With Canada on the verge of a fentanyl crisis, drug abusers are now focusing their sights on kratom as an alternative for quitting the habit.
Kratom comes from Southeast Asia but is readily available in some shops in Canada and online stores. The plant, which is dried and available in different concentrations, is said to minimize the side effects of quitting opiates as well as opioid withdrawal.
However, Alberta Health Services psychiatrist Nicholas Mitche warned on using kratom as a way to fight addiction. In a news release, Mitche bared that taking the drug can be lethal and the user may end up in the hospital with psychotic symptoms. This is because kratom contains other undesirable compounds, and the concentrations may vary from plant to plant. The effect may also be different from one person to another.
Even if kratom can be used in fighting addiction, there is still not enough research to back it up. Mitche said that there is no scientific evidence that shows whether kratom is effective. “We do not have enough scientific evidence to know if it is effective or not. If it was regulated, we need good studies on its efficacy and risk and we just don't have those studies.” Mitche said.
The controversial substance has been firing up the news recently, especially with the recent kratom ban lift by the Drug Enforcement Agency.