Activity Date: 04/27/2020
Led by the Substance Use Disorders Strategies Community
Following reports of several deaths related to kratom use, the DEA has identified kratom as a substance of concern. Indigenous to Southeast Asia, the leaves of the kratom plant have been used both medicinally and as a stimulant for migrant workers for centuries. The unique pharmacologic properties make it difficult to classify, but kratom’s opioid-like effects appeal to opioid-users who wish to self-manage their withdrawal symptoms. This “natural” opioid replacement may not be so innocent, as literature supports the potential for developing a “use disorder” by DSM-5 standards. This idea exchange will lay the groundwork for what kratom is and how it is causing roadblocks for treating our patients. Some of the primary issues to be discussed include legal status, urine drug screens, challenges in treating kratom use as “opioid use disorder”, and consideration for adding “kratom use disorder” to the DSM-5 in hopes of generating targeted treatments. Participants will be encouraged to bring their own cases and challenges ready to discuss.
Matt Karow, PharmD
Haley Pals, PharmD