6/10/2016 – In 1975 a study on kratom was published in the Bulletin on Narcotics and was based on the work of Suwanlert Sangun.
In Sangun’s words, he noted the following:
Kratom is indigenous to Thailand. Market gardeners, peasants and laborers often become addicted to kratom leaf use.
Addicted? Or does he mean physically dependent on the leaf to get through a dull workday of monotonous labor?
By definition, addiction is “using a substance compulsively despite negative consequences.”
The study then goes on to report, falsely I might add, that;
Because of the harmful effects which may result from the use of the kratom leaf, the Government of Thailand passed a law (Kratom Act 2486) which came into force on 3 August 1943 and by virtue of which it is forbidden to plant the tree; and existing ones are to be cut down.
What harmful effects? Darkened skin? Compared to the effects of Heroin, Morphine, OxyContin, Percocet and Fentanyl, kratom is a much safer alternative.
To begin with, Thailand banned kratom not because of it’s “harmful effects” but because of the fact that it ate into the revenue from opium sales. Kinda like the way Kratom interferes with the revenue from sale of Suboxone or Methadone.
We’re going down a very familiar path here people. It isn’t going to end well.
In fact, The TransNational Institute Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies in April 2011 came to the following conclusions:
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
- Kratom is an integral part of southern Thai culture. Criminalisation of kratom is unnecessary and counter-productive given decades of unproblematic use.
- In the absence of health and social harms, decriminalise use, possession and production of kratom and empower community leaders to control production and manage consumption.
- Revise thresholds for sentencing in regards to boiling 4×100, which should not be considered as the production of a new drug.
- Strengthen and reinforce national pharmaceutical control systems including compliance with prescription laws and policies at pharmacy level.
- Facilitate unhindered access to kratom for scientific research and explore medicinal properties, especially its potential as a substitution drug to manage alcohol and drug dependence.
- Inform and build the capacity of Thai media and the general population to present balanced evidence that does not stigmatize people who use kratom and 4×100.
Myths about kratom are abundant and propagated through a deliberate media misinformation campaign that seeks to paint kratom in a negative light and induces fear among parents and people who could probably benefit from this remarkable plant that has been used a remedy in southeast Asia for thousands of years.
In reviewing the literature about kratom use in Thailand, I have found not one instance where a person died from kratom use alone.
That said, it’s time to go to work debunking the top mainstream media myths about kratom, mainly that it “causes hallucinations” and “respiratory depression.”
Those things simply aren’t true and I’m going to demonstrate why.
DOES KRATOM CAUSE HALLUCINATIONS?
The media uses drug war propaganda from FDA and DEA websites, claiming that kratom causes “hallucinations, respiratory depression and addiction.”
Probably the most inaccurate claim about kratom is that it “causes hallucinations.” Next to that is the claim that it causes respiratory depression.
Let’s look at the first claim and examine it for authenticity.
DOES KRATOM CAUSE HALLUCINATIONS
The 1975 study further notes that:
Five to ten minutes after kratom consumption the user described himself as feeling happy, strong and active. The most important aspect for this kind of addict is a strong desire to work on his plot, in the rice field, or do other manual work.
Now, addicts typically don’t go to work. They don’t go piddling around in the garden. Addiction, by it’s very nature, renders people unable to function. We could argue for the idea of a “functioning addict” but that term is really an oxymoron.
An addict’s life is usually falling apart. The study failed to define addiction -yet they called these people-people who chewed kratom in order to deal with heavy manual labor under a scorching sun – addicts.
This “brilliant” study also noted that:
“He can work from morning until evening, even though it may be very hot and the sun bright at midday. Addicts are, however, afraid of the rain which causes.them to catch cold easily.”
Addicts are afraid of the rain? And the rain causes them to catch cold? A cold is caused by a virus, not rain.
It’s a common medical myth that being outside in the rain or cold makes you sick. So, it’s natural to assume that, by the same logic, working out in the rain or cold — or both — makes you sick. Neither, of course, is true. Being in rainy or cold conditions during exercise is not a direct cause of viruses like cold or flu. You must come into contact with a virus to contract these illnesses.
In fact, here’s the best explanation from a doctor that I could find:
“What I THINK it is, and for which there is no evidence for, is this:
Most people who get sick after being caught in the rain might have the following explanation.
They have prolonged exposure to the elements, which causes stress, which causes secretion of cortisone, which affects blood sugar, which affects the immune system. And if they happen to come in contact with a virus, of which there are many, they are more susceptible to getting sick.
So I think this is what perpetrates the myth that getting caught in the rain causes a cold.
So, as you can see, this study has more than it’s fair share of flaws. First, it failed to define addiction properly, instead it uses addiction in place of “physical dependence.”
The study then goes on to report five cases (yes, only five) of “kratom psychosis.”
In one case the person was an avid consumer of alcohol, two others were laborers who worked out in the hot sun every day with God knows what to eat.