“Kratom is more similar to caffeine and sugar than it is to any of the illegal substances that the DEA is comparing it to. Kratom has received a lot of attention lately, as any new, exciting substance does when it becomes popular. This attention has led to a debate about whether Kratom is safe for the public.
There are two sides to the Kratom debate – those who think that using this herb is harmful and similar to using bath salts or other dangerous drugs and those who feel that it is a harmless herb that can provide numerous health benefits.” Source: Kratom Nation
It’s not the substance you use, it’s how you use it. A majority of people who use kratom do so responsibly, just like a majority of drinkers. And alcohol kills- kratom doesn’t.
If you are consuming so much sugar and caffeine that it causes you to develop heart disease, diabetes and other related diseases that are a direct consequence of what you choose to eat and drink, then that is an addiction. It is an addiction using perfectly legal substances found at every corner gas station in America.
But if you are taking kratom instead of pain pills and working outside in the garden, cleaning your house, spending time with your family and being productive in a healthy way as opposed to what you were doing on pharmaceutical drugs, like sleeping 12 hours a day and wishing you were dead, that’s the opposite of addiction.
Some anti-kratom folks make it seem like people are just trading one addiction for another when using kratom to get off harsh opiates.
The main argument for banning kratom in Bama was that it was “too strong to be in gas stations” and that it should be a decision made between “a patient and a qualified health care provider.”
Roughly 8.2% of the American population aged 12 and older had a Substance Use Disorder in 2013. (Reference) So, that leaves a lot of the population who don’t need help.
In the recent CNN article, Dr. Edward Boyer was quoted as saying this about being able to buy kratom online or in a head shop:
“Providing something that you can just walk into a head shop and purchase … you eliminate getting true professional help,” he said.
Why does he think “professional help” is the standard, one size fits all answer for every individual?
In fact, not everyone has medical insurance. The poor person with chronic pain who can’t work is a good example. Does this doctor live in some sort of alternate reality?
I’d like Dr. Boyer to consider what it’s like for a chronic pain patient with no insurance and little to no income. Going to the doctor is THE LAST THING ON OUR TO DO LIST.
“True professional help,” eh? See, this is where Boyer and CNN are being sly. What they aren’t telling people is that there are MILLIONS of us who DID spend hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars (in my case it was about 100 grand) on “professional help.” None of which worked. I got worse, never better. They are trying to get people to keep believing that the ONLY help anyone should have is THEIR kind. The kind they sell for a lot of time and money. You see, it takes MY time to drive to the doctor. It takes MY time to sit in a waiting room for an hour only to be seen for 5 minutes. It takes MY time to go to the pharmacy. And God forbid I don’t have any insurance. Why? Because in my case I went to doctors for 25 years and only got worse. Nothing changed. Plus, not everyone has money to give Pain Management $150-250 every month. Not everyone has a car. Not everyone has insurance. Not everyone has the ability to “get professional help” even if they WANTED to.
Personally speaking, I’m done with “professional help.” And as an American I would like the option to either see a doctor, or NOT. I shouldn’t be forced. And that’s basically what it comes down to.
I’ll give you an illustration from my own life. This is how many times I received “Professional help” which cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars.
PROFESSIONAL HELP: A TIMELINE
1984: 90 days at Barclay psychiatric hospital
1986: Hazelden 28 day inpatient treatment program
1996: Adult Residential Treatment at Lakeview
2006: 12 Oaks Residential Treatment Center & New Beginnings Halfway House
2008: Serenity House, Loveland Colorado, Halfway House
And from 2006-2011 hospitalized at a psychiatric hospital, each time for 3 days for “stabilization.”
Over a period of 25 years sought and received “professional help” at the cost of approximately $100,000 over my lifetime.
In the end, quit on my own. Didn’t go to rehab, didn’t seek “professional help” because in the end, realized that the problem isn’t “out there” the problem is “in here” (the head and the heart.)
Using my own brand of reflection and self help techniques (I pray, I do Yoga, I swim, I listen to a lot of Wayne Dyer motivational stuff, I read Zen Buddhist teachings, watch free motivational videos on YouTube and develop healthy friendships with people I want to be like when i grow up.)
Basically, I grew up, accepted responsibility for my own happiness and took the bull by the owns. There are way too many free resources online to have any excuses for not getting help if that’s what you want. And let’s face it, if you’re an addict, chances are, you don’t have thousands of dollars to get “professional help.”
So stop acting like you care about us addicts. You care about our money. If we didn’t give you money, you wouldn’t be doing this in the first place. One can easily show people how to achieve serenity and greatness without charging anything. It’s done all the time.
(Editor’s Note: This article is in no way attempting to “fat shame” anyone. Being overweight isn’t healthy at a certain point. When it begins to cause health problems, it’s beyond a “vanity” thing.)
Additionally, while the CNN article did mention that kratom does not cause respiratory depression, it made it sound like everyone who has a medical condition MUST seek professional help. Many of us already went that route and I don’t like where this country is headed in terms of FORCING people to go to the doctor. Doctors don’t always have the answers.
In fact, as another example from my own life, I recently gave up coffee because it was no longer working the same way it did in the beginning and I also learned that caffeine is detrimental to those with autoimmune disorders (I have several) and can impact thyroid health.
Using sugar as a child and alcohol in my teens affected my adrenal glands, and by my early teens I already had adrenal exhaustion disguised as depression, BPD and Bipolar Disorder. I didn’t know that then, but I know it now. I went on to use cocaine for 20 years because I was ALWAYS TIRED, which exhausted my adrenals even further.
Fast forward to last week when I gave up coffee. By day two I was having auditory hallucinations from lack of coffee (I was drinking 3-6 cups a day at the height of my dependence on caffeine) and lack of adequate sleep.
(I am willing to bet those fellas in Thailand, you know those farmers who worked 16 hours a day in the hot sun were suffering from lack of adequate nutrition, over exhaustion, as well as many other things that the silly 1975 by Salwanert Sangun forgot to mention. )