Kratom March on DC 9/13: Stories of the Devastated if DEA’s Kratom Ban Is Fulfilled
Tomorrow is the Kratom March on DC: September 13th. If you can’t make it to Washington DC, why not start your own movement locally?
Any action at all will help; print out some articles or info about kratom, hand them out to people in your community if you have no other ideas. If we communicate and gather together we can at least exercise our ability to unify for our natural rights, a skill our class of people desperately needs.
Cassius: After the DEA’s late August announcement that they would give kratom a 2 year “emergency scheduling” as a highly illegal schedule 1 drug,Brandon Turbeville and I wrote an article in which we asked people to contact us with their stories.
In response, we were sent this: here are accounts of people who have found solace in kratom: people who would be devastated if the DEA’s plan was fulfilled.
Countless other pleas for mercy in this drug war have been posted on YouTube and around the internet; testimony from kratom users on how effectively the herb treats everything from chronic pain to depression.
Additional videos in protest of the DEA’s decision can be found at the end of this article. An article from Heavy titled “I Am Kratom: Photos & Stories of Advocates Fighting the Ban” can be found at this link.
By Adrian Smith-Madden
“I have joined the fight to save Kratom. I was addicted to Narcotic pain medications for almost 30 years. During that time I lost so much, including my beloved husband. I became a totally different person. I used to be happy, carefree and outgoing. As my arthritis pain, heel spurs, migraine pain, Pseudo gout. and Fibromyalgia got worse I was given higher and higher doses of different drugs to combat the pain and depression that went with it. At one point I was on 80 mg. Morphine 3 times a day along with 10 mg Percocet 8 times a day. I lost interest in almost every aspect of living. Let me say this right now, I never ever abused those drugs. I only took them as prescribed. But I was still addicted and they took over my life. I would fall asleep at wrong moments including while driving my car. I am a smoker and I almost burned my home down several times when I fell asleep while smoking. My floors had/ and have cigarette burns all over them. I burned holes in almost every piece of clothing I owned. I stopped wanting to go places and be around people because I just didn’t have the energy to mingle and think. The sad and typical part of these drugs is that they stopped fighting my pain. The pain got worse and worse making my need for higher and higher doses due to the rebound effect. In the early 2000’s I had to have both of my knees replaced. The surgeons worried that they would not be able to control my added pain, as I was already on maximum doses of pain meds. It soon became impossible for me to work any longer as I could not stand on my feet for more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time. I used to walk 10 to 15 miles a day, now I can barely walk around a store without pain.
Frequently I would find that the amount of pills in my bottles was lower than I thought I should have. As I said, I only took exactly what I was supposed to, and frequently didn’t take the full amount on any given day. So I should have had pills left over at the end of the month. Finally I realized that I was losing them to family members who had become addicted. It was then that I made the difficult decision to stop! They were no longer helping me, in fact I was worse than ever. And now I found that I had family that was stealing from me. Enough! It was a frightening proposition as I had no way of knowing what my true pain levels would be. It had been many years since I had been without Narcotic pain meds. But on the 15th of August, 2014 I took my last pill. I began the detox journey with no help from my doctor. I had begged him for help to get off the drugs, and he ignored me. It seemed to me that he would prescribe all the drugs one could want but to get off of them, you are on your own.
The detox process was a living hell. I was freezing cold constantly. I had a runny nose and sneezed for weeks. I had diarrhea for weeks. My skin was flushed bright red. The nights were the worst. My skin crawled and I couldn’t lie still. I knew what the term “Kicking the Habit” meant. My legs were in constant motion. Finally one of my family members brought me some marijuana to smoke. I would smoke a tiny bit just before bed. It was the only way I was able to get any sleep. It took me a full 2 months and then some to get the narcotics and the addiction out of my body. I vowed then to never go back on them, no matter how bad my pain got. What I did find was that my pain was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The swelling in my legs went away, and I was able to function on an almost normal level. However there were days when my pain was again unbearable.
My grand daughter and my daughter kept telling me to take Kratom. Not knowing what it was, I was hesitant. I tried to read up on it but found “Horror Stories” about it. Of course they were written by FDA, and other government agencies. Then I found the REAL stories about how it was helping so many people. I finally decided to try it. I was having a horrible pain day and my grand daughter gave me a 1/2 tsp in some water. Within 30 minutes my pain was GONE! I had not felt that good in months, maybe years. And I did not feel “High” like when smoking pot. Right then I decided to buy some. I have never regretted it. Kratom has totally changed my life. I no longer suffer from insomnia, forgetful spells, brain fog, dizziness, swelling, depression, or any of the other horrible things I had with narcotic pain meds. For me Kratom has truly been a life saver. I don’t know how I would handle the intense pain without it. On the narcotics I was barely able to take care of my tiny little home. Now I manage my home, and my parents entire property which includes mowing 3 acres and cleaning their home. I am just one person in this fight to keep Kratom legal, but I matter as much as the next person. I do not want to spend the rest of my life in debilitating pain, no will I ever go back to narcotics to control that pain. We must stop this ban on Kratom which does so much good for so many people.”
By Morgan Joylighter
“My fundamental issue has always been that I was raised by physically and emotionally abusive parents in near-cult-like isolation. That compromised my social skills, ability to feel relaxed or safe in normal human circumstances, and baseline neurochemistry in regards to contentment, happiness, and pleasure . I have spent most of my life bouncing around between one addiction or compulsive destructive behavior and another, trying to find ways to temporarily fill the void I felt by being unable to see myself as a good person, feel loved, enjoy normal social activities without anxiety and self-loathing, or even keep my neurochemistry at a high enough level to avoid feeling suicidally depressed for much more than half of the time. I was bipolar, manic depressive, had multiple anxiety disorders and probably ADHD besides, and between all of those I was on a constant roller coaster of either hating being alive or madly trying to distract myself from that fact with various pleasures. I accumulated a number of different vices over the years and cycled through countless attempts to quit them, only to see myself forced to swap one for another as the underlying issues went unaddressed and seemed increasingly unaddressable.
Unlike some kratom users I never actually delved into illegal drugs, but that was more a function of lack of opportunity caused by my sheltered upbringing than anything else. Even so, I found just about every other possible way to further screw up my health, and just about the best thing I can say for myself is that being a highly empathetic person, I kept my issues to myself and for the most part suffered in my own private hell, for fear of dragging anyone else down with me. But despite various attempts at trying psychology, psychiatry, and both mainstream and alternative health advice, I did not find any relief for my issues, and eventually began to despair that I would ever become the person I felt like I was born to be, a creative and cheerful novelist with a healthy social life who makes better the lives of everyone I come in contact with.
When I was 26 I started drinking for the first time, having previously put that temptation out of my mind sheerly on the basis of never having tried alcohol before and knowing that it would probably be just as addictive and harmful as everything else. For the first year I managed to manage it pretty well, as I was in a fairly good portion of my overall life’s journey and had a good amount of support from close friends, but then through some unavoidable twists of fate I found myself feeling very lonely and rapidly sinking back into my old patterns, except now with the bonus that alcohol gave me an easy escape from those feelings (or sometimes, to be more accurate, lacks of feelings). So I slid down the slippery slope until I was getting ridiculously drunk 5-6 nights a week, every week, for months on end, and it was all I could do to keep getting up every morning and going to work. I felt completely out of control of my life. Thankfully I have always been either a cheerful or an obliviously sleepy drunk, so again I was only hurting myself, but the longer this went on the less positive and the more negative effects the alcohol began to have. And not only was I drinking entirely too much, I was also experimenting with various over-the-counter synthetic pharmaceuticals (mainly poorly studied nootropics) in an attempt to stay ahead of the hangover curve, and that inevitably screwed up my neurochemistry even further. Within two years my life was a complete mess and felt like I was sinking into a bottomless pit. I knew I had to stop, and find some way to find some balance.
I found kratom shortly before I ended up quitting alcohol, and initially did not even realize the full potential of the herb, as it took quite awhile to figure out my ideal dosage (a bit more than most people use, my body has always been bad at absorbing anything nutritious) and preparation method (powder of the full herb in boiled tea, more or less identical to how matcha green tea is used). But eventually I realized that kratom had the potential to override my brain’s baseline levels of anxiety both generalized and social, and give me a sense of contentment, of feeling okay, that was as profound as that achieved by the best drunkenness without any of the other properties of alcohol. It is like what antidepressants aresupposed to be and never have been, for me. Kratom lets me finally feel like I can be a normal and productive member of society, to be creative and social without fear that my issues and compulsions are going to pop back up a few days later and ruin all the progress I made. For the greatest property of kratom for me is it’s consistency. It has the same gentle and friendly effects every time. It doesn’t require that you take more and more and more to get the same result. It refuses to allow you to drink more than would be good for you because your body literally can’t physically absorb enough fibrous plant matter that the active constituents of the herb would build up anywhere near as much as an opiate or synthetic opioid. It is the first strategy for overcoming my issues that has actually worked every day for months and years. It let me quit alcohol and all my other OTC medication experimentation without any relapses, and then get back to the more fundamental matter of fixing all the things I had done to very, very deeply screw up my health, without constantly sabotaging and re-sabotaging it every time my brain decided I wasn’t getting what it mistakenly thought I needed. Kratom, no matter what is going on in my life from day to day or month to month, just makes me feel like I have what I need to be content. I realize that it’s a crutch, but I’ve been emotionally disabled all my life, and if I ever hope to get around on my own two feet without assistance, walking around on crutches for a few years while I get my emotional muscles developed is a lot more beneficial than falling all over the place every time I try to get up.
I am now 30 years old and have been off alcohol and my other harmful habits for two years and been a daily drinker of kratom tea for the same. I have recently made some big breakthroughs in my physical health, finally found a doctor to work with who I believe understands me and who I feel like I can trust despite my previous bad experiences with doctors, and literally saw the biggest and most inspirational sign of fundamental physical improvement I’ve had in years, less than one week before the DEA announcement was made. The timing could not have been worse. I was just starting to feel optimistic about my future at long last. While I certainly would like to one day no longer be dependent on kratom for daily functionality and enjoyment of life, it is not quite yet that day. I thusly feel profoundly betrayed by my country and medical system that the one perfectly natural and benign successful treatment I have found for my issues might be taken away from me without any clear explanation, without my having any say in the matter, and without any effective alternative being available. I have spent most of the last few days in a strange kind of low-level shock, horrified by the idea of having to go back to my former life where my neurochemistry is betraying me at every turn.
Normally I wake up from nightmares and feel thankful that I’m back in the safer, brighter real world. Since the announcement I am waking up and feeling like real life is the thing I wish wasn’t happening. That probably sounds terribly melodramatic, but I felt so horrible on such a regular basis before kratom leveled out my experience of life that it honestly does feel like sliding back into a peculiar sort of nightmare. I am, as always, determined to persevere no matter how hard things get…after all, I’ve struggled with suicidal tendencies for half my life without ever actually attempting to kill myself, and I have enough support from precious close friends that I know I will be okay. Even if it’s a very long time before my brain stops insisting I’m not. The simple fact is that this nature-designed plant medicine has had a huge positive impact on my life in a way that no drug or isolated pharmaceutical compound ever has and probably ever could. I hope and pray that the society I live in will reconsider the wisdom of banning it in light of my story and those of tens of thousands of others all across the world whose lives it has saved and re-invigorated.”
This is a YouTube playlist of 27 more kratom testimonials. Please share this with as many people as possible.
This article (Kratom March on DC 9/13: Stories of the Devastated if DEA’s Kratom Ban Is Fulfilled) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Era of Wisdom.org.