Canada is experiencing record numbers of deaths from opioid overdoses. In 2017, there were an estimated 4000 drug overdose deaths in the country. A substance that may be able to put a dent in that number is worth looking into.
Kratom is a leafy plant from South East Asia, from the coffee family. It’s an ancient drug, traditionally used to relieve pain, increase energy, appetite, and sexual desire. It was also known to be used as an opium substitute in the 18th & 19th centuries.
In 2013, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said Kratom had no legitimate medical use.
Recently, the FDA issued a health advisory against the plant, which some claim is spreading misinformation about its dangers, and not backed up with any scientific evidence.
Currently, Kratom can be sold legally in Canada in a powdered form, but only for aroma therapy purposes. At this time it has not been approved for consumption by Health Canada.
In the first part of our series on Kratom, we hear from experts such as Dr. Edward W. Boyer of Harvard, and Angela Watson and David Derian of the Botanical Education Alliance.
Later in the series, hear stories from users of Kratom who say it has improved - and maybe even saved - their lives.
Host and Producer: Karla Stephens-Tolstoy
Editor and Co-Producer: Joel at East Coast Radio Creative