Factor 5: the scope, duration, and significance of abuse
Kratom has been proven that not only is it beneficial, there is very little abuse of it, and has low risks of any adverse effects.
…there appears to be little, if any, abuse of kratom in the US. To the extent to which benefits are provided by consumption of kratom-derived products, these appear possible with remarkably low risks of serious adverse effects as compared to opioids and there is little evidence or apparent risk that kratom products are used by routes other than oral beverage or food consumption, even though it is certainly theoretically possible to smoke, snort, or inject kratom extracts.
There are basically four themes that are derived from kratom users. Neutral and substitution of unwanted substances make up 21.6%. One worthy note is because kratom can have adverse effects, i.e. stomachache, nausea, etc., 8.7% of the people didn’t even bother pursuing further. This adds further evidence that kratom is unlikely to experience abuse.
Four general themes emerged as associated with kratom product consumption (see Swogger et al. 2015 for greater detail): (1) Positive experiences was the most prominent theme with euphoria occurring in 30.4% of the respondents especially at high dosages, relaxation in 23.6%, and increased energy in 8.7%. (2) Negative experiences including nausea, stomachache, and cramping occurred in 16.1%. This included alternating chills and sweats in 9.3%, dizziness and unsteadiness in 6.8%, and vomiting in 3.1%. (3) Neutral experiences occurred in about 10% of the respondents, which included numbness of the throat and mouth, visual alterations, and sedation. (4) Substitution occurred in 10.6%, meaning that 10.6% used kratom as a substitute for an unwanted substance.
The one survey that stood out most, was the ability for kratom to aid people with a number of sickness, pain, etc.
The Pain News Network (2017) conducted an online survey of over 6400 kratom consumers resulting in 6150 respondents for analysis. Treatment for chronic or acute pain was the most common reason for use (51.34%), followed by treatment for anxiety (14.15%), opioid addiction or dependence (9.24%), and depression (8.83%). For treatment of pain kratom was rated as “very effective” by 90.38%, and somewhat effective by 7.17%. 98.06 answered “no” to the question: “Do you think kratom is harmful or dangerous substance?” To the question, “Can you get “high” from using kratom?” 75.03% answered “no”, 22.58 answered “a little”, and 2.40 answered “yes”. In response to questions concerning what kratom consumers were likely to do if kratom is classified as a controlled substance and made illegal, 68.76% endorsed “use opioids to treat pain”, 66.19% endorsed “become more likely to be addicted and overdose on other substances”, and 51.55% “become more likely to consider suicide”. In response to the question “If kratom is made illegal, will you personally seek to buy kratom on the black market?” 17.10% endorsed “yes”, 43.26% endorsed “not sure”, and 29.63% endorsed “no”.
As expected, factor 5 became an authoritative proof that kratom is very useful, with very little, if any evidence of abuse.
The testimonials provide qualitative and personal insights that complement the quantitative and qualitative surveys by Dr. Grundmann and by the Pain News Network. The profile that emerges is that kratom is consumed primarily for therapeutic and quality of life enhancing reasons.