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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Kratom—It is time for the DEA to butt out of adult use of herbal remedies

In the US there is one and one only legal drug that adults are allowed to use and that is alcohol. Is it a safe drug? Some people become addicted to alcohol. Alcohol withdrawals can actually kill, unlike narcotic addiction. Millions of people are arrested every year for driving for being seriously impaired by the use of alcohol. Some people die from alcohol poisoning.
Some people get liver problems with alcohol. Others have Hepatitis and can’t drink—high  blood pressure, Stroke, Stomach problems, Harm to unborn children (in pregnant women) and there’s more.
So if a person has a health problem with alcohol, they may go to coffee or tea. They may go to sugared soda pop. If they can’t drink soda pop, their choices can get slim.
So for years I had to quit drinking for health reasons. Then I got diabetes. The problem is I also can’t stomach diet pop. Tea and coffee are full of acid and caffeine and they can get overwhelming and boring if that is all I can drink.
Then there are the various herbal teas available on line. They can be more relaxing, maybe cause a little mild euphoria. The main tea that comes to my mind is Kratom. I bought that tea and found it relaxing. It did not affect my motor skills or cause incapacitation as drinking alcohol did, so it seemed like a great choice.
For now—but maybe not for long.
It seems that members of our press and our DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) are obsessed with making sure adults can’t get relaxing teas they may want to use. They always use the excuse that mostly kids use these potions and they seem to patronize us with that “we know what is best for you—you childish dumb-ass” attitude of theirs.
And then there is the press? They can’t resist a lot of overblown hype and horror stories that are designed to convince the non-user that this stuff is the most dangerous drug since PCP (Phencyclidine). The hype is almost identical to that of what we used to get about Marijuana and it is just as phony.  
From the news station
“It’s always sold as if it’s safe,” said Selby Smith, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge of the Seattle Office of the DEA.  “But in all actuality it’s never been tested.  It’s never been through FDA trials and we don’t know what it does to the human body.”
The DEA is studying Kratom as reports of emergency room visits by users rise.  There have been reports of hallucination and delusions among users.
The DEA also said Kratom is addictive.

Then there is;
But in addition to its possible medicinal uses, kratom is beginning to show up in U.S. emergency rooms, with doctors saying they are dealing with people sick from taking it — especially teens who try it to get high.
"Every month somebody is trying to get a new 'safe high'," said Frank LoVecchio, medical director of the Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center in Phoenix, Ariz. "(Kratom) is definitely not safe."
Estimating usage of the drug is impossible, but emergency events involving kratom appear to be increasing, he said. In 2005, only two incidents were reported by poison control centers nationwide. But Banner’s center dealt with six emergencies involving kratom in 2011, he said.

Some in the news media really know how to pour on the hype. Take for example The Daily News;
The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office warned the public Tuesday about the potential dangers of a plant product known as Kratom, which is commonly used for medicinal purposes in Asia and is sold in at least one Longview store.
Sheriff’s spokesman Charlie Rosenzweig said a 31-year-old woman was found dead Monday in the bedroom of her Terry Lane home. Rosenzweig said it will take weeks to determine the cause of death, but deputies found a pipe near her body and open packets of Kratom scattered around her room, suggesting she was a heavy user.
Just a day earlier, on Sunday morning, a 27-year-old Kelso woman was hospitalized after she ran through the street naked, screaming about Jesus. Police said she swung a hammer at them while holding her four-month-old baby in her other arm. Police wrested the infant, who was uninjured, from the woman. The woman’s father said she may have taken Kratom, and a Kelso police spokesman said Wednesday that police believe the drug caused her strange behavior.

I have used this stuff and some friends have. We have had no problems with it, probably because we use it as it is intended—as a mild tea. Even if it turns out that Kratom is not 100% safe, neither is alcohol. Adults who can’t drink should have other choices such as marijuana and kratom. We are not children. Some of us need beverages that can help us relax after a long hard day. Why does it half to be alcohol or nothing. And some of us just don’t get much from religion, which is what most of our leaders really want us to take up rather than alcohol. I for one prefer a relaxing tea over magic spooks in the sky to make me feel better.
So let us drink our tea and leave us the fuck alone.
-សតិវ អតុ
The DEA’s drug of choice.


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