The rise in the use of opioids has stirred concern as more people have reportedly died from overdosing on them. However, Kratom has been found to contribute to death in nearly 100 people in the last one year as opposed to more common ones like fentanyl, heroin, benzodiazepines (also known as tranquillizers), prescription opioids and cocaine.
Interestingly, some users believe that Kratom can help cure opioid addictions — and consume it as pills, capsules, or extracts.
What is Kratom
Found mainly in Southeast Asia, Kratom is a tropical tree (Mitragyna speciosa) with leaves that contain compounds that can have mind-altering effects. Also referred to as Biak, Ketum, Kakuam, Ithang or Thom, its leaves are sold in the United States online, and in bodegas and head shops, kratom has long been used as a mood booster, energy supplement and pain reliever.
What experts are saying about Kratom
Almost five million Americans consume kratom safely each year according to the American Kratom Association. The Kratom leaves are brewed as a tea by some people, while others chew or smoke them. Kratom can cause the effect of opioids and stimulants.
Two of its components referred to as mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine, have been found to interact with opioid receptors in the brain, thereby producing sedation, pleasure, and dulls pain, according to Scott Hemby, who chairs the Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences at High Point University in North Carolina — Disagreeing with with the FDA’s 2018 warning about the drug’s potential for abuse.
When consumed minimally, Kratom can act as stimulants, but when over consumed, it could serve as sedatives that dull pain — A feature that has drawn it to many people who want to withdraw from opioids. A lot of people who suffer from severe pain have run to the embrace of Kratom for sustenance as they drink its tea to diminish their pains.
Oliver Grundmann, a professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Florida, who has been studying the supplement says it has been used in Southeast Asia for years and no cases of overdose deaths have been reported, though there have been reports of users becoming more addicted and tolerant of it with increasing doses
Reasons why experts want again it
Kratom consumption can cause nausea, itching, sweating, dry mouth, constipation, increased urination, loss of appetite, seizures, hallucinations and symptoms of psychosis.
According to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, in a statement in 2018, “Kratom should not be used to treat medical conditions, nor should it be used as an alternative to prescription opioids,” because there is no evidence to support its “medical use.”
He also notes that the chemical compounds in kratom are similar to those of opioids, saying there was no evidence to indicate that it was safe or effective for medical use.
Is it possible to overdose on Kratom?
Although there have been reports of deaths from Kratom ingestions studies have shown that they were taken alongside other medicines, substances and drugs.
Reports from the FDA have also shown that deaths associated with the use of kratom occurred mostly because users took them with contaminated products or with other potent substances, including illicit drugs, opioids, benzodiazepines, alcohol, gabapentin, and over-the-counter medications, such as cough syrup.
It has also reported that deaths have occurred after kratom was dietary supplements or dietary ingredients and were laced with other compounds.
Is it possible to be addicted to Kratom
Just like other opioids, users will definitely feel physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking kratom. Some people will feel muscle aches, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggression, emotional changes, runny nose, jerky movements.
Is kratom addiction treatable?
Although researchers are still working on coming up with proofs that behavioural therapy could be used to treat kratom addictions, that is the only method that can be used for now.
Should Kratom be considered medicine?
Although no research data to back these claims, many people have used kratom as a herbal alternative to medical treatment to help control withdrawal symptoms and help treat or control cravings that follow addiction to opioids or to other addictive substances such as alcohol.
7 takeaways from the above
1. Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, with leaves that could have mind-altering effects.
2. It can be easily ordered from the internet
3. Researchers disagree on whether it is a medicine or whether it should be banned.
4. Users consume it as a pill or capsule — some even chew kratom leaves or brew the dried or powdered leaves as a tea. Because of two compounds in kratom leaves, mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine, which interact with opioid receptors in the brain, it is said to produce sedation, pleasure, and dull pain.
5. Using kratom could result in health effects like nausea, sweating, seizures, and psychotic symptoms.
6. There is a possibility of dependence from the use of kratom leaves.
7. Some deaths have been reported from mixing kratom with other substances.
Healthcare Workers To Receive Coca-Cola-Funded PPEs From Nigerian Red Cross
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease in Nigeria, our healthcare workers have continued to lead the charge against the disease. As the number of recorded COVID-19 cases in Nigeria began to increase, these healthcare workers rose to the challenge and fought tirelessly to protect the lives of Nigerians impacted by the disease.
Considering the risks these healthcare workers face, there is a crucial need for adequate protective equipment for these brave frontline workers.
Coca-Cola is excited that over 400,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) procured to support the intervention efforts of the Nigerian Government and other key stakeholders to fight the COVID 19 pandemic have arrived. We do believe that this will to provide succor to our healthcare workers on the frontlines
These PPEs comprise N95 respirators, surgical masks, examination gloves, face shields, medical gowns, no-touch thermometers, disposable aprons, heavy-duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, basic masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizers.
Since the first confirmed case of the disease in Nigeria reported in February, over 800 healthcare workers have contracted the disease. While Nigerians are encouraged to stay home where possible and practice social distancing, these healthcare workers are needed across the country in the continued fight against the disease.
This donation forms part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s COVID-19 relief interventions in Nigeria. The Coca-Cola Foundation has provided $2.5m in grant to IFRC who seeks to directly impact the lives of 1.4 million people in Nigeria and across other countries in West and Central Africa under this partnership.
COVID-19: Cross River Govt Kicks Against Stigmatisation, Urges Residents To Get Tested
The Cross River Government has kicked against stigmatisation of people with COVID-19 in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu stated this on Monday while sensitizing the residents of Yakurr and Abi Local Government Areas of the state.
Dr. Edu while sensitizing the residents of the area pointed out that the disease is not a death sentence, rather residents should go for test to know their status.
She went on to emphasize the need for leaders within the communities to get involved in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, ways to prevent the disease, and preventable deaths adding that testing centres have been established in both communities.
She also reiterated the need to strengthen the health system and promote health within the communities.
PTF: Despite Presenting Negative COVID-19 Results, 40 Percent Of Passengers On A Single Int’l Flight Tested Positive
The Federal Government has raised the alarm over COVID-19 test results being presented by international flights passenger.
Sani Aliyu, the national coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, raised the alarm while appearing before a joint Senate committee on health and aviation.
Ibrahim Oloriegbe, chairman, Senate Committee on Health, at the meeting, had expressed concern about the protocols for international flight operations about COVID-19 test requirements.
Responding to the concern, Aliyu expressed that some international flight passengers who presented negative COVID-19 results tested positive for thereon arrival in Nigeria.
Aliyu said there was an instance in which 40 percent of passengers on a single flight tested positive for COVID-19, despite presenting negative COVID-19 results before boarding.
Speaking further, he justified the measure put in place for flight operations, while he also revealed that the validity period of test had been reduced to four days from the initial seven days to prevent repeat occurrences.
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