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Are Any Drugs Harmless?

Many proponents of drugs like marijuana make the claim that it is harmless. So, too, do they claim that legal drugs like kratom and kava are entirely harmless. While it is true that these drugs are much less harmful than other “hard drugs” like heroin and cocaine, they still carry a variety of risks that should be understood by potential users.

Many of the misconceptions come from the belief that it is impossible to overdose on certain drugs. The potential for overdose exists in nearly all psychoactive substances, even marijuana. Marijuana overdoses are not deadly, which is why many people believe it does not have the potential to cause overdose. However, this refers to the natural, unaltered plant. With the rise of THC extractions and synthetic cannabinoids, the rates of overdose are rising. Fortunately, THC overdoses are not lethal, but they do carry a set of uncomfortable symptoms. According to Medscape, “Large doses of THC may produce confusion, amnesia, delusions, hallucinations, anxiety, and agitation, but most episodes remit rapidly. Long-term users may experience paranoia, panic disorder, fear, or dysphoria.”

Kratom, on the other hand, does have the potential to cause lethal overdoses. Scott Gottleb, commissioner of the FDA, said in a release, “Scientific data we’ve evaluated about kratom provides conclusive evidence that compounds contained in kratom are opioids and are expected to have similar addictive effects as well as risks of abuse, overdose, and in some cases, death.” Much of the confusion about kratom’s potential to cause overdose comes from the belief that, because it is legal and natural, it must be safe. Kate Gibson, in a 2018 CBS News article entitled FDA Raises Death Count from Kratom, a Natural Opioid, explains, “With the U.S. in the midst of an opioid epidemic, the agency is concerned that people are viewing kratom as a natural alternative to prescription drugs, when there’s little to no difference between them.” People do report using kratom safely and effectively to stop using illicit opiates like heroin, but kratom does contain opioids and is capable of causing addiction and many other negative health consequences.

The idea that any psychoactive substance is completely harmless is false. Marijuana, for example, may be extremely difficult to overdose on, but this does not mean they are entirely harmless. Benzodiazepine overdoses are also very rare, but benzodiazepines are well known as an extremely destructive drug. The potential for harm exists in all mind and mood altering substances, but many people are unaware of their possible side effects.

Resilient House, a treatment facility located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, provides a breathtaking setting in a tranquil and serene environment where clients can safely explore issues and trauma that may have contributed to the onset of the addiction and work toward a full life of recovery and long-term sobriety. For information about highly effective treatment options, please call today: (833) 232-6432