
Despite its medicinal properties, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved the use of Kratom for therapeutic purposes. In fact, the DEA recently warned about the dangers posed by its consumption and warned of an imminent risk to public health, due in part to the increase in cases of poisoning that could be linked to the use of Kratom, causing 15 deaths in the last 3 years.
The American Medical Association proposes its exit from the market until more exhaustive studies are carried out on its secondary effects, especially considering that in Thailand it has been banned for decades for its potential to develop addiction and consequent abuse.
However, some experts say that its ban will only foment an illegal market to satisfy the growing demand for alternatives to opioids with the consequent risk to the health of millions of people due to the almost certain alteration of the product to obtain greater economic benefits, as is the case with numerous illegal drugs.