Ah Kratom. I still remember tasting this Godsend for the first time five years ago (June 2011, to be exact) in a secluded gem called Garden of the Ancients. Nestled deep in the hills of Travis County, TX. After receiving a physical a few weeks beforehand, I had been diagnosed with an abnormally high liver enzyme count. This was due to prescription painkillers I was using to treat fluctuating pain and stiffness in my right knee caused by breaking my femur a few years’ prior while playing football. With that diagnosis it became evident to me that it was time to stop gobbling down pharmaceutical opioids like tic-tacs and search for a legitimate alternative.
Medical Cannabis certainly crossed my mind, but I was still living in Texas at that time, which was still deep in the dark ages on that issue. I knew I couldn’t rely on the street to provide me with quality medicine whenever it was needed, especially after witnessing DEA agents raid an apartment above mine.
So there I was peering at a few bags of Kratom powder, when a sympathetic employee came by and offered me a liquid sample after hearing of my current predicament.
Within minutes, the pain in my knee vanished. I felt quite relaxed, but completely functional, unlike the pharmaceutical painkillers which tended to dull my senses. This on the other hand, seemed to heighten my senses, in a creative way I must say. At that moment, I realized I was finally free. Free from the poison that was slowly tearing away at my liver. Previously, in order to keep pain at a tolerable level I needed the prescription painkillers almost every single day. Yet after I began using Kratom, my pain tolerance increased as weeks passed. Now, five years later, I only need it for pain once a week at most, even while working a physically demanding overnight job, which a few years ago I would’ve never dreamed possible. Thanks to Kratom, I can now live a normal life, without the fear of liver damage or succumbing to a ‘pill a day’ lifestyle. However, I’m only one of thousands, possibly millions, who have benefitted from the use of Kratom. It has proven to be an effective method to weaning people off of pharmaceutical opioids and Heroin, by eliminating any withdrawal symptoms that would come as a result of quitting them. And unlike Methadone or Subuxone, it will not kill you as a result of an overdose.
Pain relief is not the only benefit I received from using Kratom, but anxiety relief as well. Back in 2011before I discovered it, agoraphobia haunted my consciousness daily for nearly that whole year of high school. After I began using Kratom later that summer, I can honestly say that I have not suffered a panic attack within the past five years. The perfect way to describe what it feels like to be on Kratom can be defined simply by a lyric from Pink Floyd: Breathe, breathe in the air. Don’t be afraid to care. We all deserve to give in to that kind of sensation every once in a while. That’s simply what it is, relaxation, without the disorientating effects from something like Alcohol or Xanax. The worst that can happen if you take too much Kratom is nausea and vomiting. Certainly not something anyone would want to experience, but that's as far as the danger goes. This can easily be avoided however, as long as you follow proper dosage guidelines:https://erowid.org/plants/kratom/kratom_dose.shtml. Alcohol on the other hand, could have you waking up next to a girl that you had no memory of meeting before; who fed you hallucinogenic mushrooms without your knowledge. I won't admit whether this is my personal experience or someone else's, but you get the gist of which of the two is actually safer to use.
Yet as expected, it was too good to be true. On September 30th it appears that history is doomed to repeat itself; Kratom will become a Schedule 1 substance according to the DEA. It’s astonishing that this phlegmatic and peaceful herb is now under attack. The fact that such primitive laws are still possible in civilization makes me want to crawl under a rock somewhere and hibernate until we evolve from such nonsense. I feared this day would come, especially after corrupt companies like Krypton Kratom began spiking their Kratom with other chemicals like o-desmethyltramadol.
This is likely where the 15 death claim by the DEA has stemmed from (compare that to an average 100,000 deaths globally from Oxycodone). Although as most people who’ve used Kratom would know, it is impossible to die from Kratom on it's own. But if you mix it with an opioid like o-desmethyltramadol that’s another story of course. However, the same result can happen if you mix Xanax with Alcohol, but you don’t see the DEA rushing to ban those. Rather than panic, the FDA should regulate Kratom by making sure that vendors or smoke shops that sell it, don’t mix in any other chemicals like the company Krypton Kratom did. There’s always one bad apple that has to ruin it for the rest of us.
In my personal opinion, I fear that the DEA’s actual intention is not to protect the public at all.
When the FDA chooses to reduce the prescribing age of Oxycodone to age 11 on the same week of the Kratom ban announcement, it’s impossible to hide the fact that something’s amiss. This erratic behavior by the DEA is nothing new though, and we shouldn’t expect any better from an administration that was created by the ‘crook’ himself, Richard Nixon. However, let’s have a true look at the elephant in the room. The real criminals who are likely behind all of this without taking any heat for it: The Sackler family, who created Oxycodone and is reaping in an average of $3 billion dollars a year as a result.
It disgusts me how they continue to profit and live comfortably after creating an epidemic that kills an average of 100,000 people globally, (source: http://www.castlemedical.com/blog/full/On-Average-...) most notably the lives of Prince and Heath Ledger. Yet, a plant that could’ve saved their lives is now becoming illegal. Are we doomed to be propelled back into the dark ages of Reefer Madness? Resorting to unorthodox methods like burrowing kilos of Kratom in our walls like Cocaine until this two-year ban concludes? The 'Just Say No' campaign will probably attempt to oust us with uninformed propaganda (just like they foolishly did with cannabis), that will spread waves of paranoia across the U.S. and lead citizens that are gullible enough to believe it, to call for us to be rounded up like animals and treated like addicts. Just imagine how insane it would sound, to have Methadone (a drug that can cause a life-threatening heart-rhythm disorder if overdosed) used as a forced rehab treatment for Kratom users as the only alternative choice to serving time in prison.
Before the DEA makes this move they should really consider whom they are affecting. What about all of the people who were once Heroin addicts? Who’ve used Kratom to finally silence that menacing voice in their head that kept begging the hand of doom for another dose of Vietnam napalm?
Anyone who’ve been addicted to Heroin or prescription opioids before, know too well how terrifying this hypnotizing voice can be...
Well honey, before you start fooling with me,
just let me inform you of how it will be.
For I will seduce you and make you my slave,
I've sent men much stronger than you to their graves.
You think you could never become a disgrace,
and end up addicted to Poppy seed waste.
So you'll start inhaling me one afternoon,
you'll take me into your arms very soon.
And once I've entered deep down in your veins,
The craving will nearly drive you insane.
You'll swindle your mother and just for a buck.
You'll turn into something vile and corrupt.
You'll mug and you'll steal for my narcotic charm,
and feel contentment when I'm in your arms.
The day, when you realize the monster you've grown,
you'll solemnly swear to leave me alone.
If you think you've got that mystical knack,
then sweetie, just try getting me off your back.
The vomit, the cramps, your gut tied in knots.
The jangling nerves screaming for one more shot.
The hot chills and cold sweats, withdrawal pains,
can only be saved by my little white grains.
There's no other way, and there's no need to look,
for deep down inside you know you are hooked.
You'll desperately run to the pushers and then,
you'll welcome me back to your arms once again.
And you will return just as I foretold!
I know that you'll give me your body and soul.
You'll give up your morals, your conscience, your heart.
And you will be mine until, "Death Do Us Part"
-Take Me in Your Arms (Miss Heroin)
So after having to give up Kratom where else will they have to turn to when this haunting voice returns? I will not stand silently under this tyranny and neither will anyone else who’ve benefitted miraculously from this plant. These draconian laws have no place in today's society, and will only feed the Black Market.
Hopefully speaking out for everyone who’s benefitted from Kratom like me, won’t lead to any legal consequences once the Dark Ages arrive. But if so, the captain must go down with the ship.
Kratom has become a revolutionary herb, one that disintegrates the need for any of the poisons that pharmacies have been pushing on us. It has given many of those once crippled by prescription opioid or Heroin addiction a new outlook on life. Not only did it help me recover from my femur injury, it also helped me discover the joy of writing; by unlocking a creative side of my mind that once lied dormant. This is my success story, and there are many others like mine…