An opioid overdose can be a terrifying experience. When too much of a drug like heroin or fentanyl floods the brain, it can cause your breathing to stop. Sometimes you wake up, sometimes you don’t. But there’s a miraculous drug called naloxone or brand name Narcan that can reverse an opioid overdose and save your life.
Kratom, a strange plant from Southeast Asia has become one of the most controversial herbs in the United States. In this episode, Troy Farah breaks down the risks and potential benefits of this unique tree and why banning it would likely lead to a devastating increase in deaths in the opioid overdose crisis with Walter Prozialeck, a pharmacology professor at Midwestern University, who has a long-standing interest in herbal medicine, including marijuana and kratom. Topics discussed on this episode, recorded June 26, include why people use kratom, the pharmacokinetics of kratom alkaloids including actual overdose potential, cicadas infected with psilocybin-producing fungi, conspiracy theories about former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, and much more.
Read Prozialeck’s paper here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.05.003
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Producers: Christopher Moraff, Troy Farah, Zachary Siegel
Co-Producer: Aaron Ferguson
Music: Glass Boy, Ian Sutherland and Junglemire
Additional audio engineering: Troy Farah
Image Credit: Wikipedia / edit by Troy Farah
In response to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s outrageous supervised consumption op-ed in the New York Times, the Narcotica team speaks with Laura Thomas, of the Drug Policy Alliance, who broke down the obstacles harm reduction workers face in opening a site in the United States. Thomas, who is deputy state director at DPA, has been championing supervised consumption sites for over a decade, because she knows what the data says: SCS save lives.
But how long until we see a facility in the U.S.? We discuss the status of many projects in Washington, New York, and California, and what kind of fight we can expect from the Department of Justice.
Photo credit: Composite by Troy Farah
Dan Bigg, activist, visionary, and harm reduction pioneer, died on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. In this episode, Zach Siegel interviews journalist Max Blau, who has been researching the history of naloxone, about Bigg’s radical legacy.
You can follow Max on Twitter @MaxBlau
Photo credit: Nigel Brunsdon