Herbal Remedies Aren’t Medications
“Ultimately, pharmacogenetics can be expected to provide a basis for the personalized treatment of addiction by matching specific medications to patients based on their genetic characteristics, enhancing treatment efficacy and reducing the risk of adverse effects.”
~ Clinical Manual of Addiction Pharmacology, edited by Drs. Henry Kranzler, M.D., Dominic Ciraulo, M.D., and Leah Zindel, R. Ph., M.A.L.S.
Some treatment centers advertise “all-natural” treatments with nutritional and herbal supplements. This is the exact opposite of a scientific, evidenced-based strategy.
The nutritional supplement market is HUGE – more than half of all Americans have taken some kind of supplement within the past year. By 2021, vitamins, minerals, and supplements will generate approximately $60 billion in revenue annually.
Purportedly, there are pills, powders, and preparations for virtually every ailment known to man – including addiction. Some of these make sense. For instance, Vitamin B1 supplements can help counter the malnutrition and thiamine deficiency caused by chronic alcoholism.
But other supplements can be ineffective or even dangerous. Take Kratom, for example. It has been marketed as a “safe and effective” alternative to both methamphetamine and opioids. It was promoted as being effective for withdrawal from either of these drugs. At one point, there were up to 5 million Kratom users in the United States.
But here’s the thing – many supplements make all sorts of outlandish claims that have been not verified by a reputable source, such as the US Food and Drug Administration. Often, the promised benefits turn out to be nonexistent or at best, negligible.
The problem is compounded further when such supplements are ordered online from overseas suppliers. Depending upon the country of origin, there can be an extreme lack of acceptable standards. Far too frequently, there are issues with purity or adulteration.
And sometimes, the FDA does step in and perform tests that contradict what has been claimed. In February 2018, the FDA officially classified Kratom as an opioid, saying that it was not “safe or effective for any medical use.”
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