Eric Mayhew Jr. wanted to break his more than decade-long addiction to opioids — one that started when his doctor prescribed them for knee pain.
…When it comes to withdrawing from opioids, medical experts and addiction counselors agree that you will be far more successful with support than trying it alone. But traditional treatment can be expensive and time-consuming, if it’s even available. Many treatment centers have long waitlists.
…A study published in July 2017 found kratom is used for self-treatment of pain, mood disorders, and withdrawal symptoms that come with prescription opioid use. It was found to have few negative effects, including nausea and constipation, but generally only at high doses or when taken frequently.
…“I think the cool thing about it is this guy went from injection drug use to nothing, and all he had was a runny nose,” [director of academic development in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Edward W.]Boyer says. “It’s similar to something like methadone or any other opioid, but what is different is withdrawal from those substances is far more involved.”
People who use kratom typically don’t have withdrawals, says McCurdy, the University of Florida professor.
“That it helps them stop their cravings for going back to opioids and helps them with their mood. They feel good. They mention that they aren’t lazy like when using opioid prescriptions or addicted to opioids. They feel more productive and are doing things they love again, returning to a normal lifestyle.”
McCurdy’s research on mice shows kratom has a clear potential to treat opioid withdrawal with few side effects.
“It is probably addictive, but its addictive equivalent is something like coffee, which isn’t surprising because the leaf is in the coffee family,” McCurdy says. “We firmly believe that it will be very good for treating opioid withdrawal.”
…FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, says people who use medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction cut their risk of death from all causes in half.
What’s the hurry to classify Schedule I? Is someone about to lose money over it?