Kratom, or mitragyna speciosa, is an equatorial tree part of the coffee family which can be found predominantly in Southeast Asia. Since the 19th century, kratom has been utilized as medicine because it is assumed to have opioid properties. People have used this tincture to alleviate chronic pain, to minister opioid withdrawal symptoms or, as of recent years, for recreational purposes.
A new study examined the substance and concluded that it might be unsafe for public consumption as the research so far into its pharmaceutical properties has been of poor quality. Also, it discovered that kratom has dangerous side effects, such as seizures, withdrawal, hallucinations, and high heart rate. Very rarely, it might provoke liver toxicity and death.
The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse declared that kratom produces morphine-like effects. This is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized kratom’s unreliability in treating different ailments and deemed it of high risk.
Kratom is unsafe for people’s health, a new study concluded
While kratom has a reduced risk of death induced by overdose in comparison to other more powerful opioids, it can still affect a person’s health. Researchers examined cases in which women had taken the substance while pregnant. The babies were born addicted to kratom and suffered from neonatal abstinence syndrome, or more simply put the babies went through withdrawal after being exposed to this opioid substance while in the womb.
People who support the use of kratom disagree with the new study. They believe that the data presented by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are flawed as both institutions did not take into account other reasons for the symptoms described. At the same time, other medical experts believe that while the substance might be addictive, it may not present a risk for people.
The deaths that were recorded are possible to be the result of an admixture of different harmful substances. Medical experts and kratom advocates demand clinical trials to clarify once and for all the effects, good or bad, of kratom.