The Ban of Kratom?

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s possible blacklisting of the drug known as Kratom (pronounce with a short “a”) or Kratom (pronounce with a long “a”) has been delayed. Story, photos and audio by Caroline Southfield

Amid user outcry, on October 13th, 2016, the DEA backed away from the previous threat of a ban, and instead opened a formal comment period to investigate the issue further.

Kratom is used for chronic pain, opiate withdrawal and addiction, as well as for recreational purposes.

Audio Story

Caroline Southfield has more on this story with an anonymous user and his thoughts on the DEA’s intentions to make it a Schedule I drug in this audio story, above and here:

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

Healthy Spoonfuls?

When the DEA filed an intent to make Kratom a schedule I substance, many of its users expressed outrage.

Many of them say they don’t use it to just get high but for chronic pain or to help them quit harder drugs, such as heroin or prescription pills. A former heroin addict and current Kratom user, who wishes to stay anonymous, shared his thoughts on the possible ban.

“This will do a lot more harm than good. It helps a lot of people. Everyone that uses it for pain or addiction is gonna have nothing now,” he said.

A Ban Delayed

On September 29th, the day before the ban was initially scheduled to take place, the DEA released a statement saying that there was now no longer a timetable in place for the ban.

This could be because of the Kratom community coming together to fight the ban. There was a petition with over 140,000 signatures disagreeing with the DEA’s decision as well as a letter signed by over 50 members of the House of Representatives that was sent to the DEA urging them to delay the ban on Kratom due to its potential medical benefits .

“The community response to the Kratom ban has been a lot better than I expected,” the anonymous user told us. “I think it’s possible that the ban might not go through. It seems hopeful to me and I want to believe that it won’t go through.”

The Toss and Wash

Kratom can be taken in several different ways, using its crushed leaves to make a tea, taking powder-filled capsules, or one of the most common methods of ingestion, the ‘toss & wash’ way, as our anonymous user explains.

“The ‘toss & wash’ method involves weighing your dose on a digital scale, adding that powder to a cup, which then you add water to, then you chase it down with soda or juice or some other beverage,” the anonymous user said.

If the DEA decides to not ban Kratom, the user community says it will be a huge victory. But in September a DEA spokesman warned that the issue is not “if” kratom will be banned but “when”.

Audio, Photos and Story by Caroline Southfield for the Reynolds Sandbox

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