Opioid dependence is a major issue in the United States, since there are over 50,000 opioid overdoses per year and this rate is increasing year over year according to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Unfortunately, the medical industry’s answer to opioid dependence is even more dangerous synthetic opioids, with the top choices being Methadone and Buprenorphine.
Despite Methadone being a primary choice for treating opioid dependence, the same CDC data which shows that there are 50,000 overdose deaths due to opioids per year also shows that 3,000 of those deaths every year are due to Methadone. Essentially, Methadone is just as dangerous and deadly as any other synthetic opioid or opiate.
The idea behind Methadone is that it is safer for opioid dependent people to satisfy their fix with a prescription from a doctor rather than street Heroin. This is true in some respects, since street Heroin is often cut and varies wildly in potency, so if someone is used to weak Heroin and then they get a strong batch of Heroin and take their regular dose they could die. Additionally, Heroin is often cut with the extremely deadly opioid Fentanyl, and if a Heroin user gets Heroin that is filled with Fentanyl they could easily die. Not to mention the fact that buying street Heroin can be extremely dangerous, and it could land the user in prison since it is illegal.
Compare this to Methadone, where the dose is exact and carefully regulated. Indeed, opioid dependent patients often have to go to a Methadone clinic every single day in order to get their dose, so that they cannot abuse the medication.
All of that being said, I have read numerous personal stories on the subjective efficacy of Methadone and Buprenorphine in treating opioid addiction, and have met many people who have gone through Methadone or Buprenorphine treatment, and I have never heard of a story where Methadone and Buprenorphine ultimately helped someone to get off of synthetic opioids and opiates.
Ultimately, it seems all of the stories end with a severe relapse onto dangerous street drugs. I think this is because Methadone nor Buprenorphine actually fix the problem of dependence to synthetic opioids and opiates, instead they keep the problem going.
Since synthetic opioids like Methadone and Buprenorphine are the same as other synthetic opioids, tolerance rapidly builds up and they become ineffective, and patients in opioid dependence treatment become overwhelmed with a craving to get high, causing a relapse.
Another issue is that if someone is tapering off of Methadone and Buprenorphine they experience severe withdrawal symptoms, with many reporting that the withdrawal is worse than Heroin, and these withdrawals cause users to relapse.
Yet another problem is that having to go to a Methadone clinic everyday is incredibly time consuming, and street drugs are simply more convenient.
The nail in the coffin is that Methadone ends up killing people, to the tune of 3,000 people per year, so it really is not a safe solution.
The obvious solution is Kratom. I have read numerous stories where people addicted to synthetic opioids and opiates successfully got clean with the help of Kratom. Kratom is safer since it is an atypical opioid and does not cause respiratory depression. Indeed, there has never been a death scientifically proven to be due to Kratom.
Further, Kratom tolerance does not build up in the same way as synthetic opioids and opiates, indeed Kratom can be used long term at the same dose and still be highly effective, whereas synthetic opioids and opiates like Methadone quickly become ineffective.
Likewise, Kratom addiction and withdrawal is very minor compared to synthetic opioids and opiates, and is comparable to coffee addiction and withdrawal.
Also, Kratom is legal to obtain and cheap, to the tune of costing only about $1 a day, which is much cheaper than the Methadone clinic. Further, Kratom users do not have to waste a bunch of time going to a clinic every morning for their dose.
For all of these reasons, including that Methadone kills 3,000 people per year, is not effective at preventing relapses onto dangerous synthetic opioids and opiates, and is extremely addictive, it baffles me that Methadone and Buprenorphine are still the top treatments of choice for opioid dependent patients rather than Kratom.
Ultimately, if Kratom was automatically given to opioid dependent patients instead of Methadone and Buprenorphine, I believe an untold amount of death and destruction would be avoided.