Why use Kratom?
Kratom is an Asian botanical, traditionally used for pain and purchasable over the internet. Its primary alkaloid is mitragynine, an atypical partial mu-opioid receptor agonist with analgesic effects. Based on studies, kratom poses lower risks for respiratory depression and abuse than classical opioids.
Chronic pain in the previous 3 months was reported by 69%. General mental and physical health levels were close to the U.S. population mean. Major reasons for use included:
- To relieve pain, 91%
- To reduce depression, 64%
- To lessen anxiety, 67%
- To reduce or stop opioid use, 41% (87% reported effectiveness for opioid withdrawal, 80% for craving reduction, and 86% for pain relief).
Most respondents (76%) used kratom more than 100 times during their lives. Kratom-related withdrawal symptoms were reported by 10%, and most users (88%) did not meet DSM-5 criteria (on a checklist) for a kratom-related substance use disorder. Respondents were decidedly unconcerned about their kratom use and felt that pain treatment was effective (means on a 0–100 scale, 3 and 83, respectively).