Posts tagged "new"

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Opioid Alternatives: Kratom…? Let’s Find Out

November 28th, 2017 Posted by Awareness, Blog, Opioid Epidemic, Spiritual Experience 0 comments on “Opioid Alternatives: Kratom…? Let’s Find Out”

Kratom has been widely used as one of the “safe” opioid alternatives that are available and legal. Considered as one of the “millennial” drugs with the likes of Molly (MDMA) and such, kratom has been making headlines lately. In particular, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) warns that kratom is responsible for 36 deaths. Specifics on these deaths are not disclosed. However, some of the long-term side effects of kratom include liver damage and seizures. Regular kratom users, in response, have insisted that these claims are misleading and overstated. [1]

Is the truth somewhere in between? Let’s find out…

What exactly is kratom?

More scientifically known as Mitragyna speciose, kratom has a multitude of descriptions, reputations, and most of all opinions. This tropical evergreen tree is in the coffee family. Its origins are Southeast Asia, more specifically Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea. Kratom can be ingested in powder, capsule, and tea, and there are different strains of this substance based on location. This can slightly vary its effects on the user.

And what exactly are those effects, now that we’ve got the formalities out of the way? This is where it gets interesting. In smaller doses, kratom creates a stimulant effect, much like a mild amphetamine, offering a jolt of energy, alertness, and euphoria. However, at higher doses, kratom provides a more sedating effect, similar to an opioid effect. This provides freedom from anxiety, stress, and a false sense of overall well-being, safety, and love.

The effects of kratom last around 5 to 6 hours, and the onset is about 30-40 minutes after ingestion on an empty stomach. With food in the stomach, this time doubles, although this is all an estimate as it depends on the user and the way they metabolize.

Kratom Facts

Kratom, with regular use, does, in fact, create a physical dependency and a withdrawal, although there are many claims that this withdrawal is “mild.” Regular users claim it is comparable to a withdrawal from coffee or tea after steady intake of caffeine, where other research seems to point more to a withdrawal similar to that of an opioid detox, which is quite different. The reported effects of kratom withdrawal are craving, muscle pain, yawning, nausea, fatigue, tremors, mood swings, runny nose, and hostility. These are, in fact, similar to an opioid withdrawal.

Long-term side effects are also similar to that of opioids/opiates: constipation, dependency, and addiction. In addition, reported long-term effects include liver damage, seizures, and hyperpigmentation of the cheeks.

Kratom has been reported to have been used since the 1900s for its “therapeutic effect.” Among some of the therapeutic effects are a natural painkiller, anti-diarrheal, and “increased sociability.” In addition, it is reportedly a natural anti-anxiety medication.

The Addict Perspective

Now that we’ve laid out some facts about kratom, or at least what the users report, let’s look at this from an addict’s perspective.

A drug addict needs to walk on eggshells when considering any substance he/she introduces into the body. There are many red flags in here regarding kratom use, both for the addict and anyone else contemplating use. In the interest of considering addiction, we will look at the addict. Kratom is described as having a “mild dependency syndrome.” I have never known a dependency syndrome to be “mild.” Dependence, by nature, is a terrible beast. There are, perhaps, some more horrific in nature than others. By default, dependence is going to cloud the mind and body, creating attachment, and haunting the user. This is all the more prominent for the drug addict, who will have a reaction to this dependence that is life-altering.

Kratom Capsules

With both the effects of the drug and the withdrawal echoing similar qualities of opioid use and withdrawal, the overall experience must be similar.

What we know of addicts is that there is not much choice involved with the amount of any given drug ingested. So if the preferred effect is the mild stimulant quality achieved in smaller doses, it is doubtful that the decision to manage the amount taken will be entirely in control of the user. When a good thing is presented, the immediate need is always “more.” As tolerance develops to any substance in both the drug addict and the average user, the amount needed increases, some quickly, others slowly.

Opioid Alternatives that are “Natural” or “Therapeutic”

Words such as “natural” and “therapeutic” are dangerous. We love to hear we are taking something natural or taking something for the right reasons, “therapeutically.” Let’s take hallucinogenics, for instance. Hallucinogenics have been experimented with, therapeutically, as a treatment for depression, spiritual experiences, clarity, perspective changes, mind expansion, etc. While this research is valid and results are positive, this is not valid proof that hallucinogenics are the right or safe choice for everyone. The term “therapeutic” legitimizes the use of substances to treat any condition, and this issue must be taken into careful consideration.

“Natural” holds a similar association. Natural does not always mean better, as many think. Opium is natural, as is poison ivy. The holistic approach is excellent, but that does not mean in any way natural will protect one from dependency or dangerous effects. This is another loophole used often by addicts to get away with substance use and/or abuse.

Supporters of kratom insist the medicinal use of kratom is safe, when used properly and in moderation. Many report long time use of kratom with success. Others insist it can be of use in these times of an opioid epidemic. It is being portrayed as a safe, herbal alternative that could potentially help those dealing with opioid addiction. This might be true to someone that is not an addict, and might be a reason why it was able to get the scientific backing necessary to gain DEA and FDA approval. However, in these times of a prescription drug and opioid crisis, FDA approval does not make a drug safe – not by a long shot.

So you make your own conclusion. Serenity Springs stance is this: if you are seeking opioid alternatives, kratom is not a safe choice and we will continue to firmly discourage the use of kratom!

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REFERENCES


  1. Hicks, Jesse. “FDA Warns People Not to Use Kratom, Citing 36 Deaths.” Tonic, 15 Nov. 2017, tonic.vice.com/en_us/article/ne3mdq/fda-kratom-warning-deaths.
Greetings from Krokodil - Russia - postcard (blog image)

Krokodil: Greetings from Russia

September 15th, 2017 Posted by Awareness, Blog, Opioid Epidemic 0 comments on “Krokodil: Greetings from Russia”

Krokodil has made its way to the US and it has been wreaking havoc since the day it arrived. An incredibly powerful opioid, Krokodil in the US is putting law enforcement on high alert as it’s affordable and relatively easy to make, which makes it a dangerous replacement drug for those hooked on other opioids, such as heroin.

What is Krokodil?

Made in a manner similar to meth, Krokodil came from Siberia, cutting its path across Russia and the western countries in Europe. What is krokodil? Officially known as Desomorphine, this hardcore street drug is created with krokodil ingredients that include gasoline, paint thinner, lighter fluid, iodine, and hydrochloric acid.

While it acts like an opioid, providing sedative and pain relieving effects, Krokodil is different because it is cooked.

Increasing Availability

Krokodil in the US could not have come at a worse time, considering the opiate crisis the nation is facing in 2017. With its affordability and increasing availability, Krokodil is already being met with lethal consequences in this country as addicts turn to it for a fix when they can’t afford other, “higher-end” drugs.

Although the drug Krokodil is still much less known in the United States, with the majority of production still heavily focused in Russia, authorities are fearful that it will rapidly spread.

Deadliest Designer Drug

According to a fascinating article published in Time, “Krokodil… was the deadliest designer drug ever to sweep through Russia… it wound up ensnaring hundreds of thousands of addicts across the country, and it spread especially fast in poor, industrial areas.” The same article goes on to speak about the gruesome effects of this homemade drug, saying that the “flesh at the injection site would often rot away, while the tissues of the brain and other vital organs were severely eroded.”

Treatment is Urgent

The need for Krokodil drug treatment is urgent, as serious damage can be done with just one use. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse addiction, be sure to find a reputable drug addiction treatment center for them to get help from.

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New Jersey’s “Grey Death” Heroin

September 1st, 2017 Posted by Awareness, Blog, Opioid Epidemic 1 comment on “New Jersey’s “Grey Death” Heroin”

While the issue of heroin addiction has made headlines in New Jersey as of late, a new and even more frightening trend is shocking the state and the nation. Heroin addicts and others hooked on prescription drugs are turning to this highly potent mixture for their next fix known as “Grey Death,” and the result is lethal.

"Grey Death" heroin siezed from streets (buzzfeed.com)

“Grey Death”

According to experts, Grey Death is a mixture of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, and U-47700, producing a drug that can kill within seconds. Even one tiny grain of the cement-like substance is enough to be lethal. Some say that even touching it can be dangerous.

So, what exactly is this substance that New Jersey heroin addicts cannot wait to get their hands on?

Heroin, a natural opioid, is dangerous enough on its own. When you add fentanyl, which is known to be 100 times more powerful than heroin, and carfentanil, which is a synthetic opioid used to tranquilize large animals like elephants, it is no wonder that the result can so quickly cause fatalities.

U-47700

To top it all off, U-47700, or “pink”, is another synthetic opioid, one so powerful that less than 1 mg not only produces a high, but it can be instantly fatal. In October 2016 Serenity Springs’ Clinical Staff was interviewed by NBC News Orlando about the extreme dangers of this new potent opioid.

Get Help for Opioid Addiction

As one of the top drug rehab centers in Florida, Serenity Springs’ addiction center continues to treat heroin users who have all experienced a brush with these deadly new opioids. Serenity Springs’ Admissions Coordinator, Thomas Fain explains, “heroin use is like playing Russian Roulette regardless, but now it is more severe than ever. I am seeing more and more of these synthetic opioids, but more than ever they remain consistent with the Northeast tri-state area (New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut).”

With such a dangerous drug making its way to the streets of New Jersey, it is important that heroin users know there are options for opioid addiction. Current heroin users are more prone to try Grey Death and other deadly substances. Getting separated from the streets and admitted into a treatment center with a solution is vital!

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Eyeshadow kit with "druggie" labeled eye shadow inside

Sephora Promoting an Eyeshadow Called “Druggie”, Prompts Outrage

January 16th, 2017 Posted by Awareness, Blog, News 0 comments on “Sephora Promoting an Eyeshadow Called “Druggie”, Prompts Outrage”
While the nation is in the grips of a devastatingly deadly opioid epidemic, Sephora sought fit to trivialize and profit off of the pain and suffering wrought by addiction and death. (more…)

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The New Drug Dealer

November 23rd, 2016 Posted by Awareness, Blog, News 0 comments on “The New Drug Dealer”
Online shopping has given consumers the power of purchasing anything they desire at a click of their fingertips.

This includes drugs.  (more…)

Florida attorney general announces emergency order to outlaw dangerous drug U-47700 in Florida.

Dangerous Drug Outlawed in Florida

October 27th, 2016 Posted by Awareness, Blog, News, Opioid Epidemic 0 comments on “Dangerous Drug Outlawed in Florida”
A “new” and extremely dangerous drug has surfaced in Central Florida with 8 confirmed deaths already reported in the state and 80 nationwide.

(more…)

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