The use of alternative therapies to treat opioid addiction has been on the rise as of late, but a decision by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) last week has cast some doubt on those seeking to forgo opioid-based treatments. The DEA defended its decision to fire an ‘outstanding’ Special Agent for using CBD as an alternative to opioid-based medication, raising serious questions about the way alternative therapies are regarded by the agency.
1) The DEA’s Troubling Decision
The recent decision by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to classify Kratom (also known as Mitragynine) as a Schedule 1 drug – the most restrictive schedule for controlled substances in the US – has sparked widespread debate and concern among kratom advocates.
Notably, there has been an alarming lack of scientific evidence and consultation within communities in favor of keeping kratom legal. Proponents of legalization cite the numerous benefits of kratom, such as:
- Pain relief
- Boosts in energy and focus
- Relief from anxiety and depression
Adding to their concerns is the financial burden and limitations that Schedule 1 status puts on legitimate research, a move that goes against the current trend of states choosing to legalize medicinal marijuana and hemp-based CBD products.
That said, the DEA’s decision to put kratom in the same camp as drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy seem unjustified and troubling, and those directly impacted are understandably concerned about their futures and the welfare of the kratom industry. It will be interesting to see how the situation unfolds and if full-scale legalization is again put on hold.
2) Controversial but Revolutionary: The Use of CBD
As the discussion around alternative treatments and remedies grows, one naturally occurring compound rises to the forefront: CBD. This extract from the cannabis plant has gained attention for its wide-ranging potential benefits and uses. From relieving stress and anxiety to reducing inflammation, CBD is thought by many to be the go-to for various medical issues.
But while the potential benefits of CBD are being heralded, its use remains a controversial topic. This is primarily due to its possible connection with marijuana, which is still illegal in many places around the world. Despite this, CBD continues to be studied and utilized by those looking for relief from certain conditions. It’s appeal is strong and shows no sign of slowing in the near future.
- CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, though it does not contain any of the psychoactive compounds commonly associated with marijuana.
- Though CBD is widely touted for its potential health benefits, its use remains controversial as it is still associated with marijuana in many places.
- Its appeal is growing and shows no sign of slowing as more and more people are discovering its potential.
3) An Excellent Agent Let Go for a Good Cause
An excellent agent is like the driving force behind any business. They provide guidance, services, and execution all at once. Unfortunately, it can be the case that even an essential team member needs to be let go. In the case of the company ABC, this was the unfortunate yet necessary path they had to take.
When the Covid-19 lockdown began in the region, ABC realized that in order to survive, they needed to make the difficult decision of laying off one of their valued team members. The agent was not only talented but also well-liked in the community. Despite this, all involved realized the necessity for such an action.
- A Challenging Decision. Laying off essential personnel can be one of the toughest decisions to make for a business.
- Commendable Action. However, sometimes such a choice is needed to ensure the overall profitability of the company. It takes courage to make such courageous decisions.
The agent expressed their understanding and gratitude, with ABC thanking them for the work they had provided. It was a difficult parting, yet both parties recognized the importance of making the best out of a difficult situation.
4) Examining the Consequences of the DEA’s Action
The impact of the DEA’s action is far-reaching, and some of the consequences can be difficult to predict. In general terms, two of the key effects are:
- Price Fluctuations: In some cases, the controlled substances released by the DEA may be subject to temporary price changes due to the sudden availability of the drug. On the flipside, if the drug’s availability is constricted, prices may climb.
- Ripple Effects: One consequence that could have long-term ramifications is that the regulations imposed by the DEA may cause a ripple effect that changes the way certain states conduct their drug-related interventions.
These effects are only the tip of the spear. Because the DEA’s actions could affect the market on a grand scale, long-term consequences may not be visible for many years. All in all, the simplest advice would be to stay vigilant—periodic reviews of market trends are likely to uncover the various implications of the DEA’s actions.
Using CBD as an opioid alternative is gaining traction in the medical community, with multiple studies now offering evidence of its effectiveness in treating chronic pain. While the DEA is certainly entitled to its opinion, their decision to fire a single “outstanding” special agent who experimented with CBD remains highly questionable. It is our hope that the DEA will examine the newly discovered potential of CBD more objectively in the future, and finally accept the non-intoxicating cannabinoid for the medical marvel that it is.