PSU studies use of kratom to treat drug addicts
A Prince of Songkla University (PSU) research team is conducting trials on the use of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) to treat drug addicts.
Kratom was removed from Thailand’s list of banned narcotics on August 24.
Prof Dr Somchai Sriwiriyajan, chief of the university’s Department of Pharmacology under the Faculty of Science, said the team has been studying the use of kratom for a long time, and the lifting of the ban is helping speed up the study.
The team is studying kratom extract to see if it can be used to ease withdrawal symptoms of people addicted to opioids like heroin and morphine. Normally, the chemical methadone is used to treat withdrawal symptoms and this drug is imported.
Somchai said research shows that kratom can effectively help people give up drugs. PSU is currently trying out the extract’s efficacy on lab rats before it moves on to human trials. The professor said he hopes the final product will meet clinical standards and gets approved by the Thai Food and Drug Administration.