University of Hertfordshire

  • Darshan Singh
  • Suresh Narayanan
  • Balasingam Vicknasingam
  • Walter C Prozialeck
  • Kirsten Elin Smith
  • Ornella Corazza
  • Jack E Henningfield
  • Oliver Grundmann
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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Addiction Medicine
Early online date17 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 May 2021

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa Korth.), an indigenous medicinal plant, has been widely used as a traditional remedy in Southeast Asia. However, its combined consumption with other substances has received scarce attention. This study investigates the use of kratom among adults with a history of using heroin and methamphetamine in Malaysia.

METHODS: A total of 332 patients who were mandated to undergo drug rehabilitation participated in this cross-sectional study. The study data were collected through face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire.

RESULTS: The majority were males (95%, n = 314/332) and Malays (98%, n = 325/332) with a mean age of 32.3 years (SD = 9.16). Over two thirds of the respondents used kratom to alleviate heroin withdrawal symptoms and to reduce methamphetamine intake; 59% used it as a substitute for heroin and methamphetamine. A similar proportion used kratom to reduce heroin intake (58%), while only 15% used it for its euphoric effects. Multivariate analysis showed that previous attendees of government rehabilitation programs had lower odds of using kratom as a heroin substitute.

CONCLUSIONS: The potential of kratom to alleviate heroin withdrawal symptoms, and to reduce methamphetamine and heroin intake, among people who co-use heroin and methamphetamine warrants further research.

Notes

© 2021 American Society of Addiction Medicine.

ID: 25242260