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Boyer to New York Times: Beware of kratom

By Lisa M. Larson

UMass Medical School Communications

January 05, 2016
  Edward Boyer, MD, PhD
 

Edward W. Boyer, MD, PhD, professor of emergency medicine and co-author of several scientific articles on kratom.

A medicinal herb from Southeast Asia called kratom is being sold as a healthier alternative to opiates for recovering addicts, but a UMass Medical School expert who has studied the drug warns it may be just as dangerous, according to a Jan. 2 story in The New York Times.

“It’s a fascinating drug, but we need to know a lot more about it,” Edward W. Boyer, MD, PhD, professor of emergency medicine and a co-author of several scientific articles on kratom, is quoted in the story. “Recreationally or to self-treat opioid dependence, beware—potentially you’re at just as much risk” as with an opiate.

The drug itself is addictive, the Times reports, and it is rising in popularity and availability across the country. Dr. Boyer has studied people who self-treat their drug addiction with kratom as a remedy for opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Read the full New York Times story here: Kratom, an Addict’s Alternative, Is Found to Be Addictive Itself

Related links on UMassMedNow:
DNP drug users risk ‘literally baking to death,’ Boyer tells Reuters
UMMS toxicologists Babu, Boyer discuss complexities of opioid crisis on WBUR’s Morning Edition