Kratom: Fear-worthy foliage or beneficial botanical?

Depending on what you read, kratom is a dangerous, addictive drug with no medical utility and severe side effects, including overdose and death, or it is an accessible pathway out of undertreated chronic pain and opiate withdrawal. How can the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), medical professionals, and millions of regular kratom users have such divergent views of the same plant?

What is kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical tree from the coffee family native to Southeast Asia, with properties that range from stimulant-like, energizing and uplifting, to opiate-like, causing drowsiness and euphoria. Kratom has dozens of active components, which makes it difficult to characterize as one particular type of drug such as “stimulant” or “opiate.” The two main chemicals, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, have strong activity at the main opioid receptor, the “mu” receptor, which is the same one stimulated by heroin and oxycodone. Kratom is commonly consumed orally, with added sweetener to overcome its harsh bitterness, made into tea or swallowed as a pill. Side effects can include agitation, tachycardia, drowsiness, vomiting, and confusion. There can also be grave side effects such as seizures, as well as respiratory and cardiac arrest.

Kratom can be found in gas stations and paraphernalia shops in most parts of the US, except in the handful of states and cities that have banned it. Many people purchase kratom over the Internet, where it is sold “for soap-making and aromatherapy” to avoid the fact that in 2014 the FDA made it illegal to import or manufacture kratom as a dietary supplement.

What are some of the problems with kratom?

There is little to no control or reliable information on the growth, processing, packaging, or labeling of the kratom sold in the US, which adds to the already considerable uncertainty of its health risks. In 2018 the FDA instituted a mandatory recall over concerns about Salmonella contamination of kratom-containing products. The DEA has recently placed kratom on its Drugs and Chemicals of Concern list, but has not yet labeled it as a controlled substance.

Kratom can be addictive due to its opiate-like qualities, and a small minority of users end up requiring addiction treatment. The CDC claims that between 2016 and 2017, there were 91 deaths due to kratom, but this claim should be greeted with skepticism, as all but seven of these casualties had other drugs in their system at the time of death, making it impossible to uniquely implicate kratom.

Why do people use kratom?

The DEA maintains that kratom has no medical uses or benefits, but in Asia kratom has been used for hundreds of years to treat cough, diarrhea, opiate withdrawal, and chronic pain, and to boost energy and sexual desire. More recently, in the US there has been an uptick in the use of kratom by people who are self-treating chronic pain and acute withdrawal from opiates and seeking alternatives to prescription medications. Despite a vocal community of supporters, and numerous anecdotal testimonials of effectiveness, these treatment practices using kratom have not been rigorously studied as either safe or effective.

A patient wishing to use kratom for pain or to mitigate withdrawal symptoms would encounter several problems, not all of which have to do with the intrinsic properties of kratom itself.

  • First of all, the DEA is threatening to make it a Schedule 1 controlled substance, in the same category as heroin or ecstasy, which would make it difficult to access, and would likely make the supply as a whole even more dangerous. Generally, it’s not a good idea to use something for pain or addiction which is about to become less available and less safe.
  • Secondly, the complete lack of oversight or quality control in the production and sale of kratom makes its use potentially dangerous.
  • Thirdly, kratom has not been well studied for any of the uses its proponents claim, though as the saying goes, “absence of evidence of benefit isn’t evidence of absence of benefit.”
  • A final problem is that kratom doesn’t show up on drug screens, and one can argue that the wider adaptation of another potentially addictive opiate-like substance in the midst of an opiate epidemic is the last thing we need.

Is there a sensible path forward with kratom?

I’m not sure that anyone has the answer to this question. At bare minimum, safety could be improved with:

  • Regulation: it would be safer if people knew the exact dosages they were consuming and that it was free of contamination.
  • Education: educated consumers, who know the dangers and potential benefits, are far less vulnerable to misleading claims.
  • Research: if it does have benefits for either addiction or chronic pain, we should know, and it is critical that we better define the risks of using kratom, so that people are more accurately informed.

If all of the above could somehow be accomplished, by scientists and public health specialists, without overdue distortion from corporate interests, antidrug ideology, and romanticism by kratom enthusiasts, we could then have enough clarity to answer the question: is kratom harmful or helpful?

Comments:

  1. Geoffrey Laredo

    You argue for more research and reasonable regulation. That makes a lot of sense, and is exactly the position of the American Kratom Association. (Transparency: I consult on policy issues for the AKA).

  2. Drayton Nay

    This is complete nonsense. Kratom has been used safely for hundreds of years. I know dozens of people taking it instead of opioids that would have killed many of them years ago. This is all about the Manufacturers of poison pills wanting to keep people addicted. Taking Kraton is like drinking tea every day. How do I know ? Millions have been taking it for hundreds of years and how many medicines have as clean a record ? Give it a rest and leave us who need it alone …. please.

  3. David Dockery

    I have been using kratom to treat my chronic pain for years and have had no issues at all. I like the way it helps my pain and it doesn’t have any side effects like the opiates I was on in the past. I see no reason why it should be banned. This is what always seems to happen to those of us who suffer from chronic pain. Just because some people abuse something doesn’t mean everyone does. I’m sure in time that this will be taken away again. It seems that the government just wants us to all be good alcoholics because that’s the only legal drug that never seems to be talked about in articles like this. The drug that kills more people than any other in the world seems to be totally acceptable. I would love to see what would happen if the DEA made alcohol a controlled substance!

  4. Mike

    So I guess my comment never got approved because the author of this post needs his safe space. Harvard education btw, really sad if this is the best a “Dr” From Harvard can figure out from simple Google searches.

  5. Paul

    I just read a book “Kratom Book” which tells a lot of the story of Kratom and its many variations of form and content. It is only 40 pages so it doesn’t take long to read. I got it to read for free as part of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. A few quick points:
    It talks about the danger of addiction when using concentrated forms of Kratom (Tincture and extract) but little danger from the common forms including leaf powder and capsules.
    It talks about the different colored leaf veins and the general effect each type has.

    I don’t really believe all the claims this book makes for the numerous different strains of Kratom. Still it is a good starting point to consider.

  6. Kelly Morris

    Destiny, your math is off here. There are 28 grams in an ounce. A kilogram is 1000 grams. If your kratom is $20 an ounce, then that $20 buys you 28 grams. There are 35.71 ounces in a kilogram. So, a “brick” of Kratom comes to $715. And if you are a heavy user, you can easily go through a brick a month. Especially if you’re abusing it. I can easily see how that woman could go through $600 a month.

    • RLSRelief

      Kelly, kilo of Kratom can easily be found for well under $150. Under $100 if one watches for deals. That would last a pretty brisk user, like myself (I use it for RLS) about 100 days. I know this because I live it, and my RLS is controlled with kratom for basically $1/day.

  7. Brigitte Bosch

    My doctor can no longer write for Methadone for my chronic pain and the pain clinic will only give steroid shots and I have not been tapered off my medicine so I have been cutting down 10 percent of my medicine every two weeks and drinking 2 grams of kratom a night and I am in no pain and no withdrawals. I need something for pain and even though cannabis is legal I cannot afford to buy it for everyday use . I have had no side affects and no breakthrough pain at all . Keep this legal and educate people on how much to take .

  8. Peter MacNeil

    Dear Peter Grinspoon, MD,
    Thank you for taking the time to write an article about Kratom that is not a copy and paste of FDA bias. I share your concerns about the lack of regulation for food and supplement safety. People have a right to know that the Kratom they buy is free from heavy metals and bacteria, as well as other contaminants. For now, the free market is working by reviews identifying vendors who have labs testing their products but I agree with you that it would be best practice to label Kratom as FDA approved, with all that it entails regarding safety and efficacy. For the latter we will have to wait for clinical trials but there is no reason for the lack of safety regulation.

  9. Michael Trainum

    As a long time kratom user I think banning it is a terrible idea. After 5 surgeries on one of my knees the doctors were more than happy to keep prescribing me all different kinds of Medicine. But when I found this plant it truly was a game-changer. I can take a little in the morning and a little in the afternoon and get through the day almost pain free. The people who take it responsibly should not have to suffer because of the people using it for all the wrong reasons. And yes I understand it can be a danger just like many other pain-killing chemicals but there’s nothing worse then when a few bad apples have to make everyone else’s lives harder. I buy my kratom from a reliable source I do have a problem with it being sold in gas stations across the u.s. more research and I agree more regulation needs to be done but Banning it is not the answer.

  10. Sandra

    I have been taking kratom for almost 2 years niw and never experienced half of the non sense bs they’d like you to believe. I can go without it and not have withdrawals like you do get from not taking narcotic based medications. Of which, I was on for over ten years.. I weened myself off of them because all the bs created when they realized they cannot keep abusers wether legally obtained or otherwise, from getting them and they decide once again to punish everyone including those of us that NEED that something stronger to help with our pains (ie. marijuana another example of something they lied to us about). Why, I cannot for the life of me see why besides possible payouts of large drug companies that are slowly losing money to these miracle medicinal ALL NATURAL GOD GIVEN PLANTS. Or the constant need of control of others lives. Let me tell you I’ve seen enough to know better.. If someone wants really drugs they’ll get them, if someone really wants guns they get them, if someone really wants to hurt themselves they will.. You may prolong it but in the process but if someone really wants to do something that bad, short of locking them up and throwing away the key, there’s not a whole lot anyone else but themselves can really do. (And for anyone thinking I’m saying don’t bother, that’s not what I’m saying either, try to help but in the end if someone wants something badly enough… Well all I can say is good luck and try but don’t try to use control and lies, it almost always backfires!)

  11. Kristian

    Kratom has completely improved my way of life. I have chronic pain, 4 kids and 2 jobs. It’s so tempting to try and buy painkillers illegally because some days I just can’t get going. Kratom has helped me to get through the days and play with my kids without a pill high (unless I mean to take a euphoric amount), my focus has improved, I’m eating better, less depressed….
    I do worry about becoming addicted, not to a high, but to being able to be normal and then finding out it’s dangerous. The worst side effect so far has been extreme sweating. My bowel movements are normal now too. Thanks for covering this! You are so understanding sounding for a dr. All my doctors treat me like a drug addict.

  12. Gerri

    I have been taking kratom for over a year no citalopram no hydrocodone no flexaril and it’s a good thing as I am waiting for insurance to approve Mri, I would have nothing for spinal stenosis right now. The pain while trying to work is brutal kratom for me last about 4 to 5 hours before I am woke from a dead sleep in pain

  13. Matthew G

    Thank you Dr. Grinspoon for a balanced article on the sensitive topic of kratom. This plant has saved my life, my siatica is so bad kratom has been a god send for helping my pain. On the topic of addiction potential, I think its fair to say kratom indeed has addictive properties. However, on an anecdotal note I have been using kratom for 3 years, sometimes months at a time with doses up to an ounce a day. I have not felt any form of withdrawal other then some mild discomfort. Coffee has been harder for me to quit, I feel depressed without my cup of Joe.

    Thank you for also advocating to not have it be made schedule one. I will say it to the day I die, but if I can walk into a supermarket and kill my self with a handle of vodka I feel kratom, a less harmful substance should be allowed. Many of the fear mongering towards Kratom is extreme reminiscent of Marijuana phobia.

    I hope as we move forward that this plant is protected. If it does become federally illegal trying to get It legalized at the state level is an option.

    Again thank you for your unbiased blog.

  14. The true Uncle Sam

    Switzerland went thru what could be considered the worst opioid crisis/epidemic in recent history. Any respectable and educated person would note and highly consider the actions, notably the change of laws by the swiss government and the results and final outcomes of those actions and changes. No doubt any logical person would conclude that the US needs an overhaul of the US Drug Policy and the political will to rescind the existing law that allows Big Pharma laundering funds into the Health Care System. It should also be noted and considered that the US currently consumes %80 percent of the Worlds Pharmaceutical Drug Supply. That does not include illicit drugs. And that the comparison of deaths resulting from Pharmaceutical drugs far exceeds those of illicit drugs by 100’s upon 100’s of thousands each year. It is only corporate greed of Big Pharma and their political influences wishing to monopolize all aspects of any kind of potential monetary gains that they can on the health and well being of the people of not only the US nation, but the world as a whole. In short, it does not take a genius to clearly see the US drug policies, and/or “the war on drugs” in comparison to the sucess of many other nations of the world, is not just a failed attempt to stop or regulate illicit drugs. But is a successful maneuver by the “powers that be” to control and organize the distribution of and profit from the black markets of the world. While building a foundation for their own legal drug system to flourish. Yes it sounds like a conspiracy. But look at the 98% success rate of Wiki-Leaks. Conspiracies are real. You can argue any side of this you wish. But the truth is more and more Americans are waking up to see the lies and propagandas that has been pushed upon the public through “fake media” and the rich and powerful people and companies that own and control those “fake news” outlets and the political agendas of these corrupt agencies. As for Kratom, I personally know of a daily user of the plant since 2004. That person has had no I’ll side effects from their 15 years of continual use of the plant that I am aware of. Or that is outwardly evident in any way or form. It seems to me, similar to the known history of cannabis use, in that propogandish lies are being spread when their is historical evidence of the safety of such plant medicines. Just logic and common sense.

  15. Jamie. E. James

    I have an unknown bone degeneration disease. I take Kratom to help with the pain when other avenues have failed.
    If it becomes regulated and available for the 18 or even 21 and older adults, I can support this.
    I can not support taking it off the market for the millions who use it for pain. Unless you have lived with a pain that makes you consider suicide, you will have no idea the consequences of taking away the only help these people get.
    Having used it for almost 4 years, on and off, I have never had an issue with addiction to it, never tried to get high off of it, never wanted to.
    People are going to abuse anything they can get their hands on, TIDE PODS for goodness sake, EPSOM SALTS….
    DO NOT PUNISH THE ONES WHO NEED IT BECAUSE OF THE IDIOTS WHO ONLY WANT A CHEAP THRILL.
    thank you.

  16. Matt

    I used ro be addicted to opiates. As a result of my addiction, I did many things I am not proud of. I lost my marriage, temporarily lost custody of my children, and lost my job. I started kratom about 3 years ago and completely stopped all opiate usage. It was a dufficult transition (kratom is not nearly as potent as the oxy I was using) but considerably better than completely going off and being out of commission for weeks/months. Since starting kratom, I have earned back custody (50% shared with my ex), started and succeeded in a new job, and now have a good relationship again with my family. It was like a light switch. I got back my personality, health, pride, and mental acuity. If it wasn’t for kratom, I don’t know if I could have gotten off opiates, and stayed off. I support more research and regulation, but making it a controlled substance or banning it merely suggests a lack of knowledge or interest in its benefits; particularly in light of the opiate epidemic our country is facing.

  17. Jared Karaim

    So tell me editors, what was wrong with my comment does the truth hurt too much? What happened to freedom of speech? People should know that there’s a cure for cancer and our government flat-out refuses to give it to people. You should be ashamed yourself! I hope you sleep well at night Dr. Grinspoon, jerk.

  18. LAW

    I mean no ill-will and I don’t deny The credibility of good doctors. However I also understand that people back in the day and even to this day would make marijuana seem like it was some sort of horrible drug. Yet here we are we are today finding out just how false that really is. As a cancer survivor and someone who’s in pain a lot I’ve taken Kratom before. It does not give you any kind of buzz however thinking about days I’ve taken Kratom, it does give me energy and puts me in a good mood but not high if that makes any sense. I have felt no side effects whether I take it or I don’t take it and I much rather prefer that then pain medicine. It’s even been discussed by many how it is help them get off pain meds and even heroin addicts have said it helped. The problem is it’s not regulated by the government it’s not being handled through the pharmaceutical companies snd the insurance companies to make all this money off of it. God forbid there might be something easy out there that can help you feel better that doesn’t have the government money all over it or the pharmaceutical companies all over it. As someone who has used Kratom several times I find some of the things I’ve heard about it quite ridiculous. Do I not think somebody could really mess up take too much sure but that goes with anything hello alcohol any type of medicine prescribed or not. Just like you have to go buy your beer alcohol and be responsible so be responsible when you take kratom. It’s honestly not some horrible mentally altering drug it really isn’t. But again I haven’t abused it though. But I often think about how horrible it would be for a lot of big-time companies, rehabs oh and of course Pharmaceutical industry, if something as simple as kratom could help people get off horrible drugs, without horrifying side effects for only about $60 a week’s or something like that. It would put a lot of people out of business… And that my friends is what sadly a lot of the medical world has turned into….

  19. Hunter

    It seems a bit odd that you can list a host of side effects then say you don’t know much about it because it hasn’t been studied. How do you know those are the side effects? I’ve used it for years and never experienced any of that but I don’t buy mine from a gas station or head shop. I agree that it needs to be studied rigorously and regulated for safety but every case I’ve read about that was called an overdose had other drugs involved. Makes me wonder if the side effects listed had other drugs involved as well.

  20. J.W.

    I appreciate how you have provided a balanced view of this issue. Many articles on the same subject are very obviously written by those who are paid by pharmaceutical companies.

  21. HOUSE

    Hello, there is NO OPIATE CRISIS!! There IS a HEROIN AND FENTANYL CRISIS!And yes, I and millions of other people realize that Those are opiates, it has caused a TREMENDOUS Lack of Care for legitimate pain patients!! So call it what it REALLY IS!

  22. Julia

    Are you positive that Kratom cannot be detected in a drug test? My friends probation officer told him that it could be detected.

  23. R Newman

    Please don’t take my Kratom away it’s the only thing that keeps me alive if I lose the Kratom I will go back out and start buying heroin and pills on the street again I now have a normal life a job and a family and I can buy kratom on the internet take two spoonfuls a day and live a normal life I can’t do that taking pain pills everyday please don’t take my Kratom away

  24. Ralph Newman

    This is so typical of the DEA and big pharma. Anything that takes away from their profit they don’t want on the market I was using heroin and oxycodone to treat my pain from an injury I was addicted to opiates my life is no longer worth living I lost my job and I was ready to give up but because then I was able to obtain kratom it changed my life I now have a job and I manage my pain for pennies on the day and there has been no side effects I’ve been using Kratom for 5 years there’s your study you can take all of that nonsense y’all are spouting and you know what to do with it I’m living proof that Kratom is safe and an effective alternative to opiates pain pills that the pharmacy has over prescribed if you want a band something you should ban alcohol but the big Chiefs at the pharmaceutical and doctors they drink every night so that makes it okay give me a break

  25. MC Chase

    It is hard not to get angry at people who write articles like this as I live in Tennessee which has a nazi like opioid control policy. With cancer and multiple health issues you have to suffer all day and night, every day, month after month. People want to jump out of their own skin to get away from the suffering but you can’t. A friend had two doctors tell her the pain was in her head despite a referral from an oncologist and scans showing severe bone damage. I pulled her out of the bathtub where she was starting to slit her wrist. No pain management doctor will take her on as a patient due to fear of the State shutting their practice down. Pain docs in Tennessee are charged with manslaughter if one of their patients dies from an overdose, despite the fact that most opioid overdoses were combined with illegal or other prescription drugs and taking the medication incorrectly to get a buzz. not taken as prescribed. So if you have bone cancer…..too bad.Now surgeons are being asked not to prescribe narcotics for patients AFTER SURGERY. Have these lawmakers not ever had surgery or experienced pain? When they do they will be really sorry they made these laws. Even some Tennessee hospice doctors won’t prescribe narcotics and people suffer to their last breath, screaming so loud all the neighbors hear. (I worked for hospice but quit because of this) I think pain patients should unite and have a website that names and profiles the people making these cruel laws and regulations. The FDA members should be named with credentials and some personal information and large pictures so they are more accountable when they cause suffering in millions of ill people. These new laws have caused more overdoses than ever before. They are responsible and I hope they are not judged for the suffering they cause many individuals. The elderly, mentally handicapped adults and children, low income, and very ill individuals suffer the worst because they cannot speak up. These people no longer have terrible pain treated. Now, you want to take away Krantom, which in my friend’s opinion is worthless for treating pain. Do you want to open up concentration camps for those with chronic pain and make them suffer as much as possible. Pain patients will never unite. Sadly chronic pain patients feel too bad to do anything about it.

  26. Randi Peters

    I take Kratom at least 3 times a week . I myself went to pain management and took pain medications for over 10 years. I have experienced pain in my back since the age of 12. I have a diagnosis of spinal scoliosis, fibromyalgia, and arthritis in my neck and spine. 3 years ago I heard of Kratom. I decided to try it and have taken since. Pain management became to expensive. I never had withdrawals or experienced any symptoms of taking myself off of opiates. I don’t experience any addiction feelings, agitation , or any that suggests that Kratom is addictive. It relieves my pain and is some what of a mood stabilizer and gives you a bit of energy. I think people should give Kratom a chance. I don’t take it every day only when I’m in pain. Yet I experience no symptoms of having to have it .

  27. Craig

    In all of that you did not mention the thousands of lives being saved by this leaf. The thousands of lives getting relief. All you can talk about is how unsafe it is because of the distribution and packaging? It is a leaf. A leaf from a tree. Your gonna tell me I cant eat the leaf because you are worried it is dangerous? You dont care about me. This is a Harvard publication? A mother claims she got her life back and her children and her life with drugs has been over for years and you wanna take that from her? Seriously? Because you are worried it will be dangerous for me? Awww. So thoughtful! NOT. Scott Gotlieb quits the Fda and says it was for family. Then he is a VP of a major pharmaceutical company with a patent filed for an Alkaloid in Kratom? The Ohio board of pharmacy wants to ban a tree leaf because people that eat it stop taking their pharmaceuticals? Are you reading this. The positives out weigh the negatives enough to leave Kratom alon and stop the lies and corruption. Just Saying

  28. Eric Smith

    Thank you for not just copying and pasting the fear bait like other articles. Here’s an issue, drug companies give you Opiates for pain. Then as a. antidote they give you Suboxone, an opiate, to get you “off”of their opiates. Addicts said no thank you, found kratom helped better to NOT be addicted, then drug companies said “Uhhh you cant do that! Cause…kratom acts like an opiate!” LMAO fail
    Kratom and CBD can and will save lives, I see it getting regulated for sure but not illegal.

  29. Donnacar97@gmail.com I

    Kratom has been a lifesaver for me it has been helping me for a year now I don’t want to be without it please just leave it alone it’s helping people stay pharmacies and doctors you have took control of everything Jeep made it impossible for us to live without pain I’m 65 I’ve seen it all leave this alone and use of legalizing marijuana this is what it’s all about it’s a plant leave things alone. Screw up everything you just want moneythis country is begging you to please leave things alone haven’t you messed up everything already with all your studies and all your crap leave it alone well do it again I’m sports in my opinion freedom of speech

  30. Donnacar97@gmail.com

    Kratom has been a lifesaver for me it has been helping me for a year now I don’t want to be without it please just leave it alone it’s helping people stay pharmacies and doctors you have took control of everything Jeep made it impossible for us to live without pain I’m 65 I’ve seen it all leave this alone and use of legalizing marijuana this is what it’s all about it’s a plant leave things alone. Screw up everything you just want moneythis country is begging you to please leave things alone haven’t you messed up everything already with all your studies and all your crap leave it alone

  31. Bob G

    Kratom is not bad when used properly. This is all propaganda from all the clowns who can’t make their share of $ by controlling it. Guess what? Why cant people get their prescribed for years opioid meds? Because they want to legally hook everyone on methadone which is no way out and who profits? Same drug companies as the prescription opioids formerly. Oh you thought they would just pack up and close up shop? Yeah right. So last and not least….the public epidemic is fentynal. Its made to kill people. Users dont addict….they DIE. Population control. Kratom doesn’t kill. Keep believing the b.s. that the people get spoon fed. Open up wideee

  32. June

    My daughter became addicted to Kratom and it almost ruined her life. She started using it to help her anxiety but had to take more and more. She got to the point that she could not leave the house or work. She went into rehab to get off of it. Kratom is definitely not harmless. I pray others can see the very harming effects.

  33. Melanie Hunter

    I appreciate this balanced story, especially during a time when the media seems to be demonizing this supplement based on very little research.

  34. EricD

    Such a strange time…we’re legalizing recreational marijuana all over the country, a drug that gets you high as a kite, yet wanting to ban this product which has helped so many and has almost no significant psychotropic effects – it imparts a mild calming effect on the same level of, even lesser than, the stimulating effects of caffeine. And to what end or purpose? It’s just regulation for regulation’s sake.

    • EricD

      Curious, what hasn’t this comment (above) been approved? I feel it’s very relevant context and interesting food for thought…the idea that people are wildly high on kratom and therefore dangerous, (which seems implied in so much media coverage), is simply nonsense. The regulation crowd cites the danger to the user from the handful of salmonella tainted batches, but we’re obviously not banning lettuce or any of the other often-recalled foodstuffs, and the “deaths associated” argument has been thoroughly debunked and is pure straw man. So the question is, why is kratom singled out, especially in this day and age with all the legalization push?

      I can tell you it’s not “big pharma” calling for it as so many want to believe. I am a senior exec in that industry, and can definitively say opioids are not part of any big pharma strategy – they’re the stuff of generic houses, almost without exception drugs that have been around from 50-100 years. If anything, we’d be interested in isolating the actives in kratom and branding it, something we couldn’t do under a ban. But the pain market is and always will be the bottom of the pharma barrel – “big pharma” does not care about kratom.

      I don’t believe the medical community really wants it regulated either, as the “opioid crisis” has already put them in shackles as they try to manage and help patients who’ve been safely controlled on opiates for years and are now being forced off of them…and they turn to readily available street drugs that can now be ordered easily over the dark web. This dynamic is, in my opinion, the root of the real opiod crisis btw.

      No, this regulation push is just the FDA, wanting to flex its will for reasons I simply don’t understand. But it’s clear to me they’re driving a very intentional and proactive anti-kratom PR effort, and are behind all the recent stories in the media. The intense media focus on stories like this doesn’t come by accident, it’s part of a planned campaign.

  35. Jessie Hydro

    The answer is both. We need to stop looking at substance as either completely harmless or devastatingly bad. Because its neither and its both. Depends on context and what its being used for. Anything can be over done. and abused. Including sugar. We agree that pot is generally harmless but there are circumstances where pot can be pretty bad. IT just depends.

    Can it be used to get people off pharmaceuticals or heroin ? Yes
    Can it save lives? Yes
    Can you get addicted to it? Yes
    Can you abuse it ? yes

  36. Sam

    I was forced off Tramadol which has helped me greatly to combat chronic pain from MS. Unfortunately Tramadol which is NOT an opiate was recently scheduled as opiate for whatever reason. I was forced to use kratom since that time. It actually helps and allows me to live a somewhat normal life. Now in Illinois they plan to criminalize kratom…so what next. I will suffer I suppose. Just wanted to tell a part of my story. I hope for the best…always. Peace y’all.

  37. Jeremy Scott

    Kratom saved my life. Ever since elementary school, I have been suicidal. I have had terrible depression, anxiety, ADHD, insomnia, and chronic pain essentially my entire life. The depression and anxiety was crippling. I’ve tried every pharmaceutical you can think of to combat my problems to no avail. No medications my doctors prescribed me worked and they all had terrible side effects. I’ve been searching for something that works for 30 years, and then I discovered kratom. Before discovering kratom, I hadn’t left my house in 6 years. Since beginning kratom, I now have a job, am back in college, and my relationship with my family and friends have improved significantly. Kratom is a miracle plant for me. If it weren’t for kratom, I very much doubt I would be alive, and even if I were technically alive, I wouldn’t actually be living.

  38. James Christopher Hill

    All I can say is a ton on the benefits versus the side effect of Kratom. Yes, it does cause constipation in higher doses. No, you can not, nor has there ever been any death caused directly by Kratom proven and when you list only 50 or less deaths worldwide over the past 7 years where Kratom is “connected” because the people that died mixed with dangerous Concomitant drugs like Tramadol (Denmark 9 – all took lots of Tramadol with likely cause of death – Serotonin Syndrome caused by a massive surge of serotonin by mixing Tramadol with other SSRI’s and drugs along with taking even more than 1 or 2 per every 12 hour period. Tramadol must be strictly adhered to. Other’s mixed opiates, heroin, etc. So, people who blame Kratom are very naive as it’s like blaming the hamburger the person ate before they overdosed on heroin or opiates. I take Kratom for my severely debilitating Depression and Anxiety, PTSD, and Panic Attacks and it helps me 1) make it through the day, 2) Keep a job so I can keep a roof over my heard. When a leaf has been used by Asian Doctors for nearly 1000 years with no medical records of deaths occurring then that should be the key data to rely on. Of course too much of anything is a bad thing, even water or oxygen. Water kills, should we ban water?! 1) I wouldn’t trust the FDA to do the testing of Kratom as they are still biased against it because big pharma is paying off their cronies deeply lodged inside executive positions at the FDA. They have indeed been caught directly falsifying reports on Kratom and made up dangers under the “leadership” of Scott Gottlieb who retired 6 months ago because he has been under investigation basically for several years due to conflict of interests as he fast-tracked many, multi-billion dollar deals/drug clearances by big pharmacy and yes, he made a lot of money. Why he was made the head of the FDA by Trump was rather obvious, but that is a more political debate. However, the FDA is still resorting to shady practices of directly and basically lying to pharmaceutical boards of various states as they first lied to state legislators and the DEA which last I checked, lying to the DEA with data they rely on is a Federal Felony! If the US was so worried about people’s deaths and health, the would not have rescheduled opiates so abruptly without thinking of the consequences such as death rates systemically doubled each year from 35,000 average to 70,000 since 2014 – the data is there. The rescheduling was designed only to imprison for privatized prisons people with addictions to opiates. They didn’t think the consequences of likely outcomes of a new illegal and dangerous and deadly drug market forming thanks to the 2014 rescheduling. It is extremely irresponsible for the DEA and the FDA to refuse to first extensively work with testing labs and run multi-year experiments of Kratom before putting it to schedule 1 where it can’t even be tested. Kratom basically is the new “marijuana” that was banned due to direct and blatant lies that even the US Government knew it was safe when they made marijuana illegal. The Holy Bible states that God gave us the plants to cure any ailment on Earth, but big pharma doesn’t want natural cures, they want you to take their cancer causing, organ killing “prescription drugs” that are far-far more dangerous than any plant. What really pisses me off about the FDA as they have proven their gross incompetence with clearing dangerous medications over and over again in the past 20 years. You can’t watch television without seeing some add by a law firm stating “If you were prescribed…..and were diagnosed with cancer, permanent organ or brain damage, etc”…. as the list of severe side effects are endless. Plus the American Kratom Association has begged the FDA to do random testing of supplies to make sure only pure Kratom that is safe is in the market and the AKA has recently created a vendor seal of approval that they recommend ONLY purchasing from these vendors that pay out of their own pockets for lab testing for purity of the supplies. Even Thailand recently un-banned Kratom which was the FDA’s “Go-to” reason for banning it. They have recently stooped so low as to use our tax dollars to fly to Indonesia and threaten them to stop shipments to the US! This has severely gotten out of hand and the mislead media with intern reporters who “forget” to do their homework, but the articles get published and the uneducated read it and think Kratom – bad, prescription pills good. Just the opposite unfortunately is true. If the US Government was REALLY worried about our individual health, they would monitor our land, sea and water that is becoming carcinogenic thanks to Trump’s rigged EPA relaxing bans of carcinogenic chemicals into our food, water, etc. helmet by a chemical company former executive. Gee wonder what side they will choose, their own for a profit at the expense of our children just like big pharma has done for money all the while picking on a safe, reliable plant that has many anti-depressant and curative properties based on the leaf strain and if properly tested for purity, controlled vendors that are licensed to sell, the millions who now rely on Kratom and have for over 10 years at least in America wouldn’t have to be worried their only way of achieving a somewhat “normal” life without pain or anxiety could be achieved and maintained. It’s safe, I don’t get high in the slightest, btw, it’s been a miracle and it’s got me to drink water (purified and sterilized and not from the tap as I no longer trust our drinking water -even bottled water), how bad is that?! Don’t worry, with the governments greed and negligence while taking money from big FFuel companies in the 100’s of millions and other chemical and pharmaceutical companies, our planet will die or be unlivable within a few years. I simply now wonder, what all the fuss was about. Kratom is safe, if checked for purity and only purchased from reputable vendors. This whole paranoia has gotten completely out of hand.

  39. Jay

    People who demonize kratom are working for pharmaceutical companies .
    Anything is bad if you over use including oxygen and water so that’s a nonstarter it makes no difference, this is literally a miracle for me, out of 6 prescriptions I only need 2 now and out of those 1 is an antibiotic and the other is for flareups from the UC but thanks to kratom I rarely have to take that.
    There is no reason to make something illegal because stupid people hurt themselves, infact the world would be a better place if we let those idiots kill them selves. Its unamerican to put their stupidity on me.
    The way Doctors prescribe pain killers is what makes people addicted, you should only take a pain killer when u can’t handle the pain.
    We put way to much importance on someone’s feelings, I don’t care how u feel about something I care about you.

  40. Mark Werenczuk

    I have polymyositis, a degenerative muscle disease that leaves me in agony most of the time. Extreme fatigue is another of the complications of my condition. When doctor’s basically gave up trying to figure out why my muscles were doing this they sent me to a pain clinic.

    A year later I was taking prescribed oxycodone every four hours. The medicine came with all of the negative stereotypes that you read about. Constipation, inability to urinate, lack of a sex drive, even worse pain when the medicine wore off, and the worst part; a desire to take more than prescribed and the inability to control my impulses.

    I knew I had to get off of oxycodone and fast. I wasn’t in control of my usage and I knew it was only a matter of time before something bad happened. I started researching natural ways to get rid of chronic, extreme pain and found out about Mitragyna speciosa; or Kratom.

    Kratom enabled me to quit the oxycodone cold turkey with no side effects. It provided the same degree of pain relief as the pills. The only side effect of the kratom was mild constipation that was easily taken care of with a cup of coffee. The very best part is the virtual inability to be abused. If you take more than the typical spoonful of kratom you get nauseated and throw up. Every. Single. Time.

    It sounds like a dream come true for those suffering from chronic pain, and a nightmare for Big Pharm and the FDA (who is probably payed off by Big Pharm). While kratom does potentially become a drug you can get dependant on, it has nowhere near the debilitating withdrawal symptoms of pills. Neither does it have the myriad of horrible side effects.

    Someone needs to make the government, and the FDA especially, accountable for trying to deny the American public a viable alternative to highly addictive, dangerous, and profitable manufactured pain medications. The truth needs to be spread.

  41. Teri

    Ive taken Kratom on and off for about three years to help with pain caused by Lyme disease and help with my chronic insomnia. I buy from a company that tests its product stringently. I wouldn’t dare go to the corner convenience store. I’ve ever had one negative occurance with Kratom and I can go months and not take any and experience no withdrawals.

  42. Phillip

    The only experience I have with Kratom, Is a co-worker who is on probation stemming from heroin related drug charges/jail time.

    The product is not included in his mandatory drug screenings, and offers similar effects of his “former” addiction. I do not have a position on Kratom for rec. or medicinal use, however I am at minimum a proponent of including it in drug screenings. This product is not assisting in the rehabilitation of my co-worker, rather staving him over while he is unable to use the “real stuff”.

    We can all imagine what is highly likely to happen when he isn’t required to be “clean” anymore, and these opioid receptors want their fix.

  43. Dan

    I was a helpless, homeless junky for ten years that started with dr prescribed painkillers and using kratom turned my life around completely! I’m now a a wealthy business owner with a great life…. that friend that introduced me to kratom saved my life! With all the fentanyl around I would surely be dead by now if I hadn’t gotten clean using nothing but kratom and gods blessing! Yeah it might as addictive as coffee but I’ll take that over begging for drug money, sleeping in the bushes and well, dead…. FDA and politicians are owned by big pharma. If they outlaw kratom thousands will die…. please everyone do real research. It’s a miracle plant! Make sure to sign all the petitions to keep it legal. The aka is doing god’s work.

  44. Keith

    Why don’t we mention or talk about the supposed deaths caused by kratom vs all the deaths caused by Tylenol? Because it doesn’t fit your agenda to put things into perspective. Regulate we all know that it doesn’t mean quality control, it means restrict access and criminalize and jack up the price 1000 percent.

    Your suggestion to research it will also fail as it isn’t a pharmaceutical so any research using the current system set up to research pharmaceuticals will only end up testing a single strain. The system is a failure just like when it’s applied to other medicinal plants like cannabis. These medical professionals don’t seem to understand WHY there isn’t the kind of data for these plants like the data they are used to for pharmaceuticals.

    As for his education point, we all know that means disseminate as much propaganda as possible to recieved the public into believing big pharma is the only answer.

  45. Scott Downey

    I use kratom for my diabetic neuropathy of my feet, and it works great to relive that pain. I take 5 or 6 000 pills of the powdered leaf. I have no side affects, and somedays I dont take it, and I am not addicted, I have no cravings for Kratom.

    Articles written this way show the extreme negative bias, there exist people who want to stop Kratom at all costs, because it works great and is cheap and big pharma is not controlling it. I have heard the FDA met with one of the countries governments that exports Kratom and set a 5 year goal of outlawing it from being exported to the USA, so they have not been able to make it illegal to use, but they are trying to make it impossible to get.

  46. Ivan Bajlo

    I can say that after many tries to get clean from suboxone, and many rellapses as well do to whidrawls i found about kratom.
    I can say it saved my life.
    It’s absolutly without doubt that it erases all whidrawls symptoms.
    Before kratom i went three times to rehab and tried countless times at home, never menaging.
    The key is to use it with Respect, and quitt when whidrawls syndroms stop.

  47. Tommy

    Kratom has saved my life from opioid addiction I take a small dose once a day and I am now drug free for 2 years because of kratom.. from my experience kratom is far from being dangerous anything could be dangerous if you consume too much so it’s all a lie there’s no serious side effects from it also I’m never in withdrawal if I don’t have it.

  48. Mike

    Ive been using kratom for the last 5 years, ive had no ill effects besides it being a anti diarrheal getting constipated. Kratom, like any other herb should be respected, plain and simple. People are dying from kratom because their mixing it with other hard drugs that do kill ppl by over dose. Coming from a ex opiate diet to deal with pain from a bad back, i found relief with kratom when i decided to get off opiate medication (prescribed). Its been a life saver after 7 years of being on oxycontin 40mg. I can truly say i got my life back and that kratom is beneficial to ppl who truly need it. Its a great herb that has many benefits, anti depressant, anti anxiety, immune system booster, pain relief, ect. List goes on. This plant deserves to be funded to be better studieds as to what its medicinal properties can be used for. Only reason it should be regulated is for impurities and age consumption.

  49. Barbara

    With all the chronic pain patients being forced to taper, or being completely cut off, from the medications they’ve been taking for years, I think many more will try kratom. I myself have considered it, due to the dosage of methadone I had been taking for 12 years being reduced from 60mg a day to 40mg a day. That’s still well over the CDC’s “guidelines”, and every time I need my prescription refilled I am terrified it will be lowered again. If I could have any quality of life taking less than 60mgs a day I would have already been doing it. My life has become miserable since this reduction, and it’s very tempting to try kratom. I’m still hoping my dr will do SOMETHING to control this pain, but if he doesn’t, I will have to find something on my own.
    We all know kratom will become illegal. The excuse will be that it’s dangerous, but the real reason is greed, can’t have patients treating themselves with an affordable alternative, Big Pharma and the corrupt politicians won’t get their cut.
    This country has become a disgrace when it comes to healthcare. Letting patients suffer due to greed, or as this article puts it “corporate interests” (what a polite way to say it), is just plain shameful.

    • Heather

      I think that the Dr.s that prescribe the pain medications to their patients for long term pain Management have completely dropped the ball they have no problem telling you that after 12 years of taking a pain medication they are no longer going to prescribe it for you but they don’t take the responsibility to replace it with something that A keeps you from going into withdrawal because of the long term use of these medications and B something to continue managing the pain. They just tell you your shit out of luck . This is why the Heroin and opiate abuse has become such a problem. Where do you go for help who knows this is a real problem for thousands of people everyday. It is unfair and a barbaric way to preform Healthcare. Anyone who has ever prescribed a long term addictive medication and just dropped their patients without a thought shame on you. They are the ones who should have the bad stigma follow them around and I wish they could live in these patients shoes for even 48 hours. How do you work or care for your children when you are so sick you can’t leave the bathroom floor. Shame shame shame.

      • Melissa

        Here here to both of these comments. I took over 700 pills/ month ( hydrocodone, oxycodone, Tramadol and hydromorphone) for over 5 years and when I was cut off I was told clonazepam now my life. So many times I looked for an escape from Life over all of this. Kratom was the miracle that gave me back quality of life without pain, depression, loss of sleep Etc and I have taking myself off of it three times since 2014 just to see if I could and what the withdrawals would be like. Similar to caffeine withdrawals… A little bit of restless leg syndrome, irritability and a few headaches, and of course the back and neck pains returned that I was initially medicating. This is a small price to pay to avoid being a junkie to narcotics that were and probably will again be the controlling factor in my life if Kratom is made illegal. All because the DEA is losing money from pharmaceutical sales declines.
        And furthermore, less than a hundred deaths reported over two years even though only nine are legit? Compared to what? How many deaths from cigarettes? Alcohol overdose? How many people have drink themselves to death trying to self-medicate psychological pain over the same two years? Thousands? Tens of thousands? This seems like a very small percentage which would prove the point is statistically safe even if all 90 deaths were a valid statistic. I am disgusted by our government putting money ahead of people’s lives and quality of life.

      • Timothy M Webster

        Very well put. You’re comment should be required reading for all the government employees that can effect changes in policy. I can totally relate to your dilemma.

      • Peter Grinspoon, MD

        Completely agree…but it is complicated; the doctors are under a lot of pressure not to prescribe opiates (from the government, the DEA, prosecutors, their hospitals, etc…) and even fear for their licenses..this doesn’t excuse it, but helps explain it.

      • Carol

        I have a lot of problems with the government anymore. Their answer to the addiction crises is so far off and antiquated, yet they will not listen to leading addiction researchers, the same as they denied facts of global warming and the gross negelect in food quality controls. Why? the almight dollar! People are led to believe it all their fault. People with true addiction problems are criminalized and stigmatized even though it is a recognized mental health issue. Many people with serious or very real chronic pain issues are stigmatized as well. You can’t really hurt that bad and are told pain medication don’t work for chronic pain. Let me tell you I have been in health care for over 30 yrs. It amazed me to see people who were confined to homes and wheelchairs actually get up and have some quality of life. I seen people who took their pain meds responsibly because they had families depending on them and here able to continue to work. I now see those same people forced to suffer and take way to much ibuprofen and Tylenol. With liver and kidney issues. Or go on state services. My problem is with how everyone is is put in a little box. But what if they are not the typical patient? Oh I forgot we can only treat one issue at a time or you will have to make another appointment. Help the poor pt who has back pain from extensive spinal reconstruction who has nerve damage on one side who walks malaligned and has chronic right side pain, numbness and tingling, continually. Who starts having problems urinating. Who thinks its a uti and waits to see if it gets better because they are told you can’t be really feeling that way…. true story. And I still work full time and I hurt like hell….but I am made to feel shame on so many levels….I take Kratom because it is legal in my state…..cry and stay in bed on bad days because I was taken off Noro 9 yrs ago….but I can get Morphine if I want it….Sorry no thanks. I want just pain control not knocked on my ass all day long……God Bless America because she needs it.

    • Cameron

      Exactly corporate greed makes our laws smh…

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      The first opiate crisis is the overdose crisis and the second opiate crisis is the abandonment of chronic pain patients in response to the first opiate crisis…I agree it is shameful, and it does explain why a lot of people are turning to Kratom…which is part of why I wanted to have more discussion on pros, cons and safety of Kratom…

      • Amber

        I have fibromyalgia, migraines and tmj, all of which can give me unbearable pain on any given day. I worked with a doctor for years who gave me lyrica and a small prescription of opiates for breakthrough pain, I used the opiates a couple times a month, if that, for extreme pain only (12 pills 4 times a year) it’s really sad that given my track record of use and refusing to be on long term opiates (tried that once, with a pain doctor and hated it) that even getting those couple opiates can be hard to do. I currently dont have insurance, got off lyrica (it’s very expensive) and now I’ve been taking kratom for 2 years. I dont love it but it does work, I dont have pain as much until the night time when everything wears off. I hate western medicine to be honest, the fact that they will offer long term opiates and not look at these other herbal options (including cbd) and there is very little resources avail for patients to access chiro and accupuncture care as well, which also work for pain is just criminal, doctors know those things work! So westerns medicines only solution is opiates or something like lyrica and that is something they may yank away from you at any moment. Its cruel and unusual in my mind. I would love it if kratom was regulated for portion dose size but I would hate for it to become expensive in that process. I just have very little faith in western medicine for dealing with chronic pain. Its failing and peoples lives are the fallout from that failure.

      • Eric

        Thank you for being very honest and greetings from the state of Kentucky!

      • Dawn

        I have been taking kratom for two years now. Half a tea spoon 4 to 6 times a day. I couldn’t work with out it.

      • Chris Kelley

        I have an L4 slipped disc. It was pressing on a nerve which ran down my leg and gave me intense sciatica. Doctors were not giving me anything except ibuprofin. I had pain all day and when i dreamed i had dreams of being beaten. Kratom really helped. If you take too much it’s unpleasant. Dont take too much… it’s not rocket science. If you do it three days in a row its less effective, so i would go off of it and back on. Other people just take more and the dosage plateaus. I eventually found a great physical therapist and im near 100 as long as i keep up my exercises.

      • Jordan

        I was a heroin addict for 12 years and on suboxion for 9 ive been taking kratom for 7 years now and have managed to stay off all other pain med it all started when i was shot in the shoulder in my late teens and was given oxy by a doctor ive been threw the gauntlet of pills needels and rehabilitation kratom is the only thing that has worked i stop for a few week once a year and have only got a runny nose they want to ban this plant cause it doesn’t make $$ for big pharmaceutical i now grow these trees and spread them all over so when it comes down to it there will always be a tree growing some where

      • Scott b free

        I have been using KRATOM , for years , no , not addictive, no such thing as overdose, and so on.
        Such crap put out there buy phamarma paid for studies …….
        All crap, we have helped so many people kick the methadone , heroin, and Roxy’s over the years.
        We know where we get our kratom from and know the villagers that go out to the wild and pick it and so on.
        So all negged out press and fear mongering is all from big pharma.
        Kratom takes away the billions of dollars and their control of the people out of the pharma hands …

      • Tina L

        I commend you for knowing. What patients are in need of is a step down program.

      • Jay

        I have tried kratom before from multiple online stores. They all tell the consumer where it comes from along with lab analysis of it to see if it is safe or has harmful bacteria, chemicals, mold, E-coli, salmonella, etc. Also the AKA ( American Kratom Association), certifys businesses as GMP or “good manufacturing practice”, if they complete an annual independent 3rd party audit to ensure their compliance with the program standards. The AKA is doing this to establish a higher level of manufacturing processes for Kratom Vendors. So do not buy Kratom unless they have met these guidelines. Here is a link to where you can read what the AKA is doing to make Kratom safer in regards to the quality of the plant.
        http://www.americankratom.org/abou-aka/gmp-participants.html

      • Brigitte Bosch

        I wish you would give the pros and cons because my doctor just stopped my methadone for chronic pain after being on it for 14 years and morphine sulfate five years before the methadone . I am 60 years old and kratom is the only thing saving my life ; I take two grams mixed in a cup of water each night and have been weaning myself off the methadone. I was so worried I would be back in pain yet The kratom is controlling the pain also . Kratom should be took like prescription medicine, you take what you need and no more . I took my pills once to twice a day and I’m taking kratom once a day .

      • Kira Sieni

        I take Kratom for chronic pain.
        I was on pain meds for several years for a multitude of painful disorders and diseases. I lost insurance and went through a pretty horrible withdrawal (opioids, antidepressants, neurontin, and valium all at once and cold turkey. Not fun). Most of my medical issues are degenerative so I decided to stay off pain meds as long as humanely possible, knowing that the day would come when I would need to. I did use them here and there for acute issues, such as some of my larger kidney stones, a surgery, and a badly abscessed tooth.
        I am almost 50 and unfortunately as long as humanly possible is smack in the middle of this mess.
        Kratom takes the edge off, and keeps me sane but that is about it. I still am at a 6-7 on the pain scale, and a day of work ends me in bed for a day, despite having a desk job. Its buying me time at least. Once you take it for a while, just like pain meds, you dont get high from it in any way. Your pain is just less.
        I think what frustrates me is how dangerous NSAIDS actually are and how they cause as many deaths as opioids cause overdoses, but you wont overdose on opioids unless you abuse them. For those that are taking them as prescribed they are one of the safest options.
        I dont blame drs for being scared (although some are extreme and refusing to prescribe any opioids at all) but it would be nice if more raised their voices to fight with us, instead of dismissing their patients pain and even gaslighting.
        Kratom is basically safe though. More people die from basically every other drug out there. I only wish it worked as well with severe pain, but at least it buys me time.

    • Zee Money

      Healthcare System is designed to give you one medication send the side effects require another medication so on and so forth. how can Marijuana be treated as a schedule 1 narcotic federally and then be completely legal in another state. obviously marijuana and THC oil is a much better option than long-term medication and that is why it’s still illegal big Pharma has the healthcare industry monopolized. Kratom is another gift from God being a cure for many ailments and that is why 100% it will become illegal schedule 1 narcotic because it will put big Pharma in jeopardy. physically impossible to overdose on it just like marijuana but politics and medicine are in and none of those things are opinions. Eat healthy drink fresh-squeezed juice and stay active will see a better option 90% of the time rather than a prescription drug lonza Healthcare System is privately owned that will never be recommended by a physician or doctor they are pretty much required to prescribe a certain amount of each medication like a police officer hitting their quota! more and more will see propaganda build up about Kratom until it is frostbite schedule 1 schedule 1 being the most dangerous and most punishable by law same as marijuana by the way which makes absolutely no sense and in big pharma’s case no dollars and cents

    • Lisa

      I agree with Barbara…I have heard amazing things about Kratom and seen the results with my own eyes…my cousin has MS and was in a wheelchair and she started Kratom and is now walking with no problems!!! Here’s a great website about Kratom. Nootroholic.com

    • Rick stevens

      I dont even know how I ended up on this article but I will say this.. I was prescribed subutex for years.. I turned into a full blown addict for almost 10 years.. I lost my life more times than I can count but god allowed me to be saved.. I now have over 3 years of sobriety.. I was able to get off of the subs as well… I have been focusing on my mental health.. Due to ptsd and serve depression I have been on physic medications.. Let me just say its more expensive for me to pick up my non narcotic PHYSIC medication than it was to get subutex… Theres been times ive went through withdrawal on my medication because the dr and pharm kept brushing my refils to the side for the day until the drs office was closed… Theres a much bigger picture here.. Kratom helps me sleep & has also helped me lower my dose of meds… People are more aganist kratom than people eating handfuls of benzos and taking 120mg of methadone and nodding out.. Its a shame.some people cant do anything within moderation.. When you use a reccomended dose you don’t experience withdrawal like they say.. Just wanted to say my views ☺

    • Douglas

      As a former “pain management “ patient of over 10 years and very high doses of oxycontin, I can vouch as to kratoms effectiveness for both withdrawal and pain. At 56 years old I have my life back and can only describe Kratom as a miracle “drug”.

    • Kelly Morris

      I will tell you. If you are a chronic pain patient, Kratom works. I took it to wean myself off of other opioids. The hidden jem is that kratom controls pain very well. However, it is highly addictive. Physically addictive. I only took it 3 weeks, and I already needed more and more to subdue the withdrawals which came faster and faster. It has other odd side effects too. I couldnt sleep, my mind would race obsessively at night, sometimes I was in a really deep fog and would forget to do things. At one point I felt as if every sip of the Kratom mixed with juice (the way I took it) was poisoning my body. As soon as I stopped it, all that went away. It’s a feeling of dread and depression and severe anxiety. I have tried all the “colors” and the one that worked the best for me was the “gold” kratom. I’m not saying dont use it. If you’re in pain and doctors are ignoring you, get some from a QUALIFIED shop or online herbalist. Test some samples. Use as little as possible to start, remember a little goes a long way. And if you ever want away from it, sorry but it’s either switch drugs, go through withdrawals, or go to rehab. It’s no 3 day withdraw either. It’s a serious heroin/opiate withdrawal. And some have said it’s worse than heroin withdrawals. I only took it 3 weeks and I got myself in a real pickle. I really wanted to believe that kratom had an answer to my pain problem. It didnt. It only made my “problems” worse. Read up on all literature before you try it. Read the GOOD and the BAD. Decide which color and brand is right for you. Dont take too much one day thinking it will help MORE with your pain. It wont, it will just make you sicker when you try to wean off it. Lastly, make sure you get it from a reputable source. I got some from a local tobacco shop once and I swore it had something else in it besides Kratom. It felt toxic everytime I took it.

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      I’m sorry that you are in this situation, and I don’t totally disagree with your analysis, but people are also generally worried about the opioid crisis as well…many motivations at play at the same time.

  50. Katrena Sims

    My problem with the government getting involved is that it will then be a prescription requiring medication that will then have a control with the usages. I am on pain medication from the doctor and nearly every month threatened that it will be taken away because people sitting on a board tells my doctor they can’t write more than x number of prescriptions a year. The means to try and fix my chronic pain caused more pain. I have had two back surgeries, the second due to the fact that the hardware was not correctly installed in the first, which caused more damage. The doctor who did this had two other patients require second surgeries due to his negligence and we all three were told we had no grounds for lawsuit, but the board isn’t taking his lively hood away, they just threaten mine. But, back to kratom if studied and reported further I am sure the negative side of this would be coming from a majority of a group looking for a drug or other substance to abuse, yet they want to gain control and regulate another means of products available to those people who educate and use kratom properly. More and more we are losing our freedoms. Just like with opiate abuse and their idea of fixing it is wrong, so are more regulations. Want to put a smaller opiate problem out there? Require the patient to get bloodwork that shows the proper levels at random (don’t make an appointment, call them in for a different reason or give them a 12 hour window to report for bloodwork, require random pill counts. The pharmacies are already linked in most states that would keep from obtaining multiple prescriptions. With the way things are being done now they are putting current patients at risk by abruptly stopping the opiate medication which can have deadly consequences. How many people have suffered ill effects, been hospitalized or died from that scenario? How many of those cut off are now out there seeking illegal alternatives? Has the heroin use and overdose rate increased? Some who have stuck with me will wonder what this all has to do with Kratom except my first few sentences. My point is the above happens when the government wants to regulate things and take away a person’s freedom of choice, not to mention they start getting more money when they regulate things. Let society weed themselves of those who are looking to misuse drugs and other means. Trying to control the American person is America losing freedom. Kratom can be used safely if the person purchases it from a reputable source, educates themselves, and uses it properly. Kratom should be labeled as some alternative vitamins have been. Not tested or regulated by the FDA. Kratom can be a very good help to many people if they educate themselves and use with caution until they know how it effects their body. People are going to abuse things and we can’t control that and the government wants to try and control abuse of products. What about mouthwash? It has alcohol in it. Teenagers can purchase this product and get drunk from the alcohol in it and lots have ended up needing medical treatment. Are we going to regulate mouthwash. Put more money into research and mental health to try and correct societies abuse issue not the products being abused. Kratom is a very good product if used properly and has less harmful products in it than most pharmaceuticals. I know people who have been taken off of opiate drugs abruptly and learned about the use of kratom and actually don’t need to take it as often as they did the opiates. I say leave it alone. Addicts and people who abuse things will find something. Work on what creates the addicts and desire to abuse things. (Mental Health and Parenting) Are we going to regulate everything?

    • Devin

      ^THIS. Not to mention there are so many opiate addicts and Chronic Pain Patients who are successfully (and safely) using Kratom to either lower their opioid use or replace it, if it was to suddenly be regulated or completely outlawed, SO many people will die. The “opioid epidemic” (Thanks US Government!) will increase exponentially, people will lose even more hope in their futures and their government, it would be a disaster. I truly believe many people will start emigrating out of this country because the Healthcare has become so atrocious, especially for anyone with anxiety, adhd or pain issues, and especially those that require certain medications. KEEP KRATOM LEGAL & WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION. FOCUS ON EDUCATING AND REHABILITATING PEOPLE INSTEAD OF RUINING THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE AND TAKING AWAY THEIR FREEDOMS. Land of the free my butt, maybe 100 years ago….

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      I hear what you are saying; just think it would be safer if Kratom were regulated and studied, so people know what dose they are actually getting and aren’t getting contaminants…not particularly safe right now; but, I don’t advocate for making it illegal or unavailable…

      • Amy

        Dr. Grinspoon,
        You did not address her comments regarding our government feeling that they should take away our rights as people and patients to choose. I am a nurse and was brought into the field at a time when pain was treated as a vital sign. I personally believe that if the government gets the right to regulate kratom, the next step would be scheduling it as a controlled substance. Instead, why don’t we just begin the scientific approach of studies of how it affects people and then give them the freedom to make their own choice?
        The opioid crisis is fueled by regulation and control.

      • John LaRocque

        Thanks Dr. Grinspoon. Trouble is that there will be no money to study Kratom because there is no money to be made from it. Not like in Oxicontin. I can tell you one tsp of Kratom is much more effective pain relief than 10 mg oxiecodon. I take it three times a day. Recovering from major back surgery. The side benefit is that I do far more because I am almost free of pain. Where as The opioids had a downer effect the Kratom has a mild stimulating effect much like coffee but better and no jitters. My pulse is generally below 60 and BP is never above 110/60, often lower. I am, by the way, 73. Shortly after taking Kratom I stopped taking Lyrica and Meloxicam. They were no where near as effective as Kratom.

      • Raz Sey

        Yes , agreed , kraton should be regulated , that makes reasonably sure it has no additives as some not so honest vendors sometimes do to get repeat customers , . But ,on the other hand , honest , above board vendors , have already taken the option of testing kratom and making results public. Which is what most want to see. Now that true opioids are hard to come by , kratom is picking up the slack , by providing an alternative . What are they to do ? Going to the streets is iff , rent is in most all street drugs now , so chance you may die , 50/50 ? Not reasonable. FYI , read “violation of a nation” to understand how the gov is involved in this so called crisis. Also, are you aware the pharma has put their “new” analgesic , on hold , presumably until kratom is controlled , becuz , the new rx , called now , nktr~181 , is an analogue of kratom ? Interesting hmm? Google the info , and you too can see said the blind man.

      • Robynn

        Your comment has been submitted and is being reviewed by our editors.
        Since 2015, I’ve used kratom on and off for pain and anxiety. I was on vicodin for a long period of time due to hip pain that couldn’t be explained. They cut me off randomly, and while I understood it, I was still in a large about of pain. They sent me to pain management, but made me wait a good 3 months to get in. In that 3 months, I found kratom and I’m honestly so happy I did. It helped with the withdrawal, and it helped take the edge off the pain. It also helped with my PTSD, which my celexa wasn’t doing well with.
        I was later diagnosed with fibromyalgia and nerve pain. They put me on gabapentin, a strong anti inflammatory, and amitriptyline at night.
        I do physical therapy. I try to work hard on muscle building. I take my gabapentin when I know I won’t be working, because I feel nervous about taking it if I need to drive. So I take small doses of certain kratoms to help me focus and just handle the pain.
        It’s also helped when I have anxiety attacks brought on my past trauma.
        Going off kratom will be a bitch, because it’s helped me get back to work and building a better me. If I feel a flare up coming up, I don’t need to call off work now. It still isn’t pleasant, but it helps a lot, and doesn’t make me feel sleepy like my gabapentin does. If I have to remove kratom from the equation… I’ll do it, but it’s going to be pretty hard working and paying bills If I’m not able to tolerate pain.
        Here’s hoping we get to keep kratom, because my body does a lot better with it than it did without, and it’s a lot safer than any narcotic I’ve taken.

      • Bob

        The kratom community generally wants it regulated like other over the counter herbs. The American Kratom Association has even created means to do so, but the DEA/FDA don’t care. They just want to schedule it.

        In the nean time some suppliers are testing their products.

      • Carol

        I don’t agree with regulation. I do agree to have non law in forced quality controls by an independent party like thoses who test other herbs available…..Keep the government out of it.

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      It’s complicated because if it isn’t regulated at all, it’s dangerous and if it’s too regulated, you’re right, chronic pain patients will have the same problem — they won’t have ready access to it…

  51. Brian Cole

    Kratom is an herb I use daily as a tea. The best way to describe it is an herbal antidepressant. There is no inebreation, only a positive sense of well-being. While it is mildly addictive, I can say that if it was sold in every Starbucks that we would *not* have a problem. It would be as positive an addition to our society as was coffee. It is entirely safe provided one uses raw leaf. Extracts of any substance can be dangerous.

    • Jim

      Well said Brian. Thank you for keeping it simple. I’m tired of reading articles making the issue sound complicated. Kratom has been used for hundreds of years with zero undisputed deaths. It helps some people for their health, and many others simply enjoy the energy and feelings of well being. I want the kratom advocates to change their tune to a more aggressive stance of calling out the politicians for their obvious lies. Stop being PC about it.

    • Devin J Morris

      I do as well and completely agree. There’s no high or euphoria, just a mild sense of well being, pain relief, and sometimes increased energy. It also helps with diarrhea quite well. They have Kratom “bars” across the country where you can sit down and enjoy fresh brewed tea with other people and so far they have been going great with little to no issues besides people doing dumb stuff like mixing with a bunch of alcohol. They really need to focus on researching the positives of this amazing leaf instead of actively searching out any reason possible to regulate & or ban it. Supposedly their are already Pharmaceutical companies that are experimenting with creating synthetic pills for opiate addiction from the active chemicals in Kratom such as Mitragynine. Just sayin people…..

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Many people agree with you about this…

      • Grant Armendariz

        It really is a mild stimulant and antidepressant. Think of coffee without the jitters with an aspirin thrown in. The proof it isn’t a powerful addictive opiate drug is its complete disregard by the folks who enjoy drug abuse and a strong high. Kratom makes me feel likes it’s a nice sunny day and Friday afternoon before a nice weekend. My knee pain lessens to the point I forget about it occasionally. But just occasionally.

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      I wonder if it’s more addictive than coffee; this hasn’t been studied. They are botanically related…Kratom DOES act on the opiate receptors, so it probably is more addictive.

  52. Mark

    Kratom use is a complex issue. While on the one hand more study and more regulation appears obviously desirable, given the realities of the way American drug regulations and the healthcare system work, it would be very easy to make access to kratom far more difficult for the people who potentially need it the most. In my own anecdotal experience with it, it powerfully interrupted my alcohol addiction and proved an invaluable tool in helping me get sober. I would love to see studies affirm these benefits for addiction, but if and when the DEA enacts strict regulations, the results in the real world could very well be that harm from addiction is increased.

    Another concern I have is that if you package mitragynine into handy-dandy pill form, you increase risk of recreational abuse. The bitter powder form of kratom that is widely sold is difficult to over-consume. But it’s easy to keep on popping pills.

    No substance is perfectly safe, and kratom certainly has risks associated with its use, but for some it seems to fit extremely well into a harm reduction model for addiction. We need to proceed with cautious compassion.

  53. Lone ranger

    This plant has not only done wonders for me , but several people that i know were hooked on pain pills and were able to get off of them using this plant. There are vendors out here that can be trusted and this can be proven by their client base which has had no negative feedback . This has been aroung long enough in the US and personally consumed and tested by millions of individuals. I doubt that kratom has been a key element in any deaths , but if this is true , just compare this product to a true opiate suxh as oxy or norco and that will show you just how safe this product is to consume compared to what the fda claims is safe

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      Stories like yours are why I tried really hard to write a fair, balanced piece on Kratom; it is a very complex subject…would be safer if regulated so you know what dose you are getting and that the manufacturing is safe…don’t like that it (or ANY..) supplements are so entirely unregulated…

      • Lela

        This stuff has helped me and my husband tremendously he suffers from really bad back pain he has degenerate disc disease and can’t get a dr to give him pain meds so someone he works with told him about kratom

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      This is a strong argument. The anti-kratom side can make a strong argument too…that’s why it’s hard to know how to go forward. It’s difficult to argue against 1) research and 2) enough regulation so the dosages are standard and the products are pure…

  54. Mary Leonhardt

    Thank you, Dr. Grinspoon, for attempting to write an accurate, non-inflammatory article on kratom. I do wish you’d done a bit more research, as there is a good deal of research now . `Check out the website of the American Kratom Association for links.

    I’ve used kratom for the last five years to manage successfully the symptoms of severe Restless Leg Syndrome. It works better for me than any of the Rx drugs, except for opioids, which are now impossible to get for a chronic condition such as mine.

    • EricD

      I use kratom for RLS as well, and it works wonders. Prior to switching I’d been on a lowish dose (20mg/day) of oxycodone for years. After the ban they seem bent on imposing, I’ll have to go back to the oxy as it’s the only thing that works. Makes you wonder how in their minds that somehow represents progress.

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      Thanks for your comments…BTW, I did a ton of research; you can only fit so much into a 900 word blog! You, literally, could write a book about Kratom…

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      I did so much research! They only give us like 900 words maximum…tried my best to be balanced…like cannabis, people have very strong feelings about krater!

  55. Destiny J Elser

    I would also like to mention that for the 5 million Americans including myself who do use Kratom on a regular basis , there is education that we seek out ourselves. We agree that regulation would be beneficial, as no under 18 and testing for purity. Plus , as I stated there has been much research, (agree that more needs done, no argument there) but enough that we can educate ourselves and through our own social sites we know what venders are trustworthy. It would be a benefit if the FDA would watch out for our safety like they do with other food products and helping those who don’t know or are just learning about kratom where to find information. But we all know that is never going to happen. Not when there is a dollar to be made be it’s banishment.

  56. Pamela Garcia

    I have used kratom off and on for three years with no bad effects. There are some companies that test their products and confirm that they are not adulterated or contaminated. More of that is needed.

    I started to use it for chronic pain for two progressive spine disorders after one cervical surgery that did not improve my pain. Kratom works much better than oxycodone and I don’t want or need round the clock fentanyl patches, which do work, but knock me out.

    As far as the few deaths go, it appears that the autopsy reports were lacking full information; maybe those people were in poor health and going to die of other pre-existing conditions. There are several prescription drugs that have caused thousands of deaths… anti inflammatories such as vioxx, and many others caused thousands of deaths before those drugs were black labeled or taken off the market.

    In addition, I hope kratom stays legal as it has become ubsurdly inconvenient for many to contantly deal with doctors and pharmacists to obtain the opioid pain meds for their chronic pain, or be prescribed new non opioid pharmaceuticals that may be more dangerous than kratom.

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts; I hear that from so many people…it shouldn’t be that hard to get adequate pain control!

    • Rick

      This not in response to anyone in particular, just can’t deal with the pain nor all the negative side effects caused by long-term use of prescribed drugs – Gabapentin, Oxycodone and an Intrathecal Pump with Hydromorphone, Bupivacaine and Clonidine!! Kratom sounds like a great alternative but if you want to screw it up then get the government involved. The demand from consumers will shape the market into an effective delivery system, a quality product and reliable manufacturing. Repeat business (which all manufacturers desire) cannot be obtained without meeting all three aspects of a successful product. I say LEAVE IT ALONE!! According to many idiot politicians “You need a Village (i.e. Gov.) to raise a child.” In a free market families excel. Bring on the Kratom!

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      It’s true that the DEA/FDA seem to forget how many people die from NSAIDS when they go after something like Kratom…

  57. Bryan

    I use Kratom instead of Percocet and high dose Ibuprofen for my chronic pain. It just works. Nothing I have used turns down “the volume” of the pain like Kratom does. It doesn’t change the way I feel in any way.

    I buy from a reputable company who does independent testing and quality control on every batch.

    I wonder why the FDA has a knee-jerk reaction to classify it as schedule 1…

    • Timothy M Webster

      Constant pressure from the pharmacutical companies to make kratum a class 1. The government should listen to the many users and keep their hands off it.

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      The history of US drug policy is full of inconsistencies and hypocrisy (am I going to get into trouble for writing this?)

      • Kitty

        Dr. Grinspoon, I applaud you for trying to write objectively about Kratom. Unfortunately, Big Pharma could care less what you or I think. Bottom line is that dollar profit.
        I was on opiates for over 15 years. I finally got so disgusted with the hassle and paranoia of my doctor I took myself off of them. To say I went to hell for 3 weeks is an understatement, but I was so glad to be rid of that mess.
        It still left me with the dilemma of how to handle my chronic pain. Ibuprofen works fairly well, but my stomach will not allow me more than 1-600mg pill a day. So I researched natural methods and found Kratom.
        I also use a company that guarantees rigid QA testing of every batch. I can go from bedridden to being able to move about with one dose of Kratom, which normally lasts about 6 hours.
        Yes, it is mildly addictive, but Nothing like opiates! If the powers that be choose to take this alternative from the millions of us who need a daily medication for pain, I simply will lose all faith in our Health Industry.

    • Peter Grinspoon, MD

      That’s a profoundly complicated questions; suspect it has to do with War on Drugs, corporate pressures, and genuine concerns for safety…many forces and motivations at play…

  58. Donna L Pursley-Rodriguez

    I’m a 65 year old Mother of 4, Grandmother of 6 and my issues with depression, anxiety and pain have been significantly helped by Kratom. After years of struggling with these health issues I decided that taking opiates, antidepressants, or even over the counter pain relievers have a statiscally greater risk and harm to my health than using Kratom. All we need is quality control, education, and stricter dosing information to make this a viable alternative to the Federal bans on Kratom that will do more harm than good. Rather than permitting the AMA and the the Federal Government controlled by big Pharma to demonize this natural product, they should find ways to make it safer for the public to use the quality product they deserve as U.S. citizens. Stop being threatened by the fact that there are always going to be those who choose more natural substances over harmful man-made chemical products. Let us have our right to choose, just give Kratom the study and regulation it needs to keep us safe. It’s a no brainer.

  59. Kyle head

    Kratom is a miracle plant. It’s never killed anyone and been used for centuries. It is a much better alternative then chemically made drugs in a lab by scientist and they say it is safe and it kills millions of people the FDA Is just greedy. Kratom is helping so many people come off drugs and horrible narcotics so called doctor’s prescribe because they get paid to do it. KRATOM SAVES LIVES.

  60. Brandon Glaze

    The death victims linked to kratom either have a cocktail of other well know deadly drugs in their system as well or were seriously depressed people who committed suicide. Nothing the DEA or FDA have brought to the table can prove that kratom and kratom alone will kill you. The list of bad side effects is much shorter and safer then your typical over-the-counter painkiller. The plant will cause you to throw up the contents of your stomach long before it could cause any kind of overdose. The government just wants their hand in the kratom pocket because just like anything people use for medicinal purposes, they want to control it. The government can make way too much money of the sick and in pain people to let something like this slide. They dont give a crap about regulating it to make it safe. That’s the bullshit they feed everyone to seize control.

  61. Roderick Kelley

    Kratom allowed me to stop taking 85mg of liquid methadone two years ago.. I was prescribe a cocktail tail of meds Adderall clonopin Seroquel oxycodone and morphine the dea had issues with me being prescribed Adderall and clonopin together then my psychiatrist claimed to be unaware of my pain dr??? with ktrack tacking every script wrote in the state of Kansas?? But needless to say I got cut off and turned to methadone clinic for my pain and withdrawals from my prescribed meds then my girlfriend found kratom. I had none of the physical symptoms of withdrawal which made it a lot easier on my family

  62. Marc Burdis

    Anyone suffering from Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, Addiction,will find Kratom very useful WITHOUT,the risk of getting physically addicted to it.Unlike expensive, pharmaceuticals.It is habit forming however, about as much as your morning cup of coffee.Its clear to everyone who’s educated on this subject it’s all about powerful pharmaceutical company,s loseing money,very unethically In my opinion!!

    • Jason

      When you say “physically addicted” do you mean physically dependent? There is no shortage of tales of unpleasant Kratom withdrawal littering the internet landscape. Visit sites like ‘Kratom Science,’ YouTube, TripSit, and many others. Many former heroin and opioid users gravitate toward Kratom precisely because it has opioid-like effects. That being said, I’m not a Kratom prohibitionist. Like many people who posted here, I am a responsible and compliant legacy patient who was mistreated by a pain management clinic that blamed the CDC rather than appropriately managing patient pain and withdrawal. This event caused a major medical crisis. At one point, I considered trying Kratom. However, I personally wasn’t willing to accept the risks of an unregulated product that produces physical dependence. I would not want to start Kratom, risky because of its uncertain legal status, only to be forced off it due to regulatory action. That being said, I empathize with people who use it and know people who have been able to replace heroin with kratom, which is infinitely safer. Furthermore, I have no reason to disbelieve people who say it helps their pain. But I think some people make dubious claims because they want to portray Kratom in the best possible light.

  63. Destiny Elser

    The article gives a slightly one sided view of kratom.
    While going into more depth of potential negative effects it only gives a varied and blurred perspective on the positive. Everyone claims no research has been done (or very little) while the opposite more to the truth. Dr. Chris McCurdy in only one of such researchers devoting decades to kratom research. Others have studied and printed science based information declaring kratom is dangerous in very high doses. Doses virtually unattainable except through intravenous injection. There is no evidence of this happening. I expect more thorough reporting from Harvard, investigating both sides of the story. Apparently the FDAs reach is far.

  64. Danny shillington

    Maybe the Government should be more concerned about the fentynal and oxi epidemic that big pharm has created.
    I find it hilarious , all this concern about kratom while they blindly allow doctors to get their patients hooked on dangerous not to mention addicting pain killers that have contributed to more addictions and death than heroin itself.
    I have a sneaking suspicion that the FDA and big pharm are more concerned about losing out on the revenue kratom is producing.
    Kratom is a heaven sent to many. Leave the public alone and clean up your mess prior to kratom.

  65. Bob Slawblog

    My wife was offered kratom from her sister to help with her rather severe post pardon depression after our second child. Now almost 3 years later she still takes it and is seeking treatment to get off. Don’t try using kratom lightly it is highly addictive and your tolerance goes up fast so it will end up costing a lot of money. She easily spends $600 a month on it and we are low income so that’s a huge chunk of our money. She gets full on withdrawals if she tries to go one day without. It has consumed our lives and I pray that the treatment she starts later this month will help.

    I understand people use this to get off hard drugs. I’m telling you that you are just replacing it with another addiction and I wish you the best but I would try another route.

    Signed, concerned husband and father

    • Destiny Elser

      I find this difficult to believe. I’ve been taking kratom responsibility for a year now and have kept my doses to 2 grams or less once or twice a day. And $600. Dollars a month? No wonder shes messed up. A kilogram which is 28 ounces goes for ruffly $100 dollars. So 6 kilograms a month ? Your either buying it at the most expensive places you can find or your vastly exaggerating, or outright lying.

      • Gayle White

        There is no way a person could consume 6 kilos a month. You need to check and make sure that’s what she’s buying, especially if she’s as “addicted” as you say she is. That’s over a kilo a week, actually 1.25 kilos. Kratom is an atypical opioid and does not bind to all 3 pain receptors like a true opiate. The withdrawals therefore, are nothing like true opiate withdrawal. I find this story highly unlikely & rather prefabricated.

      • R. A. Robles

        I started taking Kratom 3 years ago a couple of months after shoulder surgery. Kratom absolutely worked for me in terms of weaning me off of the Oxy. Since then, I typically take about 6-7 grams (12-14 capsules) of Kratom, four nights a week, for pain management and general relaxation. Sorry, but I don’t believe that someone could spend $600/month on Kratom; that’s almost as much as I spend on it in a year! Plus, I travel for work about 1-2 weeks/month, and I never take Kratom while I”m away. I’ve never had withdrawal symptoms.

      • Seon Hee Lee

        This is the kind of response we often hear from the kratom community that’s actually causing more harm than good. The man is dealing with a family member who’s become addicted to a substance that she was probably told all the usual propaganda – it’s not addictive, or it’s no worse than quitting coffee, it’s completely safe, etc. Regardless of the specifics of what she was told which he did not mention, what reason does he have to lie about how the addiction is hurting their family? $600/month is not unheard of. Personally, this is about the amount I was spending after my first few months of kratom usage. It went from 5-10g a day, to an ounce a day, to up to 2 oz a day, and FAST. Why? Because I was told it was so safe and easy to quit, and rotating strains would keep my tolerance at bay, etc. This progression into kratom addiction is not unheard of, and more common than you think. At this rate, in 4oz increments, you can easily spend $600 a month. And when you realize you’re addicted and you’re trying to quit, you don’t buy kilos at a time! But like any other addiction, we’re hoping this bag is our last bag. So yeah, I can see and fully relate to exactly what he’s saying.

        Speaking about price, I’m going by the AKA’s GMP list of trusted vendors and also the vendor I usually buy from. Your price comparison is very exaggerative in that you price out a kilo at $100, but you’ll most likely be buying from some shady vendor, or inconsistent at best. It’s like the AKA is cited or supported when convenient, but when cost comes up, users will conveniently point out the cheapest prices for the sake of supporting their point. Jumping to the conclusion of 6 kilos a month or that he’s outright lying is insulting. Many of us addicted to kratom have found ourselves buying at the most expensive places because we want to quit so bad and let our supply run out planning to quit, but the very real withdrawals get to us and we break down and go buy from a head shop – our last bag, which never ends up being our last one. So we get the taper argument – if this plant were so non-addictive, or at most easy to quit as coffee, why do many of us have such a hard time tapering?

        The propaganda needs to stop, and besides more research, we need more truth. Many kratom communities will censor anything that paints kratom in a negative light, and then they all hop on the bandwagon to attack people with negative experiences while highlighting how miraculous the plant has been. Also let me say that my personal view is that it should NOT be banned, which will easily cause more harm than good. But at the same time, many of us who ended up with a serious kratom addiction didn’t realize what we were getting into, because again, negative experiences are often suppressed. Honestly, there are a lot of cult-like aspects/mentalities to the kratom community, I don’t know how else to say it.

        Also, about replacing an addiction, this part really gets to me. As someone who quit years of IV heroin abuse and was 100% sober for 6 years, I get tired of hearing people saying that “they’ve been sober for X years/months, thanks to kratom” when the truth is no, you’ve been under the influence of kratom for X years/months. Let me also say that I do think kratom has helped saved countless lives – but it’s still trading one addiction for another (much less dangerous, but still an addiction). You still don’t know true sobriety, and that’s such a shame, because being on kratom doesn’t hold a candle to being truly sober.

        So how did I get on kratom? After 6 years of full sobriety, I got injured and needed surgery. I didn’t even finish my prescribed percocets, but unfortunately the site got infected and they had to cut me open again. It wouldn’t heal properly, and I had to get back on something for the pain. I asked for something that wouldn’t be addicting (but more effective than ibuprofen) and I ended up on tramadols for 2 months. Didn’t get me high, but helped me deal with the pain while also dealing with getting married, our wedding, moving to the new house, etc. Well, on our honeymoon, I ran out, expecting to just be in a little more pain than usual. Didn’t realize coming off of tramadols is like coming off of an opiate (mildly in my case), but also like quitting an antidepressant. I researched natural withdrawal remedies while on our cruise ship, read up on kratom and all its propaganda, and ordered some which would be delivered before we even got back home. And from there began 3 years of reignited addiction. I’ve quit 2 times since then but relapsed for various reasons, including the addict mentality, as well as a legit shoulder injury. I’m working on quitting again, and it sucks balls. Ironically, because of all the different effects kratom alkaloids have besides the activity on opioid receptors, quitting kratom has always been more similar to quitting tramadol than plain opioids. The depression and anhedonia lingers on in such a way that, subjectively to me at least, makes it even harder to stay quit in some ways than with full opioids. I really wish I just soldiered through the tram withdrawals and had my life back the way it was before kratom.

        Btw, this last time in self-treating my shoulder AC separation, I limited myself to no more than 5-7g a day (“responsible usage?”), and the withdrawals are still terrible. This is another problem is that everyone is so different. I believe there are those lucky few who don’t get terrible withdrawals (as much as I believe a lot of those who claim this have never actually stopped for more than a day), but for the majority it’s not like quitting coffee, get the heck out.

        I want to highlight again that I understand that kratom has potentially saved countless lives, but it needs to stop being touted as a completely harmless plant. In the last few years, the community has gotten better at giving at least SOME warning that it can be addictive (which to many ppl, it’s addictive AF) but the responses from the kratom community are still so insanely one sided they don’t realize the harm they’re doing to the very real people who are ending up with a very real addiction that’s ruining their lives in very real ways. I don’t want people to lose access to an alternative to prescriptions that were making things worse in the long run, but the community needs to acknowledge it can also go the other way around.

      • Kelly Morris

        Destiny, your math is off here. There are 28 grams in an ounce. A kilogram is 1000 grams. If your kratom is $20 an ounce, then that $20 buys you 28 grams. There are 35.71 ounces in a kilogram. So, a “brick” of Kratom comes to $715. And if you are a heavy user, you can easily go through a brick a month. Especially if you’re abusing it. I can easily see how that woman could go through $600 a month.

    • Bryan

      Hey Bob,
      Your wife has to be using some kind of enhanced kratom. Probably the type with a derivative of tramadol in it. Withdrawals are worse than with heroin. Pure kratom won’t have the high cost or withdrawal symptoms. Check out what exactly she’s using.

    • Peter MacNeil

      Kratom costs $100 per kilogram. I have been dealing with addiction clients for years and I have never had one person who required even 2 kilograms per month, let alone 6. Your wife is an outlier, for sure.

      Most people take a teaspoon 1 to 3 times a day. Let’s consider a maximum dose of 3 grams, 3 times a day. That’s 9 grams per day times 30 days, which is 270 grams. Even if you took double that amount, it is slightly more than half a kilogram or $50-60 per month. Because it is a natural herb, it contains many molecules other than 9 mitrogynine which makes large volumes emetic (plain English: you’ll vomit if you take large amounts).

      My experience with over 200 clients conflicts with your account, but human biology is complex and your wife may have opioid receptor deficits.

      My other concern is the name you entered “Bob Slawblog” – I am an investigator and I found no human being in the western world with your surname: Slawblog. However, I did find “Bob’s Law Blog” with inaccurate information about Kratom and scare tactics employed that are similar to other contractors I have exposed as working for various pharmaceutical companies.

      Whatever your motivation, I assure you that the abstinence syndrome (withdrawal) from the most chronic abuse of Kratom is easily tolerated and minuscule, compared to even the weakest opioid, codeine, which is sold over the counter in Canada.

      In discussion with the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House, there is no plan to schedule Kratom.

  66. Mary Ellen

    Kratom is a life saver and helps me with multiple problems it should definitely be attainable

  67. Stacey Morgan

    Your article has a very negative tone, which is discouraging. Kratom needs champions, especially medical professionals. Why assume the worst before any research?
    I am a 56 yr old male. Very physically active. I lost the genetic lottery and have osteo arthritis. Both knees have been replaced, two lumbar discectomies, and a cervical fusion. I have used opioids intermittently, especially after surgery. They do relieve pain but leave me feeling miserable. My mother and grandmother both became high-functioning opioid addicts due to arthritis.

    I have decided to “treat” my arthritis by staying active and using supplements. I tried glucosamine chondroitin but that did not seem to help. I do have regular episodes where my pain can be nearly debilitating. I have been using kratom for almost a year and it definitely helps with pain relief. I have experimented with dosages and different strains. Even at a high dose, the effects are not similar to opioids. If I take 1 5/325 dose of oxycodone I feel mild relief and mild euphoria. 2 of this dose and I feel moderate pain relief and somewhat stoned. But this is followed shortly by nausea and a wicked headache. The nausea and headache make opioids a poor long term solution (not even considering the addiction).
    I have a trusted supplier I found online. They follow cgmp standards, so I know I am getting unadulterated kratom. I do not get stoned, even on high doses. I do feel very mild euphoria, mild pain relief and increased energy. This is vital as a bad episode of arthritis is as mentally difficult as it is physically painful. Best of all, I don’t have the nausea and headaches I get with opioids.

    Granted, I am a well-informed consumer of kratom. Although my evidence is purely anecdotal and not empirical, it works for me and I will be greatly displeased if the FDA prohibits the use of kratom. I’m not a juvenile trying to get high. I really don’t think kratom can be used (abused) in the same manner as opiods.

    Should there be standards? Absolutely, as I’m quite sure there is junk being sold as kratom. But to ban a useful supplement because the world is full of idiots is…..idiotic.

    I would hope medical professionals such as yourself would take the time to research this supplement and help the FDA to not make a poor decision regarding the availability of kratom.

  68. Ben McKay

    I am a pastor who works for a faith based rehabilitation program that is 1 year long. In the 4 years I’ve been here I’ve seen 1 suicide and 1 overdose directly related to kratom. It’s extremely sad to see people go so far only to fail on something they can buy at a gas station!!! We finally had to buy drug tests for kratom. It’s just so sad to see men and women come so far only to fall short on something the government isn’t regulated here.

    • LAW

      Sorry for your losses. I mean no I’ll will but I’m willing to bet there was a lot more to these instances than Kratom.

    • Robynn

      Since 2015, I’ve used kratom on and off for pain and anxiety. I was on vicodin for a long period of time due to hip pain that couldn’t be explained. They cut me off randomly, and while I understood it, I was still in a large about of pain. They sent me to pain management, but made me wait a good 3 months to get in. In that 3 months, I found kratom and I’m honestly so happy I did. It helped with the withdrawal, and it helped take the edge off the pain. It also helped with my PTSD, which my celexa wasn’t doing well with.
      I was later diagnosed with fibromyalgia and nerve pain. They put me on gabapentin, a strong anti inflammatory, and amitriptyline at night.
      I do physical therapy. I try to work hard on muscle building. I take my gabapentin when I know I won’t be working, because I feel nervous about taking it if I need to drive. So I take small doses of certain kratoms to help me focus and just handle the pain.
      It’s also helped when I have anxiety attacks brought on my past trauma.
      Going off kratom will be a bitch, because it’s helped me get back to work and building a better me. If I feel a flare up coming up, I don’t need to call off work now. It still isn’t pleasant, but it helps a lot, and doesn’t make me feel sleepy like my gabapentin does. If I have to remove kratom from the equation… I’ll do it, but it’s going to be pretty hard working and paying bills If I’m not able to tolerate pain.
      Here’s hoping we get to keep kratom, because my body does a lot better with it than it did without, and it’s a lot safer than any narcotic I’ve taken.

    • Seon Hee Lee

      That’s so sad, and almost something I feel could have happened to me. Kratom not only works like an opiate, but also messes with your brain chemistry in many more ways than classic opioids, and I experienced nearly suicidal thoughts the first time I quit kratom, nowhere near the level of quitting 3 bundles of shooting up dope a day. The overdose I honestly find a bit hard to believe, though you did mention it was related and it wouldn’t surprise me if a former resident relapsed on other stuff and also used kratom as a substitute at times and so it was just found in his/her system semi-coincidentally. It’s also very possible they started using kratom first which took them back to their old addict mentality full force. I don’t think overdose is out of the realm of possibility when it comes to extracts, or at least make kindling with another substance much easier to overdose on. Either way, I’m sorry you had to deal with that. I’ve also worked with many residents who would end up dead later, whether it was days, weeks, months, or even years, although kratom wasn’t as big back then. So why is it now suddenly a problem?

      I went through a program called Mission Teens (or “Mission Bible Training Center” in other states). Spent 3 1/2 years there, going through all the phases of the program and eventually staying on as an assistant resident director. 3 years after leaving, despite continuing to stay in touch with them, leading worship at our church, and leading the youth group (with my fiance and now wife, which I met in the church, thank you Jesus), after an unusual set of circumstances following an injury, I ended up on kratom. If I knew this would lead to years of an addiction again, I would have never touched it. But all I saw was a harmless plant that I couldn’t get addicted to.

      My first quit, though I was taking a lot (anywhere from an ounce or two a day), resulted in all of the classic opiate withdrawal symptoms, but with a nice new twist of extreme depression and absolutely no energy. Also add extreme anxiety, and I’ve never had panic attacks in my life until kratom, and every time I’ve managed to quit, they never came back until I started again. The brain zaps, mental fog, and other cognitive issues also weren’t as bad as with classic opiates. The depression was so insanely bad (coupled with all of the other w/d symptoms, but the depression easily took the cake) that in some ways I wished I could just repeat the experience of going through heroin cold turkey like I did 6 years prior instead of going through this hell.

      After 6 months clean, and then relapsing but only taking about 10-15g a day for about a year, the withdrawals were not quite as bad, but they still certainly were no walk in the park. Towards the end of this round of usage, I was again waking up every morning sick and depressed until my dose. The withdrawals from the lower dosages weren’t quite the hell on earth the first quit was, but it would still be a lie to say it was at all easy.

      3 months ago, I had a minor shoulder AC separation injury. Still extremely painful. I stupidly rationalized to myself that I could take just a few grams just when the pain was too much and I couldn’t sleep. No more than 10g a day. Most days I’ve probably been only taking 5g a day. Call it the kindling effect or whatever, but it’s just as bad as my 2nd go around.

      Oh, and for people who say “it’s not an opioid/opiate, they’re ALKALOIDS” – they work on your opioid receptors. Get over this technicality. Used enough, it will produce the same withdrawal symptoms as any other opioid, plus the bonus of mimicking withdrawals from other substances thanks to the many alkaloids that work in many different ways.

      The plant is very curious and has many different effects. But for the same reason, it is also relatively very poorly understood and effects our brain chemistry in so many different ways that can be quite insidious. No, it won’t kill you right away the way classic opioids will, and you won’t overdose from it (plain leaf at least), but it certainly can slowly suck away your soul/personality, and it happens so slowly you don’t realize it. In some ways that’s even worse. Couple that with the pro-kratom propaganda, ease of access, and lack of allowing negative experiences to be taken seriously (unless you go to r/quittingkratom), the kratom community has just as much responsibility if the plant gets banned as they do with people who are beginning to experience the very negative side of kratom usage.

      If it weren’t for being able to open up with my friends, family, and church members (some of whom have been addicts, and all of whom are aware of my drug history), their prayers, and their support, I would probably just be hopelessly addicted again, but ok with the plant that’s causing me withdrawals every morning, anxiety throughout the day, and a bunch of other mental anomalies (all of which disappear when I quit) – but isn’t killing me. Another problem is that many people who are addicted have no one to talk to, or are ashamed of being addicted to a drug you can buy down the street legally, or are even seen by doctors who don’t know much about it besides what they’ll read in r/kratom.

      I’m still doing “well”, in the worldly terms of the word, but I can still feel that the plant is back to slowly stealing my soul. Same as with any other opioids. Even when using responsibly, there is no using responsibly for me. Many will argue “well that’s you”, but I argue back, no that’s many people. Check out r/quittingkratom, or other drug forums that aren’t censored by the extreme kratom advocates. In moderation, I believe kratom can absolutely help people – at least those who actually truly need it. But just as much as the pharma companies overprescribed their pills, the kratom community has also overprescribed their one-sided views onto the public.

    • Carol

      Ben Mccay kratom is not the reason for suicide or an overdose….it is a symptom of a mental illness. Please do not make comments you are not fully educated about.

    • Paula Tead

      Pastor you are mistaken. There is NO TEST available for detection of kratom. Someone sold you garbage

  69. J A Hyman

    A combination of Kratom and pure CBD oil works great at stopping opoid withdrawals ! As a Stevens-johnson syndrome survivor, I was on opoids and muscle relaxers for three years. I discussed the change with my primary care Doctor, who said that he could not comment on the safety of either substance. I looked at him and said , ” you can’t comment on the safety of pharmaceuticals either only repeat the propaganda that these big corporations provide” ! After a period of silence and him looking at everything but me he finaly looked up and said your right because I was the one who prescribed what you reacted too and it was said to be safe. So I personally will take my chances from here on with natural products, like Kratom and CBD. Because so far over 98% of all deaths associated with Kratom have other substances that could be the cause ! Actually the US is about the only Country that says there’s no medical benefits from Cannabis although they do have the extracted THC from Cannibis made into a pill form by big pharma and sold to cancer patents .

  70. Mark Caudill

    I have used Keaton for several years now and have had great success with pain relief. I had to go slowly in the beginning to be safe and to document the effects. I have used different strains, red, white, green. The worst experience I have had was mild feelings of nausea. If I consume too much it just makes me feel like I’ve had too much coffee. I was taking Vicodin for nerve pain over a period of nine years. I think there are undeniable benefits and very little risk if the individual using it is a responsible adult. Most of the articles I have read about Kratom appear to have been written by people retained by pharmaceutical companies. It is sad to think that an organic substance that shows so much promise helping people with pain control is aggressively attacked. Empirical studies need to be done before something like this is propagandized and withheld from people desperate for pain relief. The ability to get high using kratom is an absolute fallacy.

  71. Tim Reim

    I was on 360 Hydrocodone at 10/325 strength per month and I was on 180 oxycodone 30mg strength per month. Both of these medications were taken at the same time I had been on these for over 7 years. I have multiple chronic pain diagnosis that I will not get into. I do want state the kratom got me off all pain meds and their debilitating side effects. All my pain is currently managed through primarily kratom but also an addition of CBD oil. The high doses of opioids and the pain medications what’s causing me to lose mental capacity and worsen my health. Kratom turned my life around.

  72. Jonathan Lemaire

    The FDA is the worst authority on anything as every year they pass poisons for profit to appease the greed of big pharma. Not much kills more people than Dr. Prescribed drugs, they make guns look safe. My tragic life has been suffering from one side effect after another until I got Stephen Johnson syndrome and almost died. It’s been almost twenty years since I’ve taken anything prescribed by a Dr. As I self medicate with just cannabis and Kratom, and my health has never been better.

  73. Mark Hulbert

    I have been clean from opiates for years, thanks to kratom. No more orange handcuffs! It has given me my life back! We are supposed to trust the very same health system that spawned the opioid crisis itself? A herbal supplement (read no prescription needed) gives you guys the Willie’s? Are there people stealing and whoring themselves out there for a kratom fix? Please show me, I have never seen it! More people die from aspirin per year….no call to arms?

  74. Thomas Schmitt

    I have used Earth brand Kratom for a couple of years.
    I no longer require taking of any other pain reliever when I was taking 8 to 12 Advil depending on the day. I have taken opiate pain pills and though they are also effective I have a worse side effects along with attendant doctor visits etc…
    It is possible to take too much which will make you feel terrible like too much caffeine. Start slow until you learn what dose is right for you.

  75. Chris

    Thank you for the sensible article.

  76. Denny Jaeger

    Kratom is a plant once again. The other millions of people and myself that take kratom like it because you don’t get messed up on it, it blocks opiate addiction I don’t suffer from that personally but it substitute pills that would perscribed by Drs, with out the pharmacuidical companys making billions of dollars off hard working people. It may have down sides we’ll find out but for now it’s not a bad thing.

  77. Nick

    I have been using kratom off and on for several month’s now and it has been very beneficial. I am a tractor and trailer mechanic and I change several tires daily as well as heavy parts. Kratom takes my aches and soreness away, it also helps me focus and keep a level head while dealing with customers and management.

  78. Susan Santana

    I use Kratom daily after being on pain pills for over 10 years. I feel better physically, and I see nothing wrong with using kratom in a responsible manner.

  79. Dave

    One of an extremely few articles which tries hard to show both sides of the argument. Almost all of the articles I’ve ever read are almost carbon copies of what the DEA has put out.

    It’s sad. I’ve used kratom for over ten years, long before it was even heard of by the general public.

    It absolutely helps with pain. More important in today’s society, it helps with withdrawal. I can attest to both. So can many others. The DEA will almost certainly schedule it. I have little doubt.

    That’s really sad because science needs to study kratom and find out how it can help many people.

  80. Danny Smith

    Kratom is beneficial! Big pharma does not want the public to have it because it works! It stops depression, pain and addictive tendency! The so called health industry is trying to smear it so you can take their toxic addictive meds! Shameful if you ask people who take it with great results! I had a massive stroke and have been taking kratom for three years now and that beautiful natural plant gave me my life back! Don’t believe lobbyist and BS researchers who say this and that! They want you sick and addicted because they want your money!

  81. Mark Weitkum

    I personally am acquainted with THOUSANDS of kratom users. Not one of them has reported experiencing ANY of the purported side effects mentioned by members of our current radical government, or referred to in this article. If this plant is not studied and then controlled for purity and consistency, we – as a nation – will have lost one of our finest hopes for resolving the supposed “opioid crisis”.

  82. Mvjw01

    Coming from someone who had an opiate addiction this is nothing of the same sort.
    It does reduce the withdrawal symptoms and makes a great replacement for opiates or suboxin which can be equally as hard to come off of as opiates.
    In the beginning you can feel a dependency but as months go o. You find you forgot to take it. Then you find you don’t need it or opiates. Treating it like a schedule one is like treating pot like a schedule one.
    Obviously those who are making the laws and rules have not done their homework or used it.
    I am sure they read studies done by pharma companies who either want it stopped because it’s taking away customers or they want to control it.

  83. Kimberly Cornilsen

    Adults who drink alcohol are giving a warning label and allowed to make their own risk assessment of consuming it. We are loosing our freedoms way to fast in this country, especially when it come to our own health. That in itself is more dangerous than Kratom.

  84. David Barlage

    I think Kratom is a god-send, just like natural occuring opiates.. The old saying, too much of anything is bad for you, is definitely true in this case. I have used Kratom successfully to stop using prescription opiates. I think the big stink about Kratom is the fact that you don’t need prescription opiates if you use it..If we were to keep Kratom legal, the big pharma group will fight it tooth and nail.. They stand to lose millions if the general public stops going to pain doctor’s to get addicted to their products… KEEP KRATOM legal!!!!! Thank you so

  85. Steve Richardson

    I would love to comment on this subject of Kraytom because I myself had started using this for only a week now and I can tell you it does work for my pain from Neuropathy, Joint pain. In 2004 I was diagnosed with AML Leukemia at 37 years old and healthy as an ox was never sick but here I was so the Chemo started within two months the Doctors but in that time frame I had developed a fungus in my upper right lung chamber so two upper chambers were removed then they had it in Remission so six month of extra Chemo therapy was in order, then just shy of Two Years it return strongly so the fight was on after another Four month Hospital stay it was again in Remission but we had to fight a Bone Marrow Donor ASAP With Gods Grace we found a 10 out of 10 unrelated perfect match so another Six months stay in Karmonas Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Then in 2011 I was diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease Nurphautic Syndrome and had trouble (long story) well I ended up septic in the Hospital with a Blood Pressure dropping down to 23/12 shin shots to get medication in my body because everything was Calapsing, I was Dying so the Diagnosis was bleak but Again God Spared me, but through all of that since day one from the Very onslaught of Cancer I was put on Pain Medication starting out with Vicodin, then later to Norco because of less on the Liver well during the last episode I was put on 30mg of Oxycodone for pain I was diagnosed with Neuropathy, loss of major Cartilage in Joints, lower Back Problems from laying on my back for so long everything there is Hurtz on me and I Hate taking Pain Medicine and I was never a person who used drugs all I was a big strong man 6’4 280 lbs. so I gave my Wife The Medicine with directions to only give it to me once to twice a day for which she has done. But the after effects of everything my Teeth are Rotting from the inside out, I know I am Not Mentally Addicted to the Drug But I can tell you I am Physically Addicted to the Drug because if I wait to long to take the medication then my body starts to hurt and my sinus start to get plugged and just a feeling of hurt over my whole body. So I have ask my Doctor to give me something different for my pain to help get me off of this drug but I will hurt all the rest of my life but he had tried three different types of medication and I gave them a try one did absolutely nothing the other two were like taking sleeping pills so those all three are out so I meet a man who is retired older man we start talking pain and health issues he tells me about Kraytom and my first thoughts were it’s some type of drug like marijuana or something like that he told me no and have a me a little baggy with a green powder in it and told to drink it with tea and it would help me at night and if I wanted to get off of the medication I could use this so I tried it with the thought ya right well I am here to tell you it helps and there is no high like feeling or anything like that the pain just go away for about four hours as far as I can tell, but what I do know is I am well on my way to taking One less dose a day so far but I will keep trying to make darn sure before I just put my other meds in the garbage because if it continues to work that’s exactly where the pills will go to the garbage period. The only reason I even typed the letter is because I don’t believe it should be classified as anything other then a Homeopathic Drug period, now if it made me high I would tell you I have no reason to lie about such a thing. That is a very brief but long story of the last 15 years of my life but God Spared me to see both my children graduate go to college both of them seen both be married walked my daughter down the isle and see two of my Grand Babies be born. And this part of life I would change for anything in this World. Wish me luck with the Kraytom use and getting away from the Medication that hasn’t hurt me as far as that goes it’s just I would much rather not use it if I can use Kraytom. May God Give Us The Answer.

  86. Stefanie

    If it’s so addicting and dangerous… how do millions of people use it safely? Why was the term “addictive” used when there’s “not enough research”? How are all these claims made when this PLANT hasn’t been thoroughly researched? It’s helping improve the quality of life for millions of families. People who suffer from chronic pain, like myself, effects not only me, but the whole family. Now that doctors are no longer helping manage people with severe pain, the overdose rate has skyrocketed. Kratom is helping those people. How is our meat and dairy processed? Why is there no transparency and media not allowed in factory farming facilities? The public does have a right to safe products… but the named government agencies turn their heads to more critical health hazards. Before anyone consumes anything, research needs to be done by the individual. Then they can make the decision for themselves. Many kratom vendors offer lab tests of their products to consumers. Does large dairy corporations do that? Not that I’m aware of. If a PLANT is helping people with pain, anxiety, depression, getting off hard drugs I would assume it’s a miracle.

  87. Bob

    I have been taking kratom for a while now and it is quite the the supplement .it is from the coffee family of plants and does not come anywhere near being like the opioids that I have taken, I take some 1st thing in the morning and the again at lunch. I sleep better and have more energy and concentration. I don’t see any reason to make it a class 1 or drug. It’s not even close to being the same. I also don’t believe someone could take enough of kratom to overdose from it…that is fake news, it sounds like big pharma is disturbed that they don’t have the market to them selves. The fda should leave kratom alone. Its been used for hundreds of years in asia. Come on find something better to do with your time

  88. Pamela

    Kratom saved my life! There are no withdrawal and no way to overdose. Im sick of the bad publicity it gets because none of it’s true.

  89. Jason

    The information in this article about kratom is still skewed toward fear-mongering with alarming verbiage. Kratom is as safe as aspirin or caffeine, and certainly safer than alcohol; it’s much safer than cigarettes, in the long run, too. Alcohol kills way more people than anyone wants to admit publicly – print a blog article about making alcohol a Schedule 1 controlled substance, then I’ll be impressed with our “medical community”.

  90. Robert

    “If all of the above could somehow be accomplished, by scientists and public health specialists, without overdue distortion from corporate interests, anti drug ideology, and romanticism by krratom

    Impossible, for the same reasons: GREED!!!!

  91. Joe

    Kratom has never been documented to cause respiratory failure.

    • Gayle White

      Kratom does NOT incite the production of beta-arrestin, which is needed for respiratory depression. This is because it is actually an atypical opioid, and does not floor the delta receptor responsible for respiratory depression. It also is both an agonist AND antagonist. It has a built in ceiling affect. Do your research before you post nonsense.

  92. Nelson Griffin

    I would like to know all there is to know about Kratom, because we people with pain, chronic pain need something to help us to live a normal life and do normal thing. If the CDC care for people who suffer everyday , with nothing to help them, sense they took our pain meditation. At least studying it.

  93. Kenneth

    If the doctors and pharmaceutical criminals put this much effort into informing vulnerable patients and the general public about the risks of the opiates that they recklessly overprescribed for the past 25 years we would not be in this position.. they assisted cartels or whoever really controls the American drug trade and basically drove people and forced them to try heroin by slanging heroin in a pill form legally.. you could take a hundred grams of Kratom and live, get really sick and be fine in 12 hours.. if you took a 100 norco or oxycodone or the wrong 100th of an ounce of heroin, you’d be dead period.. the problem is the pharmaceutical industry wants in.. it’s like selling crack on another dealer’s block.. but the other dealer is a multi billionaire with lots of power..

  94. Paul fronek

    I was addicted to pain meds, almost lost my wife and kids, thanks to the doctors, my health was bad, found Kratom , haven’t touched a pill in yrs, have a great job now and my marriage is so good..all cause of Kratom that doesn’t get you high.. but works better then anything out there, I don’t take Tylenol or Ibuprofen or Advil, my liver and stomach and kidneys are great, the best thing that happened to my life is Kratom..

  95. Sarah

    I have been using kratam everyday for a couple months to kick a Suboxone withdrawl symptoms, and it helped greatly. I haven’t yet experienced any withdrawals from this. I only have been taking what I needed though and no more..but when I don’t have it I still do not feel the pain associated with opiates. So, I’m not sure where that is coming from but I would think methadone and Suboxone is more dangerous. This was an experiment for me also since no studies have been done.

  96. MannyHM

    Let us wait for the result of that $3.5 million research on Kratom given by NIDA. In the meantime, the FDA and DEA should make sure no dirty or fake Kratom is being sold.

  97. Anne Wyckoff

    Some places (like Phytoextractum) somehow test for heavy metals and attempt to give a dose guide for kratom.

    Millions 7see kratom in the US today. I have read a large number of accounts of people successfully using it in place of heroin or to treat pain, and it doesn’t have nearly the risk of fentanyl sold on the street. Make it illegal, and the government pushes all those people to risk black market contamination! Smh…

  98. Buck Daniels

    Kratom is more powerful than lortab. I know because I take it. Two heaping spoons every night. It has withdrawals identical to lortab addiction. It does help with pain but is very addictive. I feel it is safer than the alternative because it is natural and has very little “coming down”
    Side effects. I use white kratom and it helps a lot but I hate that it’s addictive.

    • Seon Hee Lee

      I kind of wanted to say it’s very subjective, because 2 heaping spoons may not be much (in comparison to x mg hydrocodone / apap) for some people, but for others could be more powerful than x mg hydrocodone / apap like it is for you. But then again because of the lack of regulation, there’s always the possibility of what if there was some extract mixed in to this batch? And let’s just assume that RC’s are out of the question. Furthermore, there’s the consideration of the conditions the trees were grown in, and even then potency can vary from batch to batch anyway. Rarely are people comparing the same exact product when it comes to dosage. Regulation is definitely something that is needed, and in my opinion a much better option (or at least step into the right direction) than an outright ban.

      But I also wanted to thank you for an honest post about its potential addictiveness (which also, can be somewhat subjective, but very real). I really wish I read more posts like yours before I ever started taking it and I would have definitely thought twice. But unfortunately posts like yours are often suppressed or outright deleted in many pro-kratom communities, which also unfortunately are often where people new to kratom go for information.

      So much pushback from kratom supporters about arguments and every time articles like this one come around being one-sided when they’re often guilty of the same. It’s unfortunate.

  99. Nick Leksan

    Methamphetamine is Schedule II, not I, and is available via prescription in the form of 5mg tablets brand-name Desoxyn.

  100. Bryce

    It depends on what it’s used for. It’s helped me stay away from opiates (legal and illegal). I’m almost positive drinking kratom leaf tea is less dangerous than doing heroin. Its helped me put my life back together but like almost anything it can be habit forming. It’s great that it’s being studied more now. It should have an age restriction on it like alcohol but a ban would hurt a lot of people that use it to stay off of heroin and pain meds.

    • Leonie Long

      Completely ignorant to side affects of Percocet, I found myself in an extremely embarrassing situation when I stopped taking them and thought I was either going to die from physical withdrawals and told the doctor at the ER I thought I was having a nervous breakdown and was admitted to a psych ward. After 3 days my wds worsened and the only way I could find relief was to take more percocet. Needless to say my whole life fell apart. I was then prescribed Suboxone. Coming off that is to the 10th power than it was the wds I experienced from Percocet. I would not wish these withdrawals on my worst enemy, but finally I got through it. But not without consequences of a broken marriage and financial bust not to mention the shame and guilt. I have since learned that it only takes 72 hours to become physically addicted to opioids. There have been more situations arise after surgery when I have since been prescribed the drug. The pain was unbearable, but the sheer terror of having to go through wds again was my greatest fear. I discovered Kratom. Now anytime I need to take pain medicine, I take Kratom when I’m done. It only takes one week on Kratom reducing amount each day and I’m free from any type of withdrawal…COMPLETELY!
      So why would I choose taking Suboxone or Methadone knowing how difficult it is to come off that? Why would I pay all that money to either go to rehab or lock myself into a pain clinic? This of course is a rhetorical question.

    • Seon Hee Lee

      Thanks for your sensible post and acknowledging that it can be habit forming. Ideally, an age restriction (like alcohol) would certainly be beneficial, though regulating it further may be a bit more difficult (I think extracts are just a bad idea overall, and even many vendors agree). I also agree that a ban would ultimately hurt a lot more people, especially as you mentioned those that use it to stay off of heroin and pills.

      I’m also glad it helped you stay away from harder opiates, and just as much I pray that you’ll eventually be completely free and know complete freedom from any external opioid agonists (partial or full)! =)

      Trust me, it’s much better than being in a false state of kratom “sobriety”.

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