The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Kratom Lobby
Rep. Kristin Jacobs of Florida is fighting the good fight:
“It’s a scourge on Society”
Waging a war on what she describes as:
“a powerful lobby with a lot of money”.
A war so intense, that her proposed legislation, House Bill 183, which died in the Florida Criminal Justice Subcommittee back in May of this year, would have caused this powerful lobby to:
“lose a lot of money if they aren’t able to continue profiting off the misery of addicts.”
In a state ranked 8th for fatal painkiller overdoses per 100,000 people, Rep. Jacobs is utilizing her unfaltering bravery and staunch righteousness to go after the very scourge on society that is:
No, that’s not quite right.
Ok, here we go…
A lobby so nefarious and wealthy, that it’s buying politicians left and ri-
That’s actually not quite right.
That doesn’t sound like an extremely powerful lobbying presence.
The pharmaceutical industry, on the other hand, donates tens of millions a year to super PACs and politicians.
This includes, of course, the small but generous donation that Rep. Kristin Jacobs received from Merck & Company: the same company that brought Vioxx to the market, a painkiller that killed an estimated 60,000 people before it was discontinued.
Rep. Jacobs represents a county that had a reported 582 opioid overdoses in 2016 alone, yet she relentlessly pursues an herb that has not a single proven death to its name.
Unfortunately for Kratom advocates and recovering opioid addicts alike, inappreciable politicians are not the only enemy. In August of last year, the DEA announced that it would use its emergency scheduling authority to reclassify Kratom as a schedule 1 drug, only to be met with overwhelming backlash.
Through public demonstrations, thousands of calls to Congress and a White House petition that garnered over 120,000 signatures, the DEA was forced to withdraw its notice of intent; a major win for the Kratom community.
However, activists may now be faced with a seemingly larger threat, the FDA: an organization that has already seized and destroyed numerous shipments of Kratom at multiple international mail facilities, along with issuing this very unambiguous statement:
“The FDA must use its authority to protect the public from addictive substances like kratom, both as part of our commitment to stemming the opioid epidemic and preventing another from taking hold”.
But of course, this statement runs adjacent to the majority of studies on Kratom, including a paper published last December in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, which concluded that:
“in pure herbal form, when taken at moderate doses of less than 10 to 15 g, pure leaf kratom appears to be relatively benign in the vast majority of users.”
The FDA clearly loves to caricature Kratom as a pernicious opiate with addictive properties that rival heroin; even going so far as to claim that Kratom is responsible for 36 deaths without ever mentioning the accompanying amphetamines that were found in the majority of those victim’s bodies.
Instead of listening to the research, or at the very least calling for more of it, the FDA is confiscating, advising against, and potentially outlawing an herb that could possibly save thousands of lives in the fight against opioid addiction.
Kratom and Opioid Addicts
In an anonymous survey taken in April of this year, researchers asked 500 recovering addicts who were currently enrolled in a 12-step-residential program, how and why they use Kratom.
Out of the 500 respondents, 68.9% reported having used Kratom to reduce or abstain from opioids, while 64.1% reported using Kratom as an absolute substitute.
33% of all Kratom users polled stated that Kratom, “was a helpful substance” and that they “would try it again”.
This survey adds yet another data-point to an ever-expanding body of research and personal reports that attest to Kratom’s benefits for opioid addicts.
Construction worker W/ back pain that became manageable through the use of Kratom.
Was on 13 medications, attempted suicide five times prior to using Kratom.
Kratom contains a large array of different alkaloids, a few notable ones include:
- Mitragynine — Kratom’s most active alkaloid. It works on the μ-opioid receptors of the brain as a partial agonist, meaning it activates the opioid receptors at a much lesser degree than drugs like Oxycodone or Morphine. Mitragynine is largely responsible for Kratom’s analgesic properties.
- Speciogynine — A muscle relaxant.
- Ajmalicine — A muscle relaxant and anti-coagulant.
- Epicatechin — An antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
- 7-hydroxymitragynine — Has a potency that is 17-fold higher than morphine and like Mitragynine, it is also a partial agonist of the μ-opioid receptors.
A low dose of Kratom is stimulating and mildly euphoric, whereas a larger dose is similar to an opiate.
It was like tension was released from the very bottom of my soul. I felt a very light opiate-like warmth, but by no means was there a rush. The very peak of this feeling, to me, felt like the late come-down feeling of a normal opiate. I was relaxed and slightly euphoric, but most importantly: I felt as though the hole within me that was the result of my past drug use was filled.
In small doses, kratom feels to work like coffee or tea, without the ‘jitters’ produced by caffiene or amphetimine-like stimulants. I often take a tsp of powder before breakfast, instead of coffee. I have also found that small doses are a wonderful addition to a pre-workout snack.
And even, a recommended medicinal plant
Over the last two years, kratom has become one of my favourite plant allies. In terms of frequency of consumption, I now use kratom on two to four days out of the week. This puts it third, behind yerba mate and marijuana, for how often I consume the plant. These days I generally take kratom for one or two days, and then take a break of a day or two to let my tolerance die down.
Kratom is clearly an herb with a wide array of therapeutic properties. Claiming otherwise — especially in an attempt to outlaw or confiscate — is plainly irresponsible and potentially destructive.
Thanks for reading.