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I received an email with the link to this letter for the American Kratom Association. Good News.

June 21, 2018
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510The Honorable Charles Schumer
Minority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, and Leader Pelosi:

We write today to address the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendation
to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to schedule the kratom plant and its two
biologically active alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, under Schedule I of the
Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Based on the substantial science and safety signal data, we
conclude that kratom does not meet the statutorily mandated criteria for Schedule I
substances based on their potential for abuse, safety, dependence liability, and medical use
(if any).

Therefore, we strongly recommend that the DEA return the scheduling recommendation to
the FDA for additional review and research and encourage the FDA’s Office of Dietary
Supplements to appropriately regulate kratom products. This matter is urgent because there
is a foreseeable negative public health consequence if legal kratom is banned: thousands of
former opioid users will be at risk of returning to high-risk opioid use and may add to our
nation’s opioid overdose epidemic.
We urge you to do all you can to convince the DEA and FDA to take these needed actions.
We need the FDA taking every reasonable step to reduce opioid overdose deaths, which
includes not risking feeding the epidemic by banning kratom.

Contrary to the FDA’s public statements, four internet surveys of more than 20,000 kratom
users and 20,236 comments on the DEA’s docket in the federal register suggest that most
kratom consumers are not opioid abusers, are not using kratom to get high, and no federal
survey has detected kratom abuse as a public health problem. In fact, people with opioid
experience generally report kratom as a poor alternative to opioids for getting high and are
not motivated, as they are with classical opioids, to intensify the experience by injecting,
smoking, or snorting the substance. Most people use it in food or beverage form for health
and well-being. Major reasons for use include increased general alertness and focus (similar
to caffeinated products), use to relieve depression and anxiety, use to relax and as a sleeping Congressional aid, and use to relieve pain in place of over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers,
including opioids. The nearly 14,000 respondents to the three internet surveys that collected
demographic information found that U.S. kratom users largely represent a cross-section of
the middle-aged adult population having at least some college education, who are employed
and have health care coverage.

An additional motivation for kratom use that warrants particular attention in the midst of our
nation’s opioid emergency is the use of kratom in place of classical opioids for pain and/or
addiction. This is a major reported reason for use among the more than 43,000 survey
respondents and comments to the FDA. At a time that our nation is experiencing more than
115 opioid overdose deaths each day, or more than 42,000 per year, we would expect the
FDA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to welcome this potential safer alternative to
classical opioids. Indeed, the FDA’s dockets, including its April to June Opioid Use Disorder
treatment development docket, include testimonials from kratom users who are “terrified”
that obstacles to kratom access will lead to a relapse of opioid use disorder.
It is with these people in mind that we write to you. This is a truly urgent matter.
Let us tell you more about the science related to how kratom works, what it does, its relative
safety, and public health implications to help you understand why we assert that FDA is
wrong on the science, and wrong in its efforts to ban legal kratom by placement in Schedule I
of the Controlled Substances Act.
There is a long history of kratom use; it has been used safely for centuries in the Southeast
Asia (SEA) region, where it grows in the wild, and for at least a decade in the United States.
Importantly, SEA authorities have not reported any kratom overdose deaths. The reasons for
kratom use in this region largely mirror those in the U.S., including use as a mild stimulant by
agricultural workers and as an alternative to opioids for pain relief and addiction treatment.
Such traditional use is reported to benefit quality of life, and improve social and occupational
behavior, with little evidence of serious personal or social harm.
A review of the available medical records for each of the 44 total deaths the FDA claims are
“attributable to kratom” shows that none of those deaths have been clearly established as a
kratom-caused overdose poisoning. Importantly, what is missing from the FDA data is a
pattern of deaths that look opioid-like (i.e., acute respiratory depression); or alcohol or
sedative-like (acute sedation and respiratory depression); or cocaine and methamphetaminelike
(i.e., cardiovascular types of deaths); which would typically be included in data submitted
to the DEA supporting a scheduling recommendation. Rather, the data are comprised of an
unusual mix of alleged “kratom-associated” deaths including various unrelated causes, such
as, (1) polydrug use of toxic doses of illegal and/or prescription drugs; (2) an underlying
medical condition that contributed to the death (e.g., leg thrombosis in an obese person); (3)
the use of an adulterated or contaminated kratom product; or (4) non-drug related
circumstances (e.g. suicide and homicide). For example, the FDA consistently points to 9
deaths that occurred over a 12-month period in 2009 in Sweden resulting from the use of an
internet drug known as “Krypton.” Krypton is a concoction that contains powdered kratom
leaves adulterated with O-desmethyltramadol (a potent opioid analgesic). Researchers
concluded that this O-desmethyltramadol adulterant was the cause of death in each of these
9 cases. In the case of the reported homicide, the decedent was shot in the chest resulting in
his death, and he happened to be a kratom user at the time of his death. The science does
not support the conclusion that kratom causes deaths on its own. Even if the FDA were
correct in its estimate of 44 kratom-caused deaths world-wide over a decade of use by many
millions of people, that would indicate a very low risk compared to many OTC drugs, dietary
supplements, and even household cleaning products.

Further, the recently publicized health risks associated with bacterial contamination of
kratom products are not unique. In fact, romaine lettuce, cantaloupes, chicken, and many
common food products have been recently identified as contaminated with salmonella, E.
coli, or other pathogens. In each case, the FDA and CDC have the statutory authority and
regulatory tools to identify the source, remove contaminated products from the
marketplace, and take appropriate steps to protect the public safety. FDA regulation of
kratom as a dietary supplement could greatly reduce such risks in the future.
Accordingly, there are no safety data to support the conclusion that kratom poses an
imminent public health risk to consumers that would justify its scheduling
Available scientific data also fail to support placement of kratom in Schedule I of the CSA. The
CSA scheduling authority is premised on the pharmacology of the substance and it is
incumbent on the FDA to submit valid scientific data supporting its scheduling
recommendation to the DEA. The pharmacology of the alkaloids isolated from kratom has
been studied enough to undermine the FDA’s claims that kratom has a high potential for
abuse, as statutorily required for Schedule I placement.

The seemingly mild to moderate effects of the raw kratom plant in humans may be explained
by the observation that mitragynine, while representing the most abundant active
compound in the plant, is typically found in concentrations of only ~1-2% by weight of the
dried leaf. Further, mitragynine is a low potency partial agonist of the mu-opioid receptor. In
contrast, the more potent 7-hydroxymitragynine occurs in only trace quantities in kratom,
suggesting that this compound does not play a major direct role in the pharmacological
activity of raw kratom or its extracts. Relatedly, the low concentrations of the relevant
compounds in the kratom plant are expected to limit the risk of adverse medical outcomes
from its consumption. Likewise, there is no evidence that the compounds mitragynine and 7-
hydroxymitragynine are available in a pure form to consumers, even via the black market,
and thus, any potential dangers of such pure compounds are not relevant to any scheduling
review of kratom itself.

Importantly, even in their pure form, the active compounds of kratom have been found to be
safer than classical opioids. Studies in multiple animal species have shown that mitragynine
does not depress the respiratory system as strongly as classic opioids, which is the main
cause of death from opioid overdose. These findings are consistent with the lack of acute
overdose deaths induced by kratom in humans. Kratom also does not provide “addictive
reward” in animal studies as compared to addictive opioids (e.g., morphine). In fact, two
intravenous drug self-administration studies in animals have shown that mitragynine acts
more like saline placebo control than morphine or heroin. Therefore, available data clearly
does not demonstrate a high potential for abuse, as required for placement of a substance in
Schedule I of the CSA. In sum, this work, reported at recent scientific meetings and
conducted in part by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), shows a
radically different profile in terms of abuse potential and side effects from that of “narcoticlike”
opioids to which the FDA compared kratom in their public pronouncements in
November 2017.

In February 2018, the FDA, using a poorly documented computational model, made the claim
that kratom alkaloids are opioid analogues and concluded it was “confident in calling
compounds found in kratom, opioids”, thereby implying that such compounds are inevitably
associated with all the same negative consequences of classical opioids (e.g., respiratory
depression and addictive liability). This simplistic analysis ignores the fact that substances
binding to mu-opioid receptors vary widely in their effects and safety. For example, the lifesaving
drug naloxone, the OTC antidiarrheal loperamide (Imodium®), and the addiction
treatment buprenorphine, all bind to mu-opioid receptors. Although kratom’s compounds do
in fact bind to mu-opioid receptors, real experimental data show that these compounds have
unique signaling properties at mu-opioid receptors and do not induce the same degree of
respiratory depression or present the same risk of abuse as classical opioids.

A 2017 panel at the prestigious American College of Neuropsychopharmacology meeting
addressed analogues of mitragynine and like substances as potentially safer, minimally
addictive pain relievers of the future. The panelists pointed to the substantial body of
scientific studies both in the U.S. and globally that show that such “G protein-biased”
substances are very different from narcotic-like opioids with respect to addiction profile and
potential lethality, and that analogues of these substances might be among the next
generation of safer medications. Much of the current research in this area will come to a halt
if kratom is placed in Schedule I; another serious adverse consequence of scheduling.
We strongly recommend an inquiry to NIDA to determine if kratom is appropriately
designated a “narcotic-like” opioid with respect to risk of addiction and death. Addressing
the broader public health issue, NIDA could be asked to evaluate reports of using kratom as a
replacement for opioids. NIDA should also be asked to conduct a nationally projectable
survey determining whether a ban on legal kratom increases the risks of exposure to black
market kratom or opioid overdose for some fraction of kratom users and if so, how many.
Congressional Leadership

The preceding discussion should not be construed to suggest that consumption of kratom
itself is risk free. It is true that nothing, not candy, vitamins, probiotics, or caffeine are free
from risk; but those risks should not be exaggerated to advance public health policy
initiatives which, although well intentioned, are likely to have unintended negative
consequences.

While we do not believe there is a legitimate basis for Schedule I placement of kratom under
the criteria of the CSA, we do believe there is an appropriate role for FDA regulatory
regimens in each of the kratom categories of use that reflect current consumer use.
Kratom Leaf as a Food: There is an extensive history of use of kratom leaves as
conventional foods in SEA and under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
(FFDCA) Section 413(a)(1), traditional kratom leaf preparations are exempt from the
premarket notification requirements as they were present “in the food supply in a
form that has not been chemically altered.” Importantly the plain language of the
FFDCA recognizes history of use “could be from the United States or another country,
as long as the substance was consumed as a food, dietary supplement, or, in the case
of foreign history of use, category of product comparable to a dietary supplement in
the U.S.” As such, consumers have a right to unfettered access to traditional kratom
leaf products that meet food standards. FDA can and should apply all applicable food
regulations to kratom leaf products prepared as per traditional use (ground leaf
either directly ingested or prepared as a tea, which accounts for the majority of
current use in the US).

Manufactured Kratom Products as Dietary Supplements: Extracts prepared from
Kratom leaves that demonstrate the constituents in the dietary ingredient have not
been chemically altered, should be considered as a Dietary Supplement under the
Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). Ensuring Kratom
products in the market place meet all requirements under DSHEA for Current Good
Manufacturing Practices (CGMP), including specifications for identity and purity, and
maximum allowable levels of alkaloids, is essential for ensuring the public has access
to products that are of high quality and not contaminated or otherwise adulterated.
Adulterated Kratom Products: Any kratom product that is adulterated with
undeclared substances or deleterious agents, fails to meet Dietary Supplement
CGMP, or where a manufacturer asserts impermissible health claims for a kratom
product, each should be appropriately addressed by FDA through its statutory
authorities. The FDA and DEA currently have sufficient authority and regulatory tools
to interdict and remove such illegally marketed and dangerous products. This means
that under FDA regulation, consumers would have some assurance that their
products are not adulterated and if they are, that they will be recalled. Without FDA
regulation there is no such consumer protection, and this is appropriately terrifying to
Congressional Leadership

kratom users who feel they benefit from kratom and fear an unregulated black
market as their only kratom source.
We strongly urge the Congress to protect the freedom of American consumers to make
informed decisions on products they safely use for their general health and well-being and
allow for use of a safer alternative pain management product for those suffering from acute
or chronic pain. The natural kratom plant does not kill consumers when used responsibly.
The FDA and DEA should focus their regulatory efforts in dealing with dangerous adulterated
products that pose a real threat to public safety.
The FDA has a range of regulatory tools that can be used to reduce risks of dietary products.
This includes setting standards for maximum allowable levels of active constituents,
screening for potential toxicants, packaging, labeling, and consumer information. The FDA
can track and trace regulated marketers and it can withdraw from the market products that
are not made or marketed to agreed upon standards.
With FDA regulation, purchasers of lawfully marketed products have the same reassurance
that they do for other FDA-regulated dietary supplements and foods. Our nation’s kratom
consumers deserve an FDA-regulated market. The increasing use of kratom as a path away
from opioids is an especially important one, which we hope you will help to address by asking
the FDA, DEA, and NIDA to work together to preserve kratom product access while
accelerating research, surveillance, and balanced regulation.

Respectfully submitted,

Jack E. Henningfield, Ph.D.
Vice-President, Research, Health Policy, and
Abuse Liability
Pinney Associates, Bethesda, Maryland, and
The Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland

Marc T. Swogger, Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry
University of Rochester Medical Center

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What to Know About Bentuangie Kratom? Benefits, Dosage, And Price

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Bentuangie is an unfamiliar word which is a rare type of Kratom. It is a powerful plant which is recognizable for the visible red veins in leaves. This strain is from the dense forests of Indonesia which are native to many Kratom species.

Among all other strains of Kratom, Bentuangie Kratom is a mild, soothing and relaxing fix for a hectic day. As it is among red vein species and most of the red strains are highly efficient pain killers, it also acts the same. It has this potential, but the effect is comparatively low than the rest.

What to know about Bentuangie Kratom?

The Bentuangie Kratom name is not so common and little information available online. It is also known as the superior Bentuangie or the tropical Kratom blend. The world is thankful to the botanists who could locate and discover it from Indonesian forests.

The red veins of Bentuangie leaves are highly prominent. Like Red Indo or Red Bali, the properties of red Bentuangie are also the same. The perfect balance of benefits makes it distinct from the other strains.

Usually, a red vein Kratom doesn’t offer much. It’s only one or two strong effects which it produces. In the case of Bentuangie Kratom, the red vein leaves provide a lot more than just one or two effects.

It has the high quantity of 7-hydroxymitragynine alkaloid in it. There is no scientific research yet to prove the exact quantity of this alkaloid. But this assumption is as per user reviews. These reviews are same for all. Almost all the users elaborate Bentuangie as a relaxing and medicinal strain which is so versatile by nature.

Bentuangie strain of Kratom is useful for a state of well-being. The combination of effects which it offers to a user is mild yet diverse. Order Kratom

What to expect by using Bentuangie Kratom?

The name “Bentuangie” signifies benefits. It now has so many followers worldwide. As being an Indonesian product, it was only limited to the native area. It has only been a few years that Bentuangie is in most demand among all other countries.

Here are a few effects which a user can expect from Bentuangie Kratom. In most of the cases, these effects were common among all users.

  • A relaxation state

The calming and soothing effect of Bentuangie Kratom makes it a highly desirable product among users. In a time where everyone is a victim of stress, it is a dire need to try something which is effective and safe.

Bentuangie Kratom is a quick fix to all such problems. There is only one thing which can be a concern. It is that Bentuangie strain is a red vein strain and most of the red vein strain need high amount to show effects.

It suggests using a higher dose of Bentuangie powder for mental relaxation.

  • The perfect mood

There are many things which can annoy a person. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a professional thing. Sometimes even the smallest things wash the good mood away.

If there is a person who faces such mood swings constantly, Bentuangie Kratom is going to be his friend for life. Order Kratom from our high-trusted online vendor here.

It helps to control the nerves, makes a person calm and in the meantime, it induces a positivity. It is not an anti-depressant or anxiety solution.

It just makes a good feeling surrounding the body which initiates positive vibes. No one should confuse it for a stress relief medicine or help to remove anxiety.

  • Regulation of sleep cycle

What is worse than body working all day and yet finding no time to sleep?

Everybody needs rest, and so the case with the human body. The stress, burden, workload and mechanical lifestyle doesn’t let a person sleep.

The restlessness sometimes turns into insomnia, and the problem is even worse. It is necessary to regulate the sleep cycle so the risk of insomnia and sleeping disorders can be lower.

  • The analgesic property

Analgesia means related to pain control. Bentuangie leaves work best as a pain control agent. Many users endorse this property by the safe alternative to synthetic drugs. Whatever the reason for pain is, Bentuangie works best for every type.

Be it a chronic joint pain or a daily life headache or a migraine, like other red vein Kratom the Bentuangie strain comforts it well. It is readily available without a prescription and safe for everyone.

Directions for Bentuangie

 

Just like all other strains, Bentuangie Kratom is also available in powder form. There are only a few authentic vendors who deal with the original strain. Once Bentuangie powder is available, it is used in direct oral consumption with water, tea or a mixture of food.

Methods to use Bentuangie Kratom

Bentuangie Kratom has a very different taste and aroma. It is not like any other strain. Many regular Kratom users on online forums also share the same statement of a difference in the taste of Bentuangie Kratom.

For this reason, it is ideal to use Bentuangie Kratom with a food recipe. Most of the people won’t support the idea of direct oral consumption.

Also, making Kratom tea is also not a common for all way. In this situation, adding Bentuangie Kratom in custom recipes is an idea.

For example, Bentuangie Kratom makes a good combination with fruit juice i.e. orange juice, banana juice, apple juice, etc.

For one glass 3-5 grams of Bentuangie Kratom powder is the average quantity. After vigorous shaking, the solution takes a color of brown, green shade. It tastes better with fruit juice.

For most of the effects, 6-7 grams is a perfect quantity to add. The effects such as pain-killing only come when high quantity is available.

Some users prefer extreme effects, for which combining two Kratom types is a new trend.

Bentuangie Kratom is helpful in combination with Maeng Da. Three parts of Bentuangie Kratom in two parts Maeng Da makes the best recipe for instant pain relief of

The duration of benefits

Among all Kratom strains, there are only a few which gives long lasting effects. Fortunately, Bentuangie strain is one of them.

The duration of Bentuangie Kratom is comparable with any other Kratom strain. The general range is between 5-10 hours. It shows longer effects on inexperienced users.

The accuracy of dosage

Accuracy is crucial for all Kratom strains. A general dosage is between 2-3 grams which are a starter dose. Most of the effects of this strain are achievable on the higher dosage which is generally above 5 grams.

One should always start with the low dose and then gradually increase it with time and experience.

How expensive is it?

Bentuangie Kratom is not an expensive product. It is a tender and moderate strain of Kratom which has an equally reasonable price. It is mostly available in $ 12-15 USD per 250 grams. The rates may fluctuate with time, so it’s better to compare rates among top vendors before making the order.

Final thoughts on Bentuangie Kratom

Bentuangie is a relatively new strain of Kratom which is gentle by nature. The effects are so easy going and subtle that even a non-regular user can enjoy the full spectrum of effects in first use.

It is most famous for pain control, relaxation and social confidence boosting product. It is entirely safe for use.


Every dose needs careful administration by a quantity which determines its fate.

Bentuangie Kratom is highly valued for the promising effects, benefits and the ease of usage.

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Fully Stocked- Top Notch quality Kratom – 20+ strains

Thanks to all of you for your patience.  We are now fully stocked with over twenty strains of Kratom that are lab-tested and cleansed after arriving in the U.S. for the safety of our customers. Some of you have tried our six new ones while waiting for our other regular strains to arrive.

Additionally, our new brand “Happy Dragon Kratom” is on the shelves.  Hope to see you here at our shop.  We look forward to serving you for years to come as your go to for the best natural remedies in the country.

All the best

 

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Kratom Trade Association: There is serious bias for this product

http://www.wymt.com/content/news/Kratom-Trade-Association-There-is-serious-bias-for-this-product-480363993.html

Hazard KY News | WYMT

Home Health Article
Kratom Trade Association: There is serious bias for this produc


By WKYT News Staff | Posted: Fri 10:31 AM, Apr 20, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) — The Federal Drug Administration is keeping a close eye on the herbal substance, kratom.

Most recently, The FDA issued a mandatory recall for all products containing kratom that were made by Triangle Phamanaturals, which carries more than twenty brands under it’s umbrella. The FDA claims Salmonella was found in several of its kratom products.

“This product has been used for decades,” Eduardo Brambila with the Kratom Trade Association told WKYT’s Miranda Combs. “It’s actually been used for centuries in other countries. We have a good track record showing the safety of this product.”

But why is the federal government showing increased scrutiny over it? Brambila could not provide a definitive answer.

“That’s exactly the kind of questions we are posing and we want to clarify, as well,” Brambila said.

At least 3 million people in America use kratom. They came out by the thousands a few years ago when the Drug Enforcement Agency tried to make kratom a Schedule I drug, putting in a category with drugs like heroin and morphine.

“Over 33,000 comments that they (DEA) received in a 30-day period,” Brambila explained.

The DEA reversed their decision, in an unprecedented move.

Branbila believes the DEA’s retreat eventually led to the beginning of the Food and Drug Administration’s increased scrutiny.

“The overreach that have been used for this particular product fro the FDA is definitely of concern,” Brambila says. “I definitely say there is a serious bias for this product right now. The FDA is coming up with a lot of information that may not represent the product as accurately as it could be presented.”

He and other kratom supporters argue kratom is literally a life-changing organic substance. WKYT spoke with Rebecca Patrick-Howard in February who said her life is worth living again because of kratom. She suffers from chronic pain because of a life-long disease. She mixes kratom powder into a tea several times a day.

“People don’t use kratom for the euphoria effect of it. It’s just not there,” she advocated.

The FDA disagrees and said in multiple press releases that there are reports of deaths associated with kratom. The federal government believes kratom affects the same opioid receptors in the brain as morphine, and it is just as addictive. Three men WKYT interviewed last month at the Isaiah House Recovery Center agree. One man said he was “heavily addicted to kratom” and spending $60 a day to have it.

WKYT told Brambila about the men in rehab, and he believes it’s important to look at their cases.

“If anyone’s having effects that are of concern we definitely want to know about this and figure out what the whole story is,” he replied.

Brambila believes the kratom debate shows why some regulation could provide benefits for both sides.

“When you have regulation, it means there’s been some testing done, it means there’s an understanding of how a product is best used. It also sets standards and quality assurance for the consumer which is the upmost importance.”

Getkratomhere.com

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Making Kratom Tea

How To Make The Best Kratom Tea

Brewing up a cup of Kratom tea is one of the most preferred ways by many to consume the naturally grown herbalMitragyna Speciosa. If increased energy and enhanced mood is what you’re after then you’ll be able to reap full benefits from drinking Kratom tea. Easy to prepare, all you really need is Kratom in a coarsely ground or crushed form, weigh scale, a pot, strainer, cup, some water, and a stove to boil on. We’ll help you through the process and provide recipe guidelines along with variationsKratom dosage information, and how to store your Kratom tea. Before we get into all that, I’m sure you’d like to know the characteristics of Kratom tea and what makes this method of consumption so great; let’s dive in!

What is Kratom Tea

Kratom tea is a herbal remedy that is consumed by many for its invigorating, energizing and stimulating effects on the body and mind. When Kratom leaves are brewed as a tea or kratom powder is added to hot water, the alkaloids in the kratom infuse into the water and through ingesting, the individual’s physiology is modulated. Drinking Kratom tea often results in increased desired physiological effects.

As a note: The amount of sediment that is found at the bottom of the Kratom powder tea, may be an indicator of the alkaloid constitution. The more sediments, the more alkaloids, the more effects.

Benefits of Drinking Kratom Tea

The way you consume your Kratom with yield specific side effects. Many people enjoy drinking Kratom tea because they claim there are minimal side effects. Individuals also say that drinking Kratom tea eliminates the possibility of the nasty wobbly side effect that is often associated with consuming the powder straight.

If you are looking for a method to consume your Kratom, that will offer greater stimulation effects, then drinking Kratom tea is the answer.

*It’s important to note that if maximum pain benefits are what you desire from drinking your Kratom tea, this method will not be the best for you; this is because the analgesic effects are masked slightly when Kratom is made into tea.

How long before the effects kick in?

Within 20-30 min the effects of Kratom tea can kick in, thus making it one of the most fast acting methods of consumption. What’s great about taking Kratom in a tea is that it’s an easy way to control your intake for the simple fact that it’s being consumed slowly. If you feel any small unwanted side effects coming on, you can simply stop drinking the tea. The relaxing and stimulating effects of drinking Kratom tea will typically last 2-3 h but could last longer depending on the strength of the batch. Strains such as Maeng Da often last longer.

For tips on how to increase the length of time you feel the effects,

check out #6 in our FAQ, found at the bottom of this article.

What are the main benefits of drinking Kratom tea?

First things first, the great thing about consuming Kratom in a tea is that drinking tea naturally helps release endorphins in the brain which activate your opiate receptors thus bringing about feelings of happiness. There are numerous benefits of consuming Kratom powder in tea, these are the most common:

  • Reduced pain
  • Offers energy boosting effects
  • Helps lesson feelings of bloating and/or abdominal cramps
  • Increases focus
  • Improves skin complexion
  • Boasts healing properties by increasing circulation and blood flow
  • Elevated mood

Kratom Tea Recipes – Basics to Brewing

There are a variety of procedures for brewing Kratom tea, some more simplified than others but they all share a similar method. If you’re looking for a simplified method to brew a cup of Kratom tea, head to the bottom of this section.  

Take a look below for what you’ll need to make Kratom tea:

  • Kratom tea leaves or powder (depending on the recipe)
  • Weigh scale
  • Saucepan
  • Heat source (stove or kettle)
  • Strainer
  • Water
  • Flavour enhancer (ex. Lemon)

Standard method for how to make Kratom tea – Maximum benefit method

The following recipe is for 8 doses of a semi strong Kratom tea. Remember that properly making the tea takes a bit of time which is why making more and storing for same day use or next day use will help you save on time.

  1. For 8 doses you will require 2 oz of dried crushed or coarsely ground leaves. In a saucepan, combine the leaves as well as 1 litre of water.

* See the next section for how to properly measure your dosage

* If you have a blender or coffee grinder you can use either to grind your Kratom leaves

  1. Bring the liquid to a simmer for 15 min
  2. Pass the liquid through a colander or strainer into a container and reserve
  3. Squeeze the leaves in the colander to extract the remaining water
  4. Return the leaves to the saucepan, add another litre of water
  5. Simmer again for another 15 min
  6. Strain the liquid into the container where you put the liquid from step 3
  7. Simmer both batches together & reduce

 

  • The longer you reduce the liquid, the more concentrated it will become. You can experiment at this stage to see how much reduction in the liquid provides you with your desired effect.
  • Throw the leaves out after you’ve simmered them a second time

 

Simplified method of a Kratom tea recipe

  1. Take 1/2 cup of water & squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lemon.
  2. Bring the water to a simmer while stirring in the Kratom powder or leaves (measured out based on your deserted dosage – see section to follow on dosage guidelines)
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes
  4. Take off the heat source & Strain
  5. Reserve any undissolved powder or the leaves, for use later or throw away.

*Remember, when using the leftover kratom a second time, the tea will not be as potent.

Although you can simply mix in powder to a hot cup of water, you will not receive maximum benefits and that’s because simmering the tea will allow for maximum release and absorption of the alkaloid properties into the water.

Dosage Information

For accurate dosages, always measure your Kratom with a scale rather than by volume for the simple reason that 1 tsp of finely ground kratom will weigh different then 1 tsp of crushed leaves. Measuring by volume will result in inaccuracies.

The information below on dosages serves only as a general guide for the average person. Everyone will react differently to a specific dosage which is why, it’s always good to listen to your body and take care when experimenting with a herbal remedy that is new to you. What may be strong or weak for one may not be for another.

As a general guide, for a finely ground powder:

1-3 grams will produce a mild effect

5 g – standard dose for an average user

10 g – strong dose

11 + – extremely strong dosage

Measuring your dosage

1 tsp of:

Coarsely ground = 0.8g

Finely ground = 2g

Very finely ground = 2.25g

Storing & Reheating Your Kratom Tea

For the best effects, it is advisable to drink your Kratom tea immediately following preparation. If you want to make a larger batch and store it for later consumption you’ll still be able to enjoy the benefits if you follow these steps for proper storage.

1) Cool your batch of tea before pouring it into a container, preferably a sealed glass container. Glass is best to ensure that no contaminants can leach through.

2) Place inside the fridge for storage up to 5 days.

3) If drinking the tea cold, make sure you stir the liquid so that the sediments can be mixed back in, these would have precipitated out while sitting in the fridge. We do advise heating the tea back up so these sediments can properly dissolve.

4) Re-heat on a simmer just until the tea is adequately warmed and the sediments have been dissolved.

5) Pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy the effects.

*Take a look below at #4 in the FAQ to know how to add flavour to your Kratom tea; you’re going to want to!

FAQ

 

  • What’s the best time of day to drink my Kratom tea?

 

First thing’s first, the time of day you drink your tea may change the type and intensity of the side affects you experience. These slight difference in the side effects is affected by the time of day of ingestion. The circadian biology of your system plays a huge factor in these side affects.  For example, we will naturally feel drowsy closer to the evening therefor, if drinking Kratom tea at night then these feelings may be amplified more.

 

  • Should I drink my tea on a full or empty stomach?

 

This is an area that has not yet been scientifically observed very well. What is known though, is there is a possibility that when consuming Kratom tea on an empty stomach, individuals may potentially experience a mild irritability and anxiety; for others, no side effects will be noticed at all. Factors such as the time between meals & Kratom ingestion, as well as hydration, type of macronutrients & micronutrients ingested before or after Kratom may all effect the side effects you may experience. Research suggests that certain drugs reach their maximum plasma concentrations when ingested on an empty stomach. Studies also claim that eating before ingesting a drug will affect the production of hormones and neurotransmitters which determine how you respond to a particular substance.

 

  • What type of powder should I use to make my Kratom tea?

 

The answer to this question will depend on the desired effect you’re after although, the preferred strain is red-veined Bali. This variety is known to produce the most relaxing and powerful effects, leaving the individual with a feeling of comfort and ease. For a more stimulating effect and an enhanced energy booster, the Maeng Da variety as well as a white vein kratom will produce the best effect.

We advise you to experiment with different strains as each one will provide you will varied effects; what may work for one, may not be as effective for another. Experimenting with various strains will help you determine the best one for you.

 

  • What’s the flavour like?

 

You now have the knowledge to brew a cup of the best Kratom tea but before you make your first batch, we’d like to remind you of one very important thing. Kratom tea does not taste good, we’d like to say it’s an acquired taste but that would be an understatement. Kratom tea is extremely bitter and undesirable to drink which is why you’ll want to jazz it up a bit.

Here’s a few ways you can add flavour to your Kratom tea:

  • Squeeze in a little fresh lemon into your cup. Not only will the lemon improve the flavour, it will actually help to protect the alkaloids present in the Kratom.
  • For all those chocolate fans, you can add powdered chocolate to the mix for an energy boosted hot chocolate.
  • Some other examples of flavour enhancers are honey, raw sugar, and cinnamon.

 

  • Is Kratom stable at high temperatures?

 

Although Kratom is stable at high temperatures it doesn’t hurt to take precautions to protect the alkaloids which is why we recommend that rather than boiling Kratom tea it is best to only simmer it.

 

  • How can I make the effects of Kratom tea last longer?

 

If you want to lengthen the time you’ll feel the effects of your tea you can do a number of things such as: Using a more powerful strain, combining 2 strains, drinking the tea on an empty stomach, brewing the tea for longer, or by taking a more concentrated dosage.

Conclusion

With our guide on how to make Kratom tea, we’re sure you now have the knowledge to become a pro at brewing up the best cup of tea on the block with the maximum effectiveness you desire. Always remember to follow the procedure for your Kratom tea recipe and use the proper measurements to ensure you’re consuming a safe amount; if you do this, you’ll have nothing to worry about. Due to the fact that Kratom tea doesn’t have extreme risks associated with it, and drinking Kratom tea in Canada is legal, you can drink it with peace of mind and ease.

Disclaimer: Make sure that you are buying your Kratom from a reliable source, one that completes rigorous testing on their products to ensure there are no contaminants present.

 

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Shows that FDA regularly approves drugs that are dangerous. What good does the FDA do for the American People?? Since they don’t appear to have a clue, maybe get out of my business.

35 FDA-Approved Prescription Drugs Later Pulled from the Market

Below are the 35 drugs we could find that have been recalled from the US market since the 1970s, some that had been in use since the 1930s. A sample of advertisements for only some of the drugs are included because there is a scarcity of ads for withdrawn drugs online due to manufacturers removing ads for withdrawn drugs as part of the agreement to no longer market the drugs.

According to the FDA, a “drug is removed from the market when its risks outweigh its benefits. A drug is usually taken off the market because of safety issues with the drug that cannot be corrected, such as when it is discovered that the drug can cause serious side effects that were not known at the time of approval.” The FDA also takes into account the number of people taking a drug being considered for removal so as to not harm those patients.

1. Accutane (Isotretinoin) on the market for
27
YEARS
Use: Acne
Manufacturer: Hoffman-La Roche
1982 to June 2009
Cause for recall:
increased risk of birth defects, miscarriages, and premature births when used by pregnant women; inflammatory bowel disease; suicidal tendenciesOver 7,000 lawsuits were filed against the manufacturer over the side effects including a $10.5 million verdict and two $9 million verdicts.
2. Baycol (Cerivastatin) on the market for
3
YEARS
Use: Cholesterol reduction
Manufacturer: Bayer A.G.
1998 to Aug. 2001
Cause for recall:
rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle fibers that results in myoglobin being released into the bloodstream) which led to kidney failure; 52 deaths (31 in the US) worldwide; 385 nonfatal cases with most requiring hospitalization; 12 of the deaths were related to taking this drug in combination with gemfibrozil (Lopid)
3. Bextra (Valdecoxib) on the market for
3.3
YEARS
Use: NSAID (pain relief)
Manufacturer: G.D. Searle & Co.
Nov. 20, 2001 to Apr. 7, 2005
Cause for recall:
serious cardiovascular adverse events (like death, MI, stroke); increased risk of serious skin reactions (like toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme); gastrointestinal bleedingThe FDA determined that Bextra showed no advantage over other NSAID pain relievers on the market.
bextra prescription drug ad
Bernadette Tansey, “Hard Sell: How Marketing Drives the Pharmaceutical Industry/The Side Effects of Drug Promotion/Aggressive Ads for Painkillers Left More Patients Exposed to Risk,” www.sfgate.com, Feb. 27, 2005
4. Cylert (Pemoline) on the market for
30
YEARS
Use: Central nervous system stimulant to treat ADHD/ADD
Manufacturer: Abbott Laboratories
1975 to Oct. 2010
Cause for recall:
liver toxicityThe FDA added a box warning to Cylert in 1999, alerting doctors and patients to the potential of liver damage.
cylert prescription drug ad
Abbott Laboratories, “Cylert,” American Journal of Diseases of Children, www.bonkersinstitute.org, 1976
5. Darvon & Darvocet (Propoxyphene) on the market for
55
YEARS
Use: Opioid pain reliever
Manufacturer: Xanodyne
1955 to
Nov. 19, 2010
Cause for recall:
serious toxicity to the heart; between 1981 and 1999 there were over 2,110 deaths reportedThe UK banned Darvon and Darvocet in 2005. The FDA was petitioned in 1978 and again in 2006 to ban the drug by the group Public Citizen.
darvon prescription drug ad
Christian Sinclair, “Are You Glad Darvocet Got Pulled by the FDA? Are You Sure?,” www.pallimed.org, Nov. 30, 2010
6. DBI (Phenformin) on the market for
19
YEARS
Use: antidiabetic
Manufacturer: Ciba-Geigy
1959 to Nov. 1978
Cause for recall:
lactic acidosis (low pH in body tissues and blood and a buildup of lactate) in patients with diabetes
7. DES (Diethylstibestrol) on the market for
31
YEARS
Use: synthetic estrogen to prevent miscarriage, premature labor, and other pregnancy complications
Manufacturer: Grant Chemical Co.
1940 to 1971
Cause for recall:
clear cell adenocarcinoma (cancer of the cervix and vagina), birth defects, and other developmental abnormalities in children born to women who took the drug while pregnant; increased risk of breast cancer, higher risk of death from breast cancer; risk of cancer in children of mothers taking the drug including raised risk of breast cancer after age 40; increased risk of fertility and pregnancy complications, early menopause, testicular abnormalities; potential risks for third generation children (the grandchildren of women who took the drug) but they are unclear as studies are just beginningStudies in the 1950s showed the drug was not effective at preventing miscarriages, premature labor, or other pregnancy complications.
DES prescription drug ad
Barbara Hammes and Cynthia Laitman, “Pharmaceutical Company Advertisement for DES by the Grant Chemical Company, Brooklyn, NY, Printed in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology in 1957,” Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, www.medscape.com, 2003
8. Duract (Bromfenac) on the market for
1
YEAR
Use: Pain killer
Manufacturer: Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories
July 1997 to
June 26, 1998
Cause for recall:
4 deaths; 8 patients requiring liver transplants; 12 patients with severe liver damageDuract was labeled for maximum use of 10 days but patients often received/took more than 10 days worth of pills; all cases of death and liver damage involved patients taking pills for longer than 10 days.
9. Ergamisol (Levamisole) on the market for
11
YEARS
Use: Worm infestation; colon and breast cancers; rheumatoid arthritis
Manufacturer: Janssen Pharmaceutica
May 8, 1989 to 2000
Cause for recall:
neutropenia (a type of low white blood cell count), agranulocytosis (a type of low white blood cell count), and thrombotic vasculopathy (blood clots in blood vessels) which results in retiform purpura (a purple discoloration of the skin that can sometimes require reconstructive surgery)Levamisole is still used to treat animals with worm infestations in the US. It is also being found in street cocaine as an adulterant to increase euphoric qualities.
10. Hismanal (Astemizole) on the market for
11
YEARS
Use: Antipsychotic
Manufacturer: Janssen Pharmaceutica
1988 to
Aug. 13, 1999
Cause for recall:
slowed potassium channels in the heart that could cause torsade de pointes (TdP; a heart condition marked by a rotation of the heart’s electrical axis) or long QT syndrome (LQTS; prolonged QT intervals)
11. Lotronex (Alosetron) on the market for
0.8
YEAR
Use: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in women
Manufacturer: Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.
Feb. 9, 2000 to Nov. 28, 2000
Cause for recall:
49 cases of ischemic colitis (inflammation and injury of the large intestine); 21 cases of severe constipation (10 requiring surgery); 5 deaths; mesenteric ischemia (inflammation and injury of the small intestine)Lotronex was reintroduced to the US market in 2002 with restricted indication.
lotronex prescription drug ad
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self Help and Support Group, “Lotronex,” www.ibsgroups.org (accessed Jan. 6, 2014)
12. Meridia (Sibutramine) on the market for
13
YEARS
Use: Appetite Suppressant
Manufacturer: Knoll Pharmaceuticals
Nov. 1997 to
Oct. 2010
Cause for recall:
increased cardiovascular and stroke riskFDA reviewer Dr. David Graham listed Meridia with Crestor, Accutane, Bextra, and Serevent as drugs whose sales should be limited or stopped because of their danger to consumers in Sep. 30, 2004 testimony before a Senate committee, calling the drugs “another Vioxx.”
13. Merital & Alival (Nomifensine) on the market for
3
YEARS
Use: Antidepressant
Manufacturer: Hoechst AG (now Sanofi-Aventis)
1982 to 1985
Cause for recall:
haemolytic anemia; some deaths due to immunohemolytic anemia
14. Micturin (Terodiline) on the market for
2
YEARS
Use: Bladder incontinence
Manufacturer: Forest Labs
Aug. 1989 to
Sep. 13, 1991
Cause for recall:
QT prolongation and potential for cardiotoxicity
15. Mylotarg (Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin) on the market for
10
YEARS
Use: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML, a bone marrow cancer)
Manufacturer: Wyeth
May 2000 to
June 21, 2010
Cause for recall:
increased risk of death and veno-occlusive disease (obstruction of veins)
16. Omniflox (Temafloxacin) on the market for
0.3
YEAR
Use: Antibiotic for pneumonia, bronchitis, and other respiratory tract infections; prostatitis and other genitourinary tract infections; skin ailments.
Manufacturer: Abbot Laboratories
Jan. 31, 1992 to June 5, 1992
Cause for recall:
3 deaths; severe low blood sugar; hemolytic anemia and other blood cell abnormalities; kidney disfunction (half of the cases required renal dialysis); allergic reactions including some causing life-threatening respiratory distress
17. Palladone (Hydromorphone hydrochloride, extended-release) on the market for
0.5
YEAR
Use: Narcotic painkiller
Manufacturer: Purdue Pharma
Jan. 2005 to
July 13, 2005
Cause for recall:
high levels of palladone could slow or stop breathing, or cause coma or death; combining the drug with alcohol use could lead to rapid release of hydromorphone, in turn leading to potentially fatally high levels of drugs in the system
18. Permax (Pergolide) on the market for
19
YEARS
Use: Parkinson’s disease
Manufacturer: Valeant
1988 to Mar. 29, 2007
Cause for recall:
valve regurgitation (a condition that causes the valves to not close tightly, which allows blood to flow backward over the valve) in the mitral, tricuspid, and aortic heart valves, which can result in shortness of breath, fatigue, and heart palpitationsPermax is still available in the U.S. for veterinary use, specifically for pituitary pars intermedia hyperplasia or equine Cushing’s Syndrome (ECS) in horses.
19. Pondimin (Fenfluramine) on the market for
24
YEARS
Use: Appetite suppressant
Manufacturer: Wyeth-Ayerst
1973 to
Sep. 15, 1997
Cause for recall:
30% of patients prescribed the drug had abnormal echocardiograms; 33 cases of rare valvular disease in women; 66 additional reports of heart valve diseasePondimin is better known as “Fen-Phen” when prescribed with Phentermine.
20. Posicor (Mibefradil) on the market for
1
YEAR
Use: Calcium channel blocker (used to treat hypertension)
Manufacturer: Roche Laboratories
June 1997 to
June 1998
Cause for recall:
fatal interactions with at least 25 other drugs (ex: common antibiotics, antihistamines, and cancer drugs) including astemizole, cisapride, terfenadine, lovastatin, and simvastatinPosicor was found by the FDA to offer no significant benefit over other anti-hypertensive or antianginal drugs, which made the risks of drug interactions “unreasonable.” Patients immediately switching from Posicor to another calcium channel blocker were at increased risk of going into shock within 12 hours of the drug switch.
21. Propulsid (Cisapride) on the market for
7
YEARS
Use: Severe nighttime heartburn associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Manufacturer: Janssen Pharmaceutica
1993 to July 14, 2000
Cause for recall:
more than 270 cases of serious cardiac arrythmias (including ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, torsades de pointes, and QT prolongation) reported between July 1993 and May 1999, with 70 being deaths.Propulsid is also banned in India (2011) and available for limited use in Europe. It is still available for use in animals in the US and
Canada.
22. PTZ & Metrazol (Pentylenetetrazol) on the market for
48
YEARS
Use: Convulsive therapy for schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions
Manufacturer: not known
1934 to 1982
Cause for recall:
uncontrollable seizures; pulled muscles; fractured bones; spine fractures in as many as 42% of patients
23. Quaalude [Marketed as: Optimal, Sopor, Parest, Somnafac, and Bi-Phetamine T] (Methaqualone) on the market for
23
YEARS
Use: Sedative and hypnotic
Manufacturer: William H. Rorer Inc. & Lemmon Company
1962 to 1985
Cause for recall:
mania; seizures; vomiting; convulsions; deathMethaqualone was originally tested in India as a malaria treatment (it was ineffective). The drug is now a schedule 1 drug in the United States (like heroin, marijuana, and LSD).
quaalude prescription drug ad
Res Obscura, “From Quacks to Quaaludes: Three Centuries of Drug Advertising,” www.resobscura.blogspot.nl, June 11, 2012
24. Raplon (Rapacuronium) on the market for
2
YEARS
Use: Non-polarizing neuromuscular blocker (used in anesthesia
Manufacturer: Organon Inc.
1999 to
Mar. 27, 2001
Cause for recall:
bronchospasms and unexplained deaths
25. Raptiva (Efalizumab) on the market for
6
YEARS
Use: Psoriasis
Manufacturer: Genentech
2003 to
Apr. 8, 2009
(completely withdrawn by
June 8, 2009)
Cause for recall:
progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML; a rare and usually fatal disease that causes inflammation or progressive damage of the white matter in multiple locations of the brain)
26. Raxar (Grepafloxacin) on the market for
2
YEARS
Use: Antibiotic for bacterial infections
Manufacturer: Glaxo Wellcome
1997 to
Nov. 1, 1999
Cause for recall:
cardiac repolarization; QT interval prolongation; ventricular arrhythmia (torsade de pointes)
27. Redux (Dexfenfluramine) on the market for
1
YEAR
Use: Appetite suppressant
Manufacturer: Wyeth-Ayerst
1996 to Sep. 15, 1997
Cause for recall:
30% of patients prescribed the drug had abnormal echocardiograms; 33 cases of rare valvular disease in women; 66 additional reports of heart valve diseaseRedux is better known as “Fen-Phen” when prescribed with Phentermine.
28. Rezulin (Troglitazone) on the market for
3.25
YEARS
Use: Antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory
Manufacturer: Parke-Davis/Warner Lambert (now Pfizer)
Jan. 29, 1997 to Mar. 21, 2000
Cause for recall:
at least 90 liver failures; at least 63 deathsAbout 35.000 personal injury claims were filed against the manufacturer (Pfizer).
29. Selacryn (Tienilic acid) on the market for
3
YEARS
Use: blood pressure
Manufacturer: SmithKline
May 2, 1979 to 1982
Cause for recall:
hepatitis; 36 deaths; at least 500 cases of severe liver and kidney damageAnphar Labs (which developed the drug in France and sold rights to sell in US to SmithKline) sent a report to SmithKline in Apr. 1979 (translated in May 1979 to English from French) stating Selacryn damaged livers. On Dec. 13, 1984, SmithKline Beckman plead guilty to “14 counts of failing to file reports with the drug agency of adverse reactions to Selacryn and 20 counts of falsely labeling the drug with a statement that there was no known cause-and-effect relationship between Selacryn and liver damage”
30. Seldane (Terfenadine) on the market for
13
YEARS
Use: Antihistamine
Manufacturer: Hoechst Marion Roussel (now Sanofi-Aventis)
1985 to
Feb. 1, 1998
Cause for recall:
life-threatening heart problems when taken in combination with other drugs (specifically erthromycin (an antibiotic) and ketoconazole (an antifungal)Seldane was not considered an imminent threat. The FDA pulled Seldane from the market because Allegra and Allegra D were produced by the same company and were deemed safer by the FDA.
31. Trasylol (Aprotinin) on the market for
15 (48)
YEARS
Use: antifibrinolytic to reduce blood loss during surgery
Manufacturer: Bayer
1993 (but used since the 1960s) to Nov. 5, 2007 (marketing suspension request to phase it out of the market);
May 14, 2008 (manufacturer announced complete removal from market)
Cause for recall:
increased chance of death, serious kidney damage, congestive heart failure, and strokesOn Feb. 8, 2006, the FDA issued a public heath advisory to surgeons who perform heart bypasses, alerting them of possible fatal side effects.
32. Vioxx (Rofecoxib) on the market for
5.3
YEARS
Use: NSAID (pain relief)
Manufacturer: Merck
May 20, 1999 to Sep. 30, 2004
Cause for recall:
increased risk of heart attack and stroke; linked to about 27,785 heart attacks or sudden cardiac deaths between May 20, 1999 and 2003Ads for Vioxx features Olympic gold medalists Dorothy Hamill and Bruce Jenner. Vioxx was prescribed to more than 20 million people.
vioxx prescription drug ad
Today’s Seniors Network, “This Is Patient Education?,” www.todaysseniorsnetwork.com (accessed Jan. 7, 2014)
33. Xigris (Drotrecogin alfa (activated)) on the market for
10
YEARS
Use: Severe sepsis and septic shock
Manufacturer: Eli Lilly & Company
Nov. 2001 to
Oct. 25, 2011
Cause for recall:
no survival benefit
34. Zelmid (Zimelidine) on the market for
0
YEARS
Use: Anti-depressant
Manufacturer: Astra AB (now AstraZeneca)
1982 to 1982 (withdrawn by the FDA before being released in the US market)
Cause for recall:
Guillain–Barré syndrome; higher risk of suicide
35. Zelnorm (Tegaserod maleate) on the market for
4.6
YEARS
Use: irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) in women younger than 55
Manufacturer: Novartis
July 24, 2002 to Mar. 30, 2007
Cause for recall:
higher chance of heart attack, stroke, and unstable angina (heart/chest pain)The FDA permitted restricted use of Zelnorm on an emergency basis (with prior case-by-case authorization from the FDA) on July 27, 2007.
zelnorm prescription drug ad
Adforum.com, “Zelnorm – ‘N/A’ – Deutsch NY,” www.adforum.com (accessed Feb. 7, 2014)
Sources:
Abbott Laboratories, “Cylert,” American Journal of Diseases of Children, www.bonkersinstitute.org, 1976Adforum.com, “Zelnorm – ‘N/A’ – Deutsch NY,” www.adforum.com (accessed Feb. 7, 2014)

AP, “Drug Maker Pleads Guilty over Lethal Side Effects,” www.nytimes.com, Dec. 14, 1984

AstraZeneca, “AstraZeneca Decides to Withdraw Exanta TM,” www.astrazeneca.com, Feb. 14, 2006

Michelle R. Carter and Sorour Amirhaeri, “p-ANCA-Associated Vasculitis Caused by Levamisole-Adulterated Cocaine: A Case Report,” Case Reports in Emergency Medicine, www.hindawi.com, 2013

Marlene Cimons, “Seldane Pulled for a Safer Allergy Drug,” www.latimes.com, Dec. 30, 1997

Dan Collins, “Insider: FDA Won’t Protect Public,” www.cbsnews.com, Dec. 7, 2004

Richard DeGrandpre, The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World’s Most Troubled Drug Culture, 2006

“Drugs: The Dangers of Analgesics,” www.time.com, Feb. 24, 1967

Drugwatch, “What Is Accutane? It’s Uses and Interactions,” www.drugwatch.com/accutane, Dec. 10, 2013

Fairfield State Hospital, “Metrazol Therapy,” www.fairfieldstatehospital.com, Jan. 15, 2013

FDA, “FDA Alerts Consumers of Undeclared Drug Ingredients in Over-the-Counter Diabetes Product,” www.fda.gov, July 23, 2013

FDA, “FDA Announces Withdrawal Fenfluramine and Dexfenfluramine (Fen-Phen),” www.fda.gov, Sep. 15, 1997

FDA, “FDA Announces Voluntary Withdrawal of Pergolide Products: Agency Working with Product Manufacturers,” www.fda.gov, Mar. 29, 2007

FDA, “FDA Approves First Treatment for Women with Constipation-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome,” www.web.archive.org, July 24, 2002

FDA, “FDA Drug Safety Communication: Voluntary Market Withdrawal of Xigris [drotrecogin alfa (activated)] Due to Failure to Show a Survival Benefit,” www.fda.gov, Oct. 25, 2011

FDA, “FDA Issues Public Health Advisory for Trasylol,” www.fda.gov, Feb. 8, 2006

FDA, “FDA: Pfizer Voluntarily Withdraws Cancer Treatment Mylotarg from U.S. Market,” www.fda.gov, June 21, 2010

FDA, “FDA Requests Marketing Suspension of Trasylol,” www.fda.gov, Nov. 5, 2007

FDA, “How Does FDA Decide When a Drug Is not Safe enough to Stay on the Market,” www.fda.gov, Jan. 7, 2010

FDA, “Information for Healthcare Professionals: Pemoline Tablets and Chewable Tablets (marketed as Cylert),” www.fda.gov, Oct. 2005

FDA, “Information for Healthcare Professionals: Valdecoxib (marketed as Bextra),” www.fda.gov, Apr. 7, 2005

FDA, “Propulsid (cisapride) Dear Healthcare Professional Letter Jan 2000,” www.fda.gov, Jan 24, 2000

FDA, “Propoxyphene: Withdrawal – Risk of Cardiac Toxicity,” www.fda.gov, Nov. 19, 2010

FDA, “Public Health Advisory: Suspended Marketing of Palladone (hydromophone hydrocloride, extended-release capsules),” www.fda.gov, July 13, 2005

FDA, “Questions and Answers about Withdrawal of Duract,” www.fda.gov, Aug. 23, 2013

FDA, “Questions and Answers about Withdrawal of Fenfluramine (Pondimine) and Dexfenfluramine (Redux),” www.fda.gov, July, 7, 2005

FDA, “Raplon (Rapacuronium Bromide),” www.fda.gov, Mar. 29, 2001

FDA, “Recalling the Omniflox (Temafloxacin) Tablets,” June 5, 1992

FDA, “FDA Statement on the Voluntary Withdrawal of Raptiva from the U.S. Market,” www.fda.gov, Apr. 8, 2009

FDA, “Withdrawal of Product: RAXAR (grepafloxin HCL) 600 mg Tablets, 400 mg Tablets, and 200 mg Tablets,” www.fda.gov, Nov. 1, 1999

FDA, “Zelnorm (tegaserod maleate) Information,” www.fda.gov, May 11, 2012

Jef Feeley, “Pfizer Ends Rezulin Cases with $205 Million to Spare (Update1),” www.bloomberg.com, Mar. 31, 2009

Barbara Forney, “Pergolide for Veterinary Use,” www.wedgewoodpetrx.com (accessed Jan. 6, 2014)

Curt D. Furgerg and Bertram Pitt, “Withdrawal of Cerivastatin from the World Market,” www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Sep. 26, 2001

Raymond Goldberg, Drugs across the Spectrum, 6th edition, 2010

Barbara Hammes and Cynthia Laitman, “Pharmaceutical Company Advertisement for DES by the Grant Chemical Company, Brooklyn, NY, Printed in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology in 1957,” Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, www.medscape.com, 2003

David Healy, Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression, 2004

Charles D. Helper and Richard Segal, Preventing Medication Errors and Improving Drug Therapy Outcomes: A Management Systems Approach, 2003

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self Help and Support Group, “Lotronex,” www.ibsgroups.org (accessed Jan. 6, 2014)

Harvey Kirk, “Darvon and Darvocet Deaths Lead FDA Panel to Recommend Recall,” www.youhavealawyer.com, Feb. 2, 2009

Lilly, “Lilly Announces Withdrawal of Xigris R Following Recent Clinical Trial Results,” www.fda.gov, Oct. 25, 2011

National Cancer Institute, “Diethylstilbestrol (DES) and Cancer,” www.cancer.gov, Oct. 5, 2011

Steven Morris, “Abbott Gets FDA Approval for Omniflox Antibiotic,” www.chicagotribune.com, Feb. 1, 1992

MSNBC Staff, “Report: Vioxx Linked to Thousands of Deaths,” www.nbcnews.com, Oct. 6, 2004

Pink Sheet, “FDA Clears Treatment IND for Colon Cancer Drug Levamisole,” www.elsevierbi.com, May 15, 1989

Res Obscura, “From Quacks to Quaaludes: Three Centuries of Drug Advertising,” www.resobscura.blogspot.nl, June 11, 2012

Rita Rubin, “How Did Vioxx Debacle Happen?,” www.usatoday.com, Oct. 12, 2004

Renato M.E. Sabbatini, “The History of Shock Therapy in Psychiatry,” www.crerbromente.org.br (accessed Dec. 19, 2013)

Christian Sinclair, “Are You Glad Darvocet Got Pulled by the FDA? Are You Sure?,” www.pallimed.org, Nov. 30, 2010

Ruth SoRelle, “Withdrawal of Posicor from Market,” www.circ.ahajournals.org, 1998

Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “New Painkiller Is Withdrawn after 4 Deaths,” www.nytimes.com, June 23, 1998

Bernadette Tansey, “Hard Sell: How Marketing Drives the Pharmaceutical Industry/The Side Effects of Drug Promotion/Aggressive Ads for Painkillers Left More Patients Exposed to Risk,” www.sfgate.com, Feb. 27, 2005

Forest Tennant, “Hughes & Pseudoaddiction,” Practical Pain Management, www.pain-topics.org, July/Aug. 2007

Today’s Seniors Network, “This Is Patient Education?,” www.todaysseniorsnetwork.com (accessed Jan. 7, 2014)

David Willman, “Diabetes Drug Rezulin Pulled Off the Market,” www.pulitzer.org, Mar. 22, 2000

David Willman, “Drug Lotronex Pulled over Safety Fears,” www.pulitzer.org, Nov. 29, 2000

Wei Zhang, Mary W. Roederer, Wang-Qing Chen, Lan Fan, and Hong-Hao Zhou, “Pharmacogenetics of Drugs Withdrawn from the Market,” Pharmacogenomics, www.medscape.com, 2012

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One-Third Of New Drugs Had Safety Problems After FDA Approval

How can we possibly trust the FDA to make decisions about our best interest when they approve everything except drugs proven to be safe and that are impossible to overdose and die from. Drugs that have been used safely for hundreds of years, leaving the people criminalized. They research forever and then approve dangerous drugs only to turn around in criminalize safe drugs that do the same thing without the safety issues (CBD, Kratom, etc).

May 9, 201712:29 PM ET
SYDNEY LUPKIN
FROM
Kaiser Health News

The anti-inflammatory drug Bextra was taken off the market because it increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Tannen Maury/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Food and Drug Administration is under pressure from the Trump administration to approve drugs faster, but researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found that nearly a third of those approved from 2001 through 2010 had major safety issues years after the medications were made widely available to patients.

Seventy-one of the 222 drugs approved in the first decade of the millennium were withdrawn, required a “black box” warning on side effects or warranted a safety announcement about new risks, Dr. Joseph Ross, an associate professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine, and colleagues reported in JAMA on Tuesday. The study included safety actions through Feb. 28.

“While the administration pushes for less regulation and faster approvals, those decisions have consequences,” Ross says. The Yale researchers’ previous studies concluded that the FDA approves drugs faster than its counterpart agency in Europe does and that the majority of pivotal trials in drug approvals involved fewer than 1,000 patients and lasted six months or less.

It took a median of 4.2 years after the drugs were approved for these safety concerns to come to light, the study found, and issues were more common among psychiatric drugs, biologic drugs, drugs that were granted “accelerated approval” and drugs that were approved near the regulatory deadline for approval.

Taking Shortcuts In Drug Testing Can Put Patients At Risk
SHOTS – HEALTH NEWS
Taking Shortcuts In Drug Testing Can Put Patients At Risk
Drugs ushered through the FDA’s accelerated approval process were among those that had higher rates of safety interventions. These approvals typically rely on surrogate endpoints, meaning that researchers measured something other than survival, such as tumor size, to determine whether the drugs worked.

“This [finding on surrogate endpoints] has the greatest relationship to policy today,” Ross says. “In the 21st Century Cures Act, there’s a push to have the FDA move to further support the use of surrogate markers … [but] they’re more likely to have concerns in the post-market setting.”

President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law on Dec. 13. It offers ways to speed drug approval by pushing the FDA to consider evidence beyond the three phases of traditional clinical trials. The new process has made some researchers worry that it will open the door for approvals of drugs that haven’t been adequately tested.

“I’m actually sympathetic to the idea that there are ways in which the FDA can be more streamlined and do a quicker job,” says Dr. Vinay Prasad, a hematologist-oncologist and professor at Oregon Health and Sciences University who did not work on the study. “The one place you don’t want to cut a corner is safety and efficacy prior to coming to market.”

The FDA’s system for reporting drug- and device-related health problems is voluntary. The reports are not verified, and critics say this system is underutilized and filled with incomplete and late information. The FDA also monitors other available studies and reports to determine whether it needs to take action on a particular drug.

FDA spokeswoman Angela Hoague said the agency is reviewing Ross’ findings.

“In general, the FDA does not comment on specific studies but evaluates them as part of the body of evidence to further our understanding about a particular issue and assist in our mission to protect public health,” she said.

Surprisingly, drugs approved in under 200 days were less likely to have safety issues, which the authors speculate could be because “some approval packages provide clearer evidence of safety, allowing for more rapid regulatory approval.”

The study included market withdrawals of three drugs: the anti-inflammatory drug Bextra; Zelnorm, which was used to treat irritable bowel syndrome; and the psoriasis drug Raptiva. Bextra and Zelnorm were withdrawn because of cardiovascular risk, and Raptiva was withdrawn because of increased risk of a rare and fatal infection that causes brain damage.

Still, it’s important to keep in mind that the post-approval safety issues cover the spectrum from relatively minor to serious, says Dr. Caleb Alexander, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness who did not work on the study. Good next steps would be to dig into the most serious safety problems, determine whether the FDA could have flagged them sooner and examine how they might have been missed, he says.

Alexander commended the researchers, saying their study “underscores the importance of surveillance” after a drug has been launched. He says this helps researchers find new problems — and new benefits — associated with a drug.

“All too often, patients and clinicians mistakenly view FDA approval as [an] indication that a product is fully safe and effective,” he says. “Nothing could be further from the truth. We learn tremendous amounts about a product only once it’s on the market and only after use among a broad population.”

Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health newsroom whose stories appear in news outlets nationwide, is an editorially independent part of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

KHN’s coverage of prescription drug development, costs and pricing is supported in part by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

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Dismantle the FDA

The FDA has been in the pockets of big pharma forever as we all know.  What most people don’t know about though is that they approve hundreds of drugs that are extremely dangerous.  Even after significant study and warnings from the drug industry, doctors, patients, and their own studies, many of these dangerously addictive drugs, still made it to the market and as more are coming along they keep approving them.  Bad decisions made by the FDA kill thousands every year and they have yet to be held accountable for their failure of their entire mission to protect the American people from dangerous and deadly drugs and food.  Yet they have plenty of time to fight the two most natural substances that actually save lives and have been proven safe and have killed no one.  The FDA is no longer viable and needs to be overhauled.  Drug industries should not be advertising since their product should only be used as needed.  It time for kickbacks and favors to end.

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Changing Inventory

The Kratom market is constantly changing.  With the FDA and DEA putting their noses where they don’t belong and Mastercard and Visa give vendors a hard time about how our customers can pay.  It’s not just Kratom though, its CBD and other herbs that they have decided to attack, though they admittedly have no evidence.  This volatility is causing vendors to find new ways of doing business and some are dropping out of the market.

Because of this I have found some other suppliers.  I like to buy from suppliers in the states that get their product from the farmers.  This way it is fresh and lab-tested.  So, there will be different strains that are no longer available and new ones added.  Keep this in mind when making orders as I phase out some strains from certain suppliers that are exiting the market.

Thanks so much for you past support.  I will continue to provide the best quality Kratom I can find.

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Cure or Kill: Dallasites Do Battle for Kratom, an Herbal Substitute for Narcotics the Feds May Ban

Store manager Yitzchak Palatnik closes the lid to a jar of kratom powder at the Knox Henderson location.EXPAND

Store manager Yitzchak Palatnik closes the lid to a jar of kratom powder at the Knox Henderson location.
Danny Fulgencio

“CBD Kratom” reads the large sign over Dafna Revah’s storefront on Central Expressway’s frontage road. Just south of trendy Knox Street, it sits beside a Marble Slab Creamery, two doors down from a Potbelly Sandwich Shop and around the corner from an Apple store and Kate Spade shop. “You can’t miss it,” Revah says. Unblemished glass walls, doors and windows communicate to passersby: We’ve nothing to hide here.

At least not for the moment.

St. Louis native Revah and husband David Palatnik co-own a few successful smoke shops — that’s a polite term for head shop — an endeavor that began with a store in St. Louis called Mr. Nice Guy. They added another in Chicago and partnered with a California dispensary that sells medical marijuana.

A shrewd, bold businesswoman, Revah remains sanguine despite having opened two dispensary-style boutiques in Dallas, both called CBD Kratom. Medical marijuana isn’t legal in Texas, so don’t expect to find kush at the shop on Knox Street or the second on Davis Street in Oak Cliff. Still, the name is ballsy considering the controversy surrounding kratom, a South Asian plant that many users hail as a potential life-saving herbal alternative to opioids.

While conventional head shops often camouflage controversial products, at CBD Kratom, these supplements stand tall. The small bags, jars and bottles of kratom are aesthetically packaged, benign looking, and customers rattle off praises for the plant. Unfortunately, kratom’s fans don’t include federal regulators. In February, the Food and Drug Administration threatened to stop kratom from entering the United States, and the Drug Enforcement Administration has threatened its legality.

Revah seems unfazed, but the government’s threats have stirred fear and lobbying efforts among some of the countless Americans who are treating themselves for chronic pain with kratom. Some are convinced they will die without it, killed by the addictive narcotics that kratom purportedly replaces.

Kratom has been used since the 1800s for a number of purposes, including reducing the pain of opium withdrawal, but the FDA’s letter declared the plant dangerous and addictive.

Revah disagrees. Thousands use kratom for wide-ranging reasons — insomnia, coughing, pain, Crohn’s disease. There is voluminous anecdotal evidence that the herb’s subtle narcotic effects have bettered the lives of chronic pain patients and people dependent on prescription opioids.

Right now, more than 2 million Americans are hooked on some variety of opioid. Overdoses from heroin and its more powerful synthetic cousin fentanyl claimed some 30,000 American lives last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate opioids will kill another 52,000 Americans this year and as many as half a million in the next decade.

Revah says she worries for the people in pain. “It’s sad,” she says. “They do not want to addict themselves to oxycodone, so they come buy kratom. Taking it away would be very bad.”

As feds require, CBD products in her shop — oils, creams, capsules, edibles and waxes — contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that produces marijuana’s high. Regardless, consumers and sellers say CBD goods produced from hemp can relieve pain and inflammation and reduce anxiety and nausea.

At Revah’s shops, educated, friendly staffers won’t hover but usually are on hand to answer questions. The space resembles the sterile, practically clinical environment of legal marijuana dispensaries found throughout Colorado and other states.

CBD sales are carrying on with minimal fuss. The lesser-known kratom, however, is fighting for its legal life.

Customers browse kratom products at the CBD Kratom store in Knox Henderson.EXPAND

Customers browse kratom products at the CBD Kratom store in Knox Henderson.
Danny Fulgencio

Why stop kratom?

In 2012 and again in 2014, FDA import reports included mention of kratom, indicating the agency felt it had enough evidence to warrant stopping it at the border. Since 2014, federal law enforcement officials have seized at least $5.5 million worth of kratom, according to the FDA.

So kratom disappeared from shelves of American shops, and most of the industry moved online. A growing contingent of users bought from “trusted” online vendors. (Scammers promptly were called out on kratom forums.)

And merchants placed labels like “incense: not-for-human-consumption” on bags and boxes before shipping them overseas.

In spring 2016, the DEA announced plans to make kratom (more precisely, its two primary psychoactive compounds, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine) a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. That’s the category reserved for the worst chemicals that are medicinally irrelevant and have the highest potential for abuse — heroin and ecstasy, for example. It would mean an all-out ban.

To the thousands of Americans who treat pain with kratom, the news ignited fear and indignation. Online vendors, who spent the previous few years booming in business, stood to lose thousands of dollars in sales and inventory or risk becoming criminals.

Protests, letters, videos, petitions — the outcry was more than the government expected, and Congress stalled “for an FDA analysis.”

Still, CBD Kratom opened its two Dallas stores earlier this year, and the herb is on gas station counters again.

Get Kratom Here in Fredericksburg.

Producing stimulant or depressant effects at varying doses, kratom is an unusual compound. Its voyage has been as peculiar.

In the 1800s, amid the humid thickets of Southeast Asia, laborers discovered kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) leaves growing — broad, glimmering green in tall tropical trees. The vegetation, when nibbled upon, eased pain and increased energy.

Around that time, it first was documented as a potential opium substitute. In Thailand, it became “part of the ritual worship of ancestors and gods,” Darshan Singh noted in “Traditional and non-traditional use of Mitragyna speciosa,” which surveyed and summarized dozens of published studies conducted in Thailand.

Extracts from the plant found use as a local anesthetic and a treatment for coughs and intestinal infections. The stuff reportedly staved off pain, depression, exhaustion, coughing and dysentery. Users described feeling happy, creative, energetic and even horny, according to “The pharmacology and toxicology of kratom,” published in the 1996 International Journal of Legal Medicine.

Enterprising sharecroppers figured its recreational, feel-good effects meant money, especially if peddled outside Asia, where the plant did not grow. In the late ’90s, kratom spread to America and was touted as a euphoric “legal high” on shelves in head shops.

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The brown plant extract came as dirt-flavored dust inside colorful containers. Bright, playful fonts read “Purple Sticky Stuff” or “Captain Kratom.” A dose or two went for $20 to $25.

Wayward marketing maybe cultivated its ill repute, as did its listing on the DEA’s “drugs of concern” resource guide, which made it tough for medical researchers to study its lifesaving or harm-reducing potential. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health denied a grant request to study kratom, explaining that the foundation does not fund the research of “hazardous materials.”

“Were it further regulated or banned, kratom would become even more difficult, virtually impossible, to analyze,” American Kratom Association President Susan Ash warns.

That’s one of the many catch-22s in America’s approach to drug regulation. Because plants such as kratom or marijuana lack acceptable studies demonstrating their value as medicine, the DEA can declare the drugs medically useless, making it virtually impossible for researchers to actually study them, according to University of Mississippi’s Chris McCurdy, a researcher studying drug withdrawal and kratom, in a 2016 Scientific American article. “Not many of us [researchers] have a Schedule I license,” he notes.

Dallas resident and Marine Anthony August Larson relies on kratom for relieving constant back pain.EXPAND

Dallas resident and Marine Anthony August Larson relies on kratom for relieving constant back pain.
Danny Fulgencio

Fighting pain and fighting back

Among those working to promote the plant’s goodness and educate users and vendors is Anthony August Larson, a Dallas resident, disabled Marine, a trained herbalist and one of America’s staunchest, most outspoken and organized advocates for kratom’s legitimacy and continued legality. He is hell-bent on changing that “legal high” perception.

Because of condition that caused constant back pain, Larson says he relied on morphine prescribed by doctors in order to function. He learned about kratom when traveling in Indonesia, after he ran out of pain pills and sought out a prescription. Instead of pharmaceuticals, the doctor gave him kratom. After kratom, he says, he dosed less morphine and quickly quit craving it.

In the early ’00s in Seattle, he worked at a Veteran Affairs hospital, where, he says, he learned some of the more traumatized soldiers were using kratom.

“They had heard of it — some of them — he says, but they were buying it at head shops at these insane markups, so I would give it to them,” he says.

Larson says he could see their demeanor, confidence level and general wellbeing transform with a combination of kratom, other doctor-recommended treatment and counseling.

In 2003, he launched a project called KratomDocumentary.com. It’s a website containing hundreds of interviews with all manner of people lauding the benefits of kratom.

He wanted to start this, he says, because he could see what was coming.

“I am a capitalist, not a conspiracy theorist,” Larson says. “But it doesn’t take a genius to see that if a cheap plant stands to diminish the need for billions of dollars in pharmaceutical sales, well, someone decided it was time to make it go away.”

Scientific research is preliminary at best, but anecdotal evidence related to kratom abounds. Larson has been collecting and documenting testimonials, and he says he constantly is surprised and impressed by what he hears.

Spencer Owens at 43 was preparing for a total hip replacement.

“It had been two years living uncomfortably since I was diagnosed with this hip problem,” he says. “They determined I had no cartilage left, a torn labrum. It couldn’t be fixed with arthroscopic surgery, so I was going to have this major operation.”

After a second opinion, Owens, an active, scarcely middle-aged man, rejected the invasive procedure and opted for physical therapy, weight loss and pain management using narcotics such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.

The latter option seemed considerably safer, at first.

As the American opioid crisis began dominating news headlines, Owens questioned his reliance on narcotics for relief. Even more disturbing, Owens’ body adapted to his prescribed doses. The pills worked wonders at first. Then his physiology changed, and his body grew accustomed to the medicine. The pain increased.

He lost weight and performed agonizing therapeutic exercises, but his hip did not improve, and every few weeks, his pain medication lost effectiveness. Like millions of legitimate chronic pain patients, he was at the mercy of doctors when it came to controlling his pain. Hospital visits became nerve-wracking ordeals.

As the opioid epidemic worsened, the DEA imposed limits on doctors prescribing or ordering controlled substances, so physicians fear prescribing enough medicine to adequately treat patients’ pain.

Within two years, Owens could hardly walk — physical therapy, jogging, outings with the dog all became unbearable without strong narcotic analgesics, which, to make everything worse, also made his head “fuzzy.” And he battled to bury this nascent apprehension that even if his hip magically healed, his body would demand the pills all the same.

Frightened about his steadily growing reliance on the drugs, fed up with feeling foggy all the time and worried antsy prescribers would cut him off, Owens began looking for an alternative.

People in pain can grow desperate for relief. Moms, teachers, lawyers, cops — anyone in physical agony is capable of things they never imagined.

A single mother of two leaving CBD Kratom in Oak Cliff (we will call her Cheryl; she only agreed to chat anonymously) works in an expensive, exclusive preschool by day and picks up occasional nighttime catering or bar-tending shifts.

A few years ago, she began experiencing severe pelvic pain. The petite, freckled strawberry blonde, 32, is resilient to the core, and she regularly runs herself ragged, forever fighting misery.

“It hurts physically, yeah,” she says, “but it makes me sad too, depressed even. I want to do things, like with the children, and … [gazes down at shaky hands, folded in her lap] I just can’t.”

When she was 30, doctors diagnosed interstitial cystitis, a painful bladder condition with no cure but some moderately effective treatment options. She tried nerve stimulation, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, and — finally, reluctantly — narcotics.

She spreads paperwork across a table, her documented diagnosis with instructions, prescriptions, insurance letters and specialists’ phone numbers — a cache kept in a bound, pocketed journal.

As with Owens, Cheryl’s opiate regimen worked — for a time. By winter 2017, she needed something stronger because her tolerance had increased. She had to work double shifts to cover bills and put presents under the tree. But her doctor refused to prescribe stronger meds. In fact, he told her he planned to wean her off the narcotics. He had few options.

When your body hurts all the time, “this plague, the crisis, outbreak everyone’s talking about — it means very little to you, personally. All you can think about is your own pain, sleeplessness and frustration,” she says, tears streaming.

Despairing, Cheryl first committed a crime of opportunity: she swiped an old, barely touched bottle of oxycodone from a relative’s medicine cabinet.

At a Christmas party she worked last year, a bartender at the end of a shift snorted a tiny bump of beige powder. Heroin. She was hurting so badly she could hardly think.

The bump of heroin up her nostril felt just like morphine, she recalls telling her pusher. “It’s basically the last thing I remember before waking up in a hospital bed, a tube down my throat, dried vomit in my hair.”

She would have died without a shot of naloxone, the drug that reverses opioid overdose, at the ER.

In the white room, Cheryl drew her knees to her atrophied, aching tummy. At midnight two days before Christmas, she brought her smartphone close to her blurry eyes and scoured the internet for alternatives to opiates. Anything, she wept. Trembling — exhausted to the bone but wired “like a speed freak” — she mussed the sheets, soaked them in sweat, snot and tears.

Her fumbling fingers after a few minutes took her to Reddit.com and the site’s kratom forum, where she read narratives she could have typed herself.

“I could not believe there were this many of us out there,” she says.

Some of the sub-Reddit’s 40,000 members said they took the herb for physical relief while others called it the antidote to anxiety and depressive disorders.

To her amazement, self-identified “junkies” — one after another — wrote of weaning themselves off all manner of pharmaceutical narcotics.

She read the reviews, inspected vendors and, in an attempt to save her life, or at least any semblance of its quality, ordered a bag of powdered plant. She relied not on physicians but anonymous mentors — Weezer2040, BisonPuncher, Drunkendolphin1, MichaelKeaton.

She felt different — hopeful, even — when that first teaspoon took effect 15 minutes after she ingested it (place powder on tongue, drink full glass of water or orange juice, do not puke) a few days after Christmas.

“It was gentler than oxycodone but eased all my tension in the most painful areas; the agony, oh my God, the agony, eased up,” she says.

She alternated oxy and kratom, but within a week or two, she says, she preferred kratom. Not only did it alleviate the pain, but also she found herself smiling, playing with the children. She did not feel foggy when driving to school, work, overtime gigs. She somehow felt safer, she says, and cleaner — although she was chugging a teaspoon of dirt every four to five hours.

When the pharmaceutical drugs ran out, she experienced withdrawal symptoms from oxycodone. But instead of the norm — shaking, freezing, sweating, pounding heart, panic, vomiting, feeling as if her skin was inside out, each nerve exposed — she says she dealt with irritability, runny nose, chills and a little trouble sleeping for about a week.

Owens, too, sought alternatives, but not in street drugs. Rather, he looked into homeopathic and herbal supplements.

His search, much like Cheryl’s, led the Dallas man to kratom.

Owens’ description of his kratom trial, also like Cheryl’s, seems too good to be possible. He feared his first dose was a dud, he says.

“But when I increased my intake just a little, it did wonders,” he says. “It relieved my pain without any intoxicating effects, and I thought, I have found something that works. And it curbed my cravings for narcotic pain medicines. In fact, it just pretty quickly cut out my use of them altogether.”

He conferred with his physician, he says, but the doctor had never heard of kratom. If some herbal supplement helped him, the doctor told him, go for it.

He has been self-medicating with kratom ever since, he says. “I kinda don’t know what I’d do without it,” Owens says. “I’ve done endless research on this by now — most controversy about kratom is due to lack of knowledge.”

Stirring the masses

The DEA drug scheduling announcement of 2016 brought kratom users out of hiding — protests in Washington, hometown rallies (a couple hundred people showing up at many, especially when Larson went with his camera) — to record more web testimonies:

“I work a full-time job now,” a 40-year-old woman says. “I raise two kids all by myself without feeling drugged out because of pain pills.”

“Tried everything from surgeries to acupuncture for 13 years, finally discovered that opiate pain meds work — 60 milligrams of oxycodone per day,” an older man says, “but now doctors bullied by the DEA don’t want to prescribe. Kratom has been an absolute lifesaver … but if they take it from us … what then?

DEA scheduling could prove devastating for the thousands of Americans self-treating pain and other ailments, those weaning themselves off opioids such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and fentanyl, and it would essentially put a stop to research on humans.

Even Trae Crowder, the comedian known as Liberal Redneck, spoke up: “This is deeply personal to me. My momma’s a recovering addict. Pills. Hillbilly heroin, Percocet … the DEA just did something that will make it even worse … an epidemic that no one is doing anything about, partly because it effects mostly poor people. and everyone knows poor people are super gross. … Pills are as bad as any drug out there. I’ve seen it. They have made a lot of dirty people a lot of dirty money.”

Larson says he was caught off guard when the stories of opiate withdrawal treatment began to emerge. People did not want to talk about that at first, but when they did, it was a floodgate, he says.

“What an opportunity during an opiate crisis in our country!” His enthusiasm, if possible, intensified.

But the FDA’s announcement, which released results from the promised further study of kratom, was a kick to the gut. FDA administrator Scott Gottlieb cited “44 reported deaths associated with the use of kratom [among other drugs, since 2011].” He continues, “There is no evidence to indicate kratom is safe or effective for any medical use.” And he stated that the supplement “isn’t just a plant — it’s an opioid.”

Ash, president of the AKA, says there’s more to the numbers.

“They are saying 44 people died from a range of causes and that they had kratom in their system. It’s like blaming fatalities on coffee because 44 people who drank coffee died today,” she says.

Larson puts it like this, acknowledging kratom can indeed make one sick, or, combined with other drugs, dead: “So say you order kratom from some rando off the internet and you get sick, throw up, dizzy,” Larson hypothesizes. “Some vendors just do not care. Others do not actually know about keeping their product pure and clean.”

Larson travels the country talking to sellers and, if they will have him, letting them know how to properly wash and prep their inventory. Some — especially the “hippie types on the West Coast” — truly care about their clients and kratom’s image, he says. The point: Kratom isn’t causing illness; it’s contamination or adulteration somewhere along the way.

“But when the ER doc asks you what you took, you say kratom, they call poison control and we have another ‘adverse incident’ on the books,” he says. There is not one record to date of a kratom-caused death, he insists. Not from kratom alone. Mixed with other drugs and conditions, yes, apparently 44.

Kratom-associated death, according to the FDA, can include something like this: A 43-year-old man suffering severe complications because of deep-vein thrombosis had a long list of medical problems, including chronic back and shoulder pain and a history of alcohol and prescription drug abuse. Toxicology tests returned positive for opioids, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, a medication used to treat Tourette’s syndrome and kratom. The FDA listed his death among “kratom-associated” fatalities.

Among deaths of people who are chronically ill, drug addicts, abusers of illicit substances, patients undergoing treatment for a variety of mental illnesses among them, 44 have involved kratom in some manner, backing evidence that it is potentially deadly, Gottlieb insists. But people do not die from kratom, Larson says. Not from just kratom. It does not depress breathing as other opiates do.

“No one, not a single person, has died by kratom use alone,” Larson says. “The kratom-related deaths they point to, in every case, involve other illicit or prescription drugs, alcohol or some major underlying condition.

“If I took way too much kratom, and I did take three times too much at first because the consistency was different from what I knew in Indonesia, I would feel nauseated, might vomit, might get a headache and go to bed,” Larson says. “In a few hours, I’d be fine. Do the same with oxy, fentanyl, heroin — not so. You are probably going to die.”

Even allowing for these 44 kratom-related deaths in America since 2011, that pales compared with the anticipated more than 50,000 deaths expected from opioid overdoses this year. This doesn’t mean kratom is always safe, either. Kratom bought online can be contaminated or adulterated with other substances, possibly to hook customers.

A smaller sub-Reddit focused on quitting kratom contains heart-tugging tales and conversations among kratom users who feel they have lost control and want to stop and others who say they have been physically addicted but tapered off. They experienced similar symptoms to those detoxifying from heroin — diarrhea, agitation, chills, sweats, insomnia and restless leg syndrome — but to a lesser degree, according to member I_Wise. One woman says all was fine until she purchased a so-called “enhanced” tincture.

“Then I was like a heroin addict,” she says. “There are products out there one must stay away from — do your research.”

About 4,000 members belong to the quitting kratom sub-Reddit. “We are a group of people dedicated to helping each other kick the kratom habit,” its administrator notes.

What better way to be able to hold your kratom vendor accountable than selling it from a storefront, Larson asks rhetorically, expressing excitement about Dallas’ new brick-and-mortar shops. “As long as they are honest with people, don’t gouge people, educate consumers, I think it is great. I mean, you are going to pay a little more for the overhead and security,” he says, adding that he wants to meet the owners.

Although kratom is not a magic cure and there are risks (dirty vendors, adulterated products, evidence of addiction potential, and more), its possibilities seem to shine most brightly in matters of harm reduction, an emerging movement in which the main goal is to not die. Stay alive, and there is always a chance — it’s a phrase often heard in 12-step meetings.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, the mainstays for addiction recovery, do not consider a person using any mood-altering substance clean or sober. It’s a problem because there is no instant cure, says one former NA member shopping for kratom. “If you want to fully recover, you must have spiritual, therapeutic support as well as medicinal treatments,” he adds.

Kratom in powder formEXPAND

Kratom in powder form
Danny Fulgencio

Positive research

A couple of university professors, whose research focuses on design, synthesis and development of drugs to treat pain and drug abuse, concentrate on opioids and have studied kratom as a replacement for methadone, a powerful opiate used for long-term weaning off heroin, morphine, oxy, fentanyl and the like. Kratom can touch the brain’s opiate receptors, creating a similar, if subtle, narcotic effect. However, unlike every other opioid, including maintenance drugs such as methadone and Buprenorphine (pharmaceutical, long-acting, expensive opiates the FDA champions as the only approved medicinal treatments for withdrawal syndrome) kratom does not cause any significant respiratory depression.

Dr. Edward W. Boyer, professor of emergency medicine and director of medical toxicology at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, collaborated on a study with Christopher R. McCurdy, then at the University of Mississippi. They discovered the plant’s most abundant alkaloid, mitragynine, and tested the pure compound on lab mice.

“Results indicate this compound’s activity is superior to methadone in treating withdrawal … and that carefully created chemical variations may provide an alternative to methadone in treating addictions to opiates,” McCurdy determined. “Mitragynine completely blocked all withdrawal symptoms and could provide a remarkable step-down-like treatment for people addicted to hardcore narcotics such as morphine, oxycodone or heroin. The compound has been known for years, but we’re working to come up with an improved synthetic analog or a better formulation of the tea for testing in humans.”

Opioid analgesics kill so many people because the medicines can lead to respiratory depression, Boyer says. “When you overdose on these drugs, your respiratory rate drops to zero. In our animal studies where rats were given mitragynine, those rats had no respiratory depression. This opens the possibility of someday developing a pain medication as effective as morphine but without the risk of accidentally overdosing and dying.”

Revah says she wants anyone who needs kratom or CBD to have access. Some of the people who need or want to try kratom, for example, are older people who are not comfortable walking into a head shop and asking for a product the DEA called hazardous and almost banned.

“We are here to put our clients at ease,” she says. A customer or two have complained about prices steeper than they find online, but the stores are drawing curious newbies and thankful longtime users. Sometimes it’s just about relaxing with a little kratom tea after a long week, she says.

She understands the risks of building a business around a product that just a year ago was one step away from being outlawed. She is prepared for pushback. Although the couple’s multiple stores, including Mr. Nice Guy, generate more than $1 million annually under their M&G umbrella, they would not have opened a kratom store if they did not think it would remain legal, Revah says.

The FDA and DEA, she says, are lying. “They say they want to save people dying from opiates and unbearable pain — well, we feel they aren’t doing their job, and this war against kratom certainly is not going to help a thing.”

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The FDA is No Longer a Viable Institution

When one of our institutions get to a point in which its mere existence is causing pain and suffering, then it is time to reconsider whether it is needed.  Since its creation, the FDA  has consistently tested and approved drugs and procedures that kill people on a regular basis and a massive scale.

The FDA approved opiods.  The FDA encouraged the prescribing of opioids by allowing high pressure sales professionals to market right to the prescriber.  Promising nice trips and kickbacks to doctors that are already squeezed by over-regulation.  All this time the FDA has known that opioids are deadly.  It wasn’t even until it began to get out of hand, that they even reacted, and when they reacted they caused the criminalization of Americans over and over again and still do to this day.

When the FDA and the DEA realized there was something getting in the way of their cash cow, they chose to try to make it illegal.  Our government is screwing with the lives of millions who are just trying to take their lives back from the grips of addiction caused by the same people who are attempting to criminalize the only legal way to get past opioid addiction without creating another addiction or dying of an overdose as the FDA would have you do.

So if you are an addict, are in pain, have high anxiety, or use Kratom for anything to avoid using the death elixir the FDA would have you use and risk death or arrest.  Folks, counseling works 18% of the time because most people are not originally addicted due to mental illness and prefer not to put their dirty laundry out to a bunch of strangers when all they really need is to get relief and over withdrawals to move on with their lives.

Ask yourself if the FDA is really an institution that is protecting YOU – or are they protecting their pockets.

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Controversial Portland program uses marijuana and kratom to treat opioid addiction

I keep hearing from lawmakers that there is not enough study or evidence that Kratom is safe enough to keep legal.  I am not sure where they keep getting this, since I post articles everyday about real people and how it is helping them.  I have even posted a couple of scientific and medical articles that are peer reviewed.  We are swimming in information constantly.  Anyway, here is today’s information overload about Kratom.

Updated January 28

Some people in recovery swear by the effectiveness of the drugs, but the FDA and many treatment experts say there is no credible evidence to support their use.

 A recovering opioid addict in Portland, 33-year-old Arron Veysey credits Roxanne Gullikson and her marijuana- and kratom-based treatment program with helping him kick his habit. But addiction treatment experts say there's no research to support its effectiveness.
A recovering opioid addict in Portland, 33-year-old Arron Veysey credits Roxanne Gullikson and her marijuana- and kratom-based treatment program with helping him kick his habit. But addiction treatment experts say there’s no research to support its effectiveness. Staff photo by Brianna Soukup

Arron Veysey credits marijuana, kratom and Roxanne Gullikson with helping him quit an opioid habit that was ruining his life.

“She basically saved my life,” said Veysey, 33, who works as a prep cook at a Portland retirement home. “I’m able to get up and go to work every day, and have a life. I don’t look at marijuana as a drug anymore.”

Veysey said when he was taking heroin, he was in and out of jail for various drug-related crimes, “homeless and miserable. I didn’t want anyone else around. I was always chasing the drug.”

Marijuana is calming and soothing, and helps him stay focused and get through each day, Veysey said. He said he has joined a church and repaired relationships with family members.

On March 1, Gullikson and her husband, Ron Figaratto, are opening Greener Pastures, a controversial residential treatment home in Portland. At a cost of $20,000 per month per patient, it will promote cannabis use for long-term treatment for opioid addiction and kratom for withdrawal from the powerful painkillers.

Kratom is a tropical evergreen that is dried and crushed into tiny leaves or a powder that people can purchase, often from online retailers. It is legal, but not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for any medical use. The federal government has import restrictions on kratom, and has been seizing some deliveries of the drug when it enters the U.S.

Greener Pastures, the soon-to-be-opened residential treatment home for female opioid addicts, is located on Washington Avenue in Portland. The facility’s owners, Roxanne Gullikson and her husband, Ron Figaratto, say they believe it will be the first marijuana- and kratom-based residential treatment center in Maine. Staff photo by Brianna Soukup

Critics say there’s no proof that any of it – marijuana or kratom – works for addiction treatment.

Gullikson has run an outpatient program for about four years that uses marijuana and kratom to try to help those suffering from opioid addiction. The new 12-bed program, which will open within the next few months, will be for women only and will have an average stay of about 90 days.

Some of the foremost addiction experts in Maine and the nation, however, said Gullikson is peddling a dubious course of treatment that isn’t proven and could be dangerous. Recovery homes, which are largely unregulated, have also come under increasing scrutiny for charging exorbitant fees while having sketchy standards. There haven’t been any documented cases of recovery homes ripping people off in Maine, but other states, such as Florida and New York, have reported that some of the homes have operated in unscrupulous ways.

Mark Parrino, president of the New York-based American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, said such operations are “suspect” because there are no studies that support using marijuana and kratom for opioid use disorder.

Kratom Tincture

“When there’s no scientific research, then it becomes, ‘This is my personal point of view and I can make some money here,’ ” Parrino said.

Gullikson said Greener Pastures, as far as she knows, will be the first marijuana- and kratom-based residential treatment center in Maine. She said she’s not sure how insurance companies are going to reimburse for her services, but they will work with patients. They will try to take Medicaid patients as well, and the plan is to eventually offer two “scholarship” beds where patients do not have to pay. Gullikson said she realizes the out-of-pocket costs are hefty and unaffordable for most. It’s unclear how much of the treatment insurance companies will cover.

“Yes, the ($20,000) cost bothers me, but that’s the only way we can make it work right now,” Gullikson said.

‘BELIEF IS NOT PROOF OF EFFECTIVENESS’

Dr. Mark Publicker, a Portland-based addiction treatment specialist, said touting marijuana and kratom to treat addictions is not evidence-based, gives people false hope and is “harmful nonsense.” While kratom is a legal product, the FDA has issued warnings about overdose risks and other dangers.

Roxanne Gullikson will open Greener Pastures, a residential treatment home for women, in Portland in March. At a cost of $20,000/month per patient, the facility will use marijuana and kratom to help opioid addicts kick their habits. “The cost bothers me,” she said, “but that’s the only way we can make it work right now.” Staff photo by Brianna Soukup

“There is absolutely no research or evidence that kratom has positive effects. Someone’s belief is not proof of a treatment’s effectiveness,” Publicker said. “Many if not most people addicted to opiates, and those in recovery from opiate addiction, smoke cannabis. If it were effective there would be tens of thousands less so addicted.”

Because recovery homes are largely unregulated, it’s difficult to say how many there are in Maine. However, there are 350 beds for residential substance abuse treatment, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. There are 7,000 slots for outpatient medication-assisted treatment programs, the agency says.

Publicker said if the idea catches on that marijuana can cure opioid addiction, it could set back public policy efforts to try to alleviate the public health crisis. There’s a long-shot effort in the Maine Legislature to designate addiction as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, sponsored by Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn. Marijuana is also legal in Maine for recreational use, although federal law still bans the drug.

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The “gold standard” evidence-based treatment involves medication-assisted treatment combined with counseling, which research has shown has the best outcomes for patients.

“If someone wanted to promote cannabis as an effective treatment for poison ivy, it wouldn’t result in significant harm, even though more effective treatment is available,” Publicker said “But 50,000 people died of drug overdoses last year, so many that the country’s life expectancy actually lowered two years in a row. We have three medications with unequivocal evidence for their effectiveness in saving lives. We’re talking about deaths, not rashes. This is harmful nonsense.”

The medications Publicker is referring to are Suboxone, methadone and Vivitrol. All of the medications work to curb cravings in the brain caused by opioid use.

Beginner’s Variety Pack

But Gullikson, despite the criticism, is forging ahead with Greener Pastures, the residential treatment home for women, plus she will continue outpatient programs for both men and women.

“Now there’s this embrace of all routes to recovery. There’s been a loss of stigma for these methods,” Gullikson said.

LACK OF RESEARCH ‘FRUSTRATING’

Gullikson proudly displays a poster board in her home with green X’s, testimonials from people who say cannabis helped them beat their opioid addictions. The X’s represent cannabis use, while they cross out common opioid pills, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Maine is undergoing an opioid epidemic, with 376 drug overdose deaths in 2016, an all-time high, and 185 overdose deaths through the first half of 2017, the latest statistics available.

Drug overdose deaths now exceed car accidents in deaths caused per year.

Gullikson said marijuana is a far less harmful substance than opioids, and it would be better for society if more people switched from opioids to cannabis. Some formulations of cannabis that have high cannabidiol, or CBD, properties and low or zero amounts of THC, which causes the “head high,” can mean that many patients do not get a high at all from taking the products.

Patients can take medical marijuana not just by smoking it, but in a number of other ways, such as using oils, tinctures or edibles.

Gullikson acknowledged that there’s a lack of research that’s been conducted in the United States on cannabis and treating medical conditions, but she said that is the fault of the FDA, which puts many roadblocks in the way of research by misclassifying marijuana as a Schedule I drug. Researchers are mostly prohibited from using human-based testing for Schedule I drugs because they are considered harmful and the testing would run afoul of medical ethics standards.

“It’s frustrating that there isn’t more research. But we’re seeing community-based evidence time and time again that this is working,” said Gullikson, who plans to track patient outcomes at her residential recovery home.

Gullikson pointed to research done in Israel regarding marijuana and addiction, and she has a medical director, Sanford-based Dr. Mary Callison, who also touted overseas research that was done in Malaysia on using kratom for opioid withdrawal.

Publicker said those studies are thin, and much more rigorous testing and research would need to be conducted before it could be determined whether both products had any medical value.

Callison said she has seen “dozens of times” how marijuana and kratom have helped people beat opioid addictions. Callison said some early research is showing that cannabis and kratom work.

She said there will always be naysayers, attached to preserving the status quo.

“Everyone has their script and they read from it. It’s much easier for people to just say what other people are saying rather than looking for themselves,” said Callison, who operates a mobile and telemedicine business called Budding Potentials where she prescribes cannabis for patients. Her website hawks Budding Potentials mugs, T-shirts and carry bags that aren’t for sale yet, but are advertised as being available soon.

KRATOM MAY ‘MAKE THINGS WORSE’

Marc Colello, 42, of Auburn said he was a patient of Gullikson, and medical marijuana and kratom helped him beat opioid addictions that lasted nearly 20 years.

“If you say you’re going to use cannabis for addiction treatment, people are initially like, ‘Ha, ha, yeah right.’ But it’s happening. People are doing this, and it’s working,” said Colello, a self-employed IT contractor. “I have a life, a job, friends and activities. I had no quality of life before.”

Dr. Mary Dowd, who counsels people with opioid addictions at Catholic Charities and is the medical director at Milestone Recovery in Portland’s detox center, said there’s no evidence marijuana works for opioid addictions, and she has seen kratom more at the detox center.

“I have seen people use it to withdraw off of heroin, but then they are addicted to kratom and have to withdraw from kratom,” Dowd said.

Dr. Karen Simone, director of the Northern New England Poison Control Center, said kratom is not the worst drug that people are abusing, and it would be extremely rare for someone to die of a kratom drug overdose, but she doesn’t view it as helpful in the opioid crisis. There were 16 kratom-related calls to the poison control center in 2017, up from four in 2016. Mostly, people are using kratom to get high, Simone said.

“I don’t see kratom as a solution to the (opioid) problem and it may in some cases make things worse for some patients,” Simone said.

The FDA commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, issued a written warning about kratom in November, saying claims of healing powers are dubious.

“The FDA knows people are using kratom to treat conditions like pain, anxiety and depression, which are serious medical conditions that require proper diagnosis and oversight from a licensed health care provider. We also know that this substance is being actively marketed and distributed for these purposes. Importantly, evidence shows that kratom has similar effects to narcotics like opioids, and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and in some cases, death. Thus, it’s not surprising that often kratom is taken recreationally by users for its euphoric effects. At a time when we have hit a critical point in the opioid epidemic, the increasing use of kratom as an alternative or adjunct to opioid use is extremely concerning,” Gottlieb wrote.

‘ABSTINENCE CAN BE SUCCESSFUL’

Dr. Noah Nesin, vice president of the Penobscot Community Health Center in Bangor, said there is limited research that indicates marijuana may help in some cases of chronic pain, but none for addiction treatment. He said people can be beating their addictions through counseling and changes to lifestyle and crediting marijuana, but the marijuana didn’t actually help them. He said it’s similar to how some people can abstain from opioids and be successful in recovery, although medication-assisted treatment has been proven to be far more effective.

“For some individuals abstinence can be successful,” Nesin said. “The best outcomes are to use medication-assisted treatment, using Suboxone and methadone combined with individual and group counseling.”

Colello said he went to a methadone clinic for years, and it didn’t help him. He would supplement the methadone with heroin, and he said he never felt that methadone was really treating his problem.

But Colello said 15 months ago, his girlfriend died of a drug overdose at his apartment, and he spent 30 days in jail on a charge of furnishing her the drugs.

“When I got out of jail, I took three steps toward the methadone clinic and then just stopped and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ ” Colello said. He said he used kratom for withdrawal and marijuana, and with Gullikson’s help has been clean ever since. “She was right there with me, every step of the way, in my recovery. It’s a revelation.”

 

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Kratom Tea Is the Beverage of Recovering Heroin Addicts

Kratom is a plant-based legal drug commonly ingested in the form of hot tea. Often used to aid recovering heroin addicts, kratom is gaining popularity at bars in North Carolina and Florida.

Gina Tron

Gina Tron

Above, a cup of kratom tea. All photos courtesy of the author

Someone told me about a place in Wilmington, North Carolina, that sells tea brewed from “some weird drug called kratom that’s illegal in Thailand.” The place—a tiki bar called Kat 5 Kava that doesn’t serve alcohol—is like some sort of toned-down methadone clinic or legal opium den, I heard. I was intrigued.

Even though it’s been around for some time, the media is calling kratom a “new legal drug.” A tree native to Thailand, kratom leaves are harvested and dried to create the drug, which was banned there in 1943, after people had started to use it as an opium alternative and the government realized it wasn’t being taxed.

Last week, I was out drinking at a bar down the street from Kat 5 Kava, so I stopped in to try a cup of kratom tea. Inside the establishment, a group of people sat sluggishly at a table near a bar that was surrounded by multiple screens playing nature videos of whales swimming in the ocean and deer frolicking in the woods. I looked at the menu on the wall. Half of it was full of beverages made with kava, a plant root used for sedative and anesthetic effects. The other half of the menu consisted of kratom drinks and powders, which were supposed to give an “opiate-mixed-with-caffeine kind of buzz,” according to the server.

There are three different kratom powders sold at this bar: White Borneo, Red Mystic, and Green Peace, each of which costs $2 a gram. The United States has a variety of kratom powders, such as Thai, Indo, Bali, Malay, and Sumatra. I stood there perplexed when I noticed the “brew” for $10 on the menu. A friendly patron with bags under his eyes added, “It won’t make you sleepy too much… that one won’t.”

I went ahead and ordered a cup of “brew,” which is kratom powder mixed into hot water. The server told me that each brew contained approximately 5 grams, but he warned me that if I didn’t have a tolerance, I should limit myself to under 9 grams to avoid getting queasy, because 5–7 grams would provide a sufficient high. Apparently, 9 grams is when people begin to feel queasy, the worst physical side effect of consuming the hot tea.

The brew was poured into a Styrofoam cup with a ladle from a tub. Honey was sitting out on the counter to help alleviate the tea’s bitter taste. But even though kratom is “all natural,” the drink tasted thick and chalky, like crushed-up pills. I must have dumped two teaspoons of honey into my cup.

I took a few sips, but it still tasted too bitter. I drank as much as I could. I couldn’t finish it, so I decided to head out for a real bar where alcohol could wash away the bitter taste in my mouth. I felt a little buzzed, but I wasn’t sure if I could attribute that to the kratom or the alcohol I had consumed earlier in the night.

Kratom powder

The atmosphere of the place stuck with me. I researched kratom online and found some pretty sensationalized articles about it, comparing it to bath salts.

There’s also a lot of websites out there praising the plant, crediting it for being a healthier option for opiate addicts and a great remedy for recovering heroin addicts. Kratom has gained popularly in the US in the past few years, particularly in southern states like North Carolina and Florida.

I went back to Kat 5 Kava for a second time, during the daytime, before I had consumed any alcohol, to see if the experience would be different. When I arrived at 4:30, it was packed. A middle-aged man sat there wearing sunglasses indoors. There was only one empty seat at the bar, so I grabbed it and ordered another brew, one that I was determined to finish this time. I was sitting next to a 19-year-old guy named Bob Swinson, who told me that kratom keeps him in check. “I have ADHD, and the kratom helps me calm down. I’m not on meds for ADHD, but it helps keep me level,” he said as he alternated between chatting with patrons and sitting statue-like with his face pressed into the bar. On my other side was an ex–heroin addict who was recently released from prison. For this patron, kratom helps him with his heroin cravings.

I spoke with a server, Brianna Garrett-Sanders, about her clientele. According to Sanders, the bar has been selling kratom since January of 2012, and “75–80 percent” of the establishment’s clientele are people in recovery. As I sipped on my cup of tea, Brianna told me that kratom gives off the same feeling that opiates would. It works on the same part of the brain as opiate receptors, but instead of attaching onto these receptors, they bounce off, she claims, making it difficult to get physically addicted. Kratom is a lot less dangerous than dope or pain pills, but it’s a helpful tea for people who have issues with pain. “It’s holistic. It’s just a plant. It’s a lot more safe than prescription medication,” Brianna said.

Men drinking kava tea

After my first brew, my eyes were starting to feel a little heavy, and I began to feel relaxed and a bit chatty. I would catch myself getting very fixated on things: a text message, a nature film, or a conversation. It brought me down to a calmer level, because I often feel anxious and overwhelmed, thinking about too many things at once.

But as I finished my second cup of brew, I noticed a shift from a relaxed state to a place that was slightly anxious. I went to use the bathroom and found myself clumsily fumbling to turn the doorknob. I felt like a slug trying to maneuver around the bar. I started to feel very dehydrated. I stuck out my tongue in the bathroom mirror and saw that my tongue had a layer of white, which was veryattractive.

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My eyes were a little bloodshot. I went back and ordered some water.

I chatted with a 28-year-old named Jordan Culler, who told me that he does kratom on a daily basis. He has never had a drug problem, but he enjoys the benefits of the plant because it helps him to focus. According to Culler, “It’s like coffee without being jittery. You’re more relaxed, and you can focus. It just loosens you up,” he said, noting that he drinks it before work.

Kava used to be served in coconut shells at Kat 5 Kava, but since the coconut cracks caused the kava to spill everywhere, the bar serves it in clear plastic cups. His friends bought me a kava shell. They all chugged it as if it were a shot. I politely had a few sips. It tasted worse than the kratom. I couldn’t drink it, but it wasn’t the flavor that I couldn’t handle. I started to feel extremely nauseated, which was entirely my fault, as I had ignored the original server’s warning—9 grams was the magic number. It was a queasy feeling I have felt before, like when I had mixed downers with uppers in a previous experience, or had drunk one too many Red Bull–and-vodka cocktails. It didn’t feel good.

The exterior of Kat 5 Kava tiki bar

I was mad at myself because I realized that, from observing others, I could have just bought a few grams at a time, and my server would have mixed it in some fruit juice for an easier intake. I could have monitored what I had consumed a little better.

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I closed out my tab. I left the bar and googled “how to come down off kratom” when I got home. “Nothing kills a buzz more than eating,” one message board mentioned. It suggested carbs as the quickest fix, so I went to a nearby pizza place and inhaled a slice. Within a time span of 15 minutes, I felt fine, but when I got back home, I started to itch. I couldn’t stop scratching my stomach and arms. It wasn’t that bad, or enough to be torturous, but it was a little uncomfortable. I started wondering if it had something to do with the kratom. I had trouble falling asleep, and I woke up with a killer headache the next day.

In the past, I’ve made myself sick and dehydrated by drinking too much coffee. The two are pretty comparable. I drank too much to feel the full effect, and if a little nausea and itching is the worst thing that can happen, the side effect is not too shabby. Even though it was fun to try, I’m not the biggest fan of kratom. I don’t like the taste or the dizzy high. I’m a bit weirded out that the advocates for it seem to want—or perhaps need—to take it everyday. But if it is helping people wean themselves off of dangerous opiates, then order another round of drinks, bartender.

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How to Make Kratom Incense

If you like the scent of incense, then you should know about the possibility to make kratom incense. This magnificent product has been popular in many cultures as super aromatherapy substance. Ancient civilizations used incense for various treatments and religious purposes. Today, we can use incense in the same way, but we can also make some experiments and get kratom incense. If you are interested in this, follow some steps, and you will have your own incense.

Scents for kratom incense
The first step in kratom incense production includes opting for appropriate scent. If you wonder what the best herb for kratom combination is, then we can recommend lavender, cedar or sandalwood. In order to make incense, you will need about 1-2 spoons of these ingredients along with kratom.

Measure the ingredients
If you want the perfect combination, then you should measure the substances. Make notes about amounts as you will always need the right quantity of spices and water. As soon as you measure them, mix all ingredients and let them stay for a few hours.

Choosing the right makko
If you want to have a perfect burning incense, then you need a right makko. Makko is responsible for the quality of the incense flame. You should start with lower doses to make the proper product. The recommended amount of makko is 10-25 % for spices and 40-80 % for resins.

The rest of the process
The final steps in the kratom incense preparation include adding water in the whole texture. In this way, you will get perfectly shaped, moldable incense. For the finish, you have to knead the texture which reminds of dough. This will last several minutes, and you will be ready for finalization. Roll the small pieces of incense in the sticks and dry them during the day. You should rotate them regularly to quicken the drying process. After five days of drying, you will have perfectly prepared kratom incense ready for use.

The required products
After we have explained the necessary steps in incense production, we will make a list of ingredients. It includes: herbs (dried wood like sandalwood, lemongrass or lavender), makoo, warmed water, bamboo stick and wax paper for the drying process. Make sure you have all the ingredients, and then you only have to follow previous steps to get perfect kratom incense.

Sandalwood kratom incense recipe
If you want to follow some recipes, we can recommend one of them. This is the basic recipe for sandalwood incense which is the typical ingredient for this purpose. For this recipe, you need sandalwood powder, makko powder as well as kratom leaf powder. Mix all the ingredients and add water to get dough. Knead it and form structures to get incensed. Leave it to stay and add resins to make it better.

As you could see, the preparation process is not easy, but you can easily perform it. It is better to have your kratom incense that buying some pre prepared sorts. It will be better both for your taste and safety.

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How To Become The Life Of The Party

Do you have what it takes to be a pimp?

The moment you walk into a room, does everyone stare at you in amazement and awe? And are you comfortable with it?

Just imagine:

Almost as if you were the reincarnation of Elvis Presley himself. With your hair slicked back, you walk down the aisle with your elegant suave walk, and you can see the men of the crowd hold their girlfriends that little bit closer so they won’t take notice of you.

The moment you open your mouth to speak, what comes out is pure gold; your words are so smooth it’d make Casanova run away with his tail in between his legs.

Straight out of a movie right?

It almost seems unattainable but I’m pretty sure some of us have experienced something similar at least a handful of times. There are those days where the stars seemed to have aligned perfectly and everything just seems to be going your way. You’re in a “flow” state. You’re “in the zone”.

Now, what if we could replicate that same “in the zone” feeling with a snap of a finger?

If you’ve used Kratom before in general, you’ve probably had a taste of what this feels like.

All the Kratom strains are different, however, and quite often specific strains have their strengths and are much more effective for a particular “type” of aroma.

When it comes to getting into that magical flow state, there’s one strain that is just what the Doctor ordered…

Green Maeng Da Kratom

Whenever you hear the word “Maeng Da”, you just know it’s about to be something real good.

Just trust me on this.

Green Maeng Da PowderAll Maeng da Kratom strains are “fast” strains found and grown in Thailand, where farmers are said to use them for their powerful stimulating effects.

What To Expect From Green Vein Maeng Da Kratom

I personally think this is the first Maeng Da Kratom strain that I have tried on it’s own where I haven’t experienced the slight “jittery” or “hyperactive” feeling that typically comes with most Maend Da and other “fast” strains.

But don’t let that fool you. It still has the properties of a “fast” strain, and you might end up just blabbering constantly and not knowing when to shut up.

But that’s all part of your “mojo”.

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Red Vein Thai Kratom Effects

Red Vein Thai Kratom Effects and Benefits
March 6, 2016

Red Vein Thai Kratom generally known as the “Red Thai” is one of the most popular red vein strains of Kratom powder and leaves in the market today. This strain is said to be one of the most relaxing strains with positive and emotional well-being effects. Though this strain is not as energizing as compared to the green vein products but the effects of this strain last longer and produce a more euphoric and pain-relieving effect.

What Is Red Vein Thai?
Red Vein Thai Kratom all share one common characteristic and that is they come from trees that have reddish veins and stems in their leaves. The color of a central vein is determined because of the presence of different chemicals in the tree. Some of the characteristics of these strains are based on the species of trees from which the leaves are taken. Several Kratom farmers have informed that red vein strains have higher succumbed in Southeast Asian climate and are more resilient. However, there are more reports of different colored veins occurring the same tree in different stages of the leaves lifecycle. The red veining may be common in younger trees that are more vulnerable to attack from different insects. Another theory states that different coloring occurs in the leaves due to harsh weather conditions and temperature.

Earlier, Kratom pickers separated the leaves based on their color as they believe that there were differences in the effects related to the vein coloration. Generally, red vein Thai kratom powders and capsules are considered best for enhancing mood, replacement of pain medications and relaxation. These characterizations must not be taken as hard and fast rules. Some slight changes in the method of usage, individual biochemistry, product potency and metabolism can change all your experience when consuming this herb. It’s also common these days that if you mix the strains like Green Thai and Red Thai then you will achieve a balanced effect.

Benefits Of Taking Red Vein Thai Kratom
It is essential to remember the fact that the effects of Red Vein Thai Kratom strains are varying in different people according to their metabolism and biochemistry. Even though Red Vein Thai Kratom offers the same benefits as the Bali strains, the effects of this herb are more distinct. The Red Vein is more stimulating as compared to the Red Vein Bali which is a gentle strain and is more sedating.

One of the side-effects of the Bali Strain is that it makes you feel nauseatic, you don’t experience this when you intake red vein Thai Kratom. Since there are very few side-effects of this strain it can also be used to ease anxiety and depression. Also, as compared to the greener strains the calming effects of the Red Vein Thai are more defined and pronounced.

Dosage And Usage Guideline
red-vein-thai-kratom

The dosage of the Red Vein Thai depends on what purpose you are taking it for:

If you take 4-8 grams of red vein Thai it will ease conditions of depression, mood swings, anxiety, stress and insomnia. At this dosage level, the consumer will experience the sense of calm, mood uplifting and tranquility.

8-9 grams of this herb helps in relieving pain and connects directly with your opiate receptors of the brain. However, it is important to comprehend that higher dose of this Kratom should not be consumed.

If you are looking for the alleviation of anxiety, nervousness, and perpetual agonies, make a point to buy the Red Vein Thai Kratom from credible merchants. However, before acquiring check every one of the actualities and guarantees and pledge yourself that you are not being tricked.

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The DEA’s Crazy Kratom Ban Dresses Pharmacological Phobia In Scientific Garb

Opinion #BeltwayBriefSEP 1, 2016 @ 10:57 AM86,407
The DEA’s Crazy Kratom Ban Dresses Pharmacological Phobia In Scientific Gar

Jacob Sullum , CONTRIBUTOR
I cover the war on drugs from a conscientious objector’s perspective.

At the end of this month, kratom will be illegal throughout the United States thanks to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which this week announced that a ban is necessary “to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety.” The way the DEA reached that conclusion provides an illuminating window on the prohibitionist mindset, which dresses pharmacological phobias in the garb of science.

Kratom is a pain-relieving leaf that acts as a stimulant or a sedative, depending on the dose. But the most important thing to know about kratom, if you want to understand the DEA’s reasoning, is that it’s not from here. Kratom comes from a tree, Mitragyna speciosa, that is native to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea. It has gained a following in the United States only recently, hawked by online merchants and head shops as an herbal medicine, “dietary supplement,” or legal high. As far as the DEA is concerned, the fact that people in other countries have used kratom for centuries to ease pain, boost work performance, and wean themselves from opiate addiction counts for nothing. All the DEA needs to know is that our shores have been invaded by a foreign drug that is increasingly popular among Americans as a home remedy and recreational intoxicant. From the DEA’s perspective, that is intolerable, regardless of the drug’s hazards or benefits.

If you think I’m exaggerating, consider how the DEA decided that kratom meets the criteria for “temporary” placement in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the law’s most restrictive category. The DEA has at least two years to make that designation permanent, which it almost certainly will do after going through a somewhat more elaborate process of bureaucratic self-justification. For the time being, it need only consider three factors: “the substance’s history and current pattern of abuse; the scope, duration and significance of abuse; and what, if any, risk there is to the public health.”

That exercise is easy, because according to the DEA all use of kratom is abuse and the substance has no benefits. That means any hazards associated with kratom pose an unacceptable risk to public health, even if they compare favorably to those associated with legal intoxicants, over-the-counter remedies, and prescription drugs.

“Kratom is abused for its ability to produce opioid-like effects,” the DEA says. “Kratom is misused to self-treat chronic pain and opioid withdrawal symptoms, with users reporting its effects to be comparable to prescription opioids.” So if you use kratom to relax, relieve pain, or get off heroin, that’s abuse.

Any medicinal use of kratom has to be abuse, the DEA figures, because kratom has not been approved for any indication by the Food and Drug Administration. Nor has the government approved kratom as a recreational intoxicant or a utilitarian stimulant (possibly because no such regulatory categories exist for new drugs), so those uses are also beyond the pale.

The DEA’s blinkered thinking is especially glaring when it frowns on kratom as a substitute for heroin. “Kratom has a history of being used as an opium substitute in Southeast Asia,” it says. “Especially concerning, reports note users have turned to kratom as a replacement for other opioids, such as heroin.” So if a heroin addict switches to a less dangerous drug, that is “concerning,” even if the switch enables him to taper off his drug use and ultimately stop completely. In other words, even using kratom to reduce drug abuse is drug abuse.

With logic like that, it’s a cinch for the DEA to conclude that mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, kratom’s main active components, have “a high potential for abuse.” In the DEA’s view, kratom’s only potential is for abuse.

Since the DEA assumes there is no rational, morally acceptable reason to use kratom, it does not need to muster much evidence that kratom is intolerably dangerous. That’s a good thing for the DEA, because the evidence indicates that kratom is less hazardous than drugs that are legally used for similar purposes.

“Serious toxicity is rare and usually involves relatively high doses (more than 15 g) or coingestants,” says a 2014 article in the journal Pharmacotherapy by clinical pharmacologist Megan Rech and four of her colleagues at the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. “Fatalities typically involve coingestants…. Withdrawal has been described as less intense but more protracted than with prescription opioids.”

A 2015 literature review in the International Journal of Legal Medicine offers a similar assessment. “Kratom is considered minimally toxic,” write Florida forensic scientist Marcus Warner and two co-authors, although they add that “research evaluating its toxic effects on humans is limited, with the vast majority of studies involving animals.” Warner et al. say “withdrawal symptoms are generally nonexistent to mild, even for heavy users” and note that two Florida counties “have deemed kratom not ready for regulation due to the lack of information demonstrating the substance as being unsafe or hazardous.”

Warner and his colleagues concur with Rech et al. that there’s little evidence kratom is lethal by itself. “Although death has been attributed to kratom use,” they write, “there is no solid evidence that kratom was the sole contributor to an individual’s death. In most documented instances, mitragynine was detected in combination with other drugs.”

Pascal Tanguay, a program officer for PSI, an international health promotion organization, in Thailand, was more emphatic in a 2013 interview with MinnPost. “There’s never been a single death associated with kratom,” Tanguay said. “People have been chewing this for thousands of years with no cases of overdose, psychosis, murder, violent crime. Never in all of recorded history.”

Although the DEA claims there have been “numerous deaths associated with kratom,” it does not cite any deaths where kratom was the only factor. The agency cites 14 deaths “reported in the scientific literature,” plus 16 others that “have been confirmed by autopsy/medical examiner reports,” meaning that “mitragynine and/or 7-hydroxymitragynine were identified in biological samples.” It is not safe to assume, as the DEA does, that every person who ever died after consuming kratom died because he consumed kratom. But even if you overlook that logical fallacy, a grand total of 30 “deaths associated with kratom” in the whole world over the course of centuries is hardly “numerous,” and it pales beside the number of deaths associated with myriad legal drugs. Alcohol, for instance, is implicated in about 88,000 deaths a year in the U.S. alone, while 28,000 deaths were attributed to heroin and opioid painkillers in 2014.

The DEA plays a similar trick when it cites a report on kratom-related calls to poison control centers that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in July. From January 2010 through December 2015, the DEA notes, “U.S. poison centers received 660 calls related to kratom exposure.” It adds that “during this time, there was a tenfold increase in the number of calls received, from 26 in 2010 to 263 in 2015.” Reported symptoms included “agitation or irritability, tachycardia, nausea, drowsiness, and hypertension.”

An average of 110 cases a year may sound like a lot, but it’s not. It represents about 0.004 percent of the 3 million or so calls received by poison control centers each year. By comparison, exposures involving analgesics accounted for nearly 300,000 calls in 2014, while cosmetics and personal care products, cleaning solutions, antidepressants, and antihistamines each accounted for more than 100,000. The DEA not only fails to put the number of kratom-related calls in perspective; it does not mention that two-thirds of the cases were deemed “minor” or “moderate,” while only 7 percent (eight per year) were described as “life-threatening.” The CDC noted a single death in six years, “reported in a person who was exposed to the medications paroxetine (an antidepressant) and lamotrigine (an anticonvulsant and mood stabilizer) in addition to kratom.”

These numbers are pretty reassuring, especially since the DEA says “millions of dosage units” are imported into the U.S. each year. But the agency draws the opposite conclusion, saying “such alarming quantities create an imminent public health and safety threat.”

The DEA makes at least one valid point about the risks of using kratom, which is available from many different vendors, some more reliable than others. “Since abusers [i.e., users] obtain kratom…through unknown sources,” it says, “the identity, purity, and quantity of these substances are uncertain and inconsistent.” Does anyone outside of the DEA think prohibition will take care of that problem?

 

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Withdrawing Off Of Opioids Using Kratom: Read This Guide

November 2, 2017

KratomGuides.com

In today’s world, a number of strategies are being employed to get rid of Opioids because of the harmful effects it has on the human body and brain.

Many of these strategies prove fruitful. You get rid of Opioid addiction but then you get addicted to the treatment drug.

A strategy that fully withdraws off from Opioids without causing any adverse effects is a strategy worth following.

This guide will explain withdrawing off of Opioids using Kratom. Kratom is a traditional herbal supplement that is finding its way in the medicinal arena.

Read this guide to understand the pharmacodynamics of Kratom and how it is similar to Opiates, thus becoming the best alternative to Opiates.

What is Kratom?

Kratom or Mitragyna Speciosa is a herbal supplement that has been used for centuries to treat pain, improve energy levels and elevate mood.

The active components of Kratom are alkaloids. They are more than 40 in number but the primary ones are 7-hydroxy Mitragynine and Mitragynine.

These two alkaloids act on the Opiate receptors present in the central nervous system. Opiate receptors are of three types; mu, delta, and kappa.

Kratom show agonism on these receptors. It attaches to the receptors to bring about a series of changes in the neuronal system.

The sympathetic system is activated at low doses. There is increased the release of dopamine and serotonin which act on the reward system to induce euphoria.

There is increased the release of enkephalins and endorphins that are important neurotransmitters in pain regulation. At higher doses Kratom induces sedation.

Opiates form a class of drugs that are known to cause physical as well as psychological dependence.

These drugs make you dependent on them and if you stop taking them you feel sick and you crave for it.

These cravings force you to take Opiates again and again which increase your dependence. Opiates also cause quick tolerance which means that you need to take an increased dosage of Opiates to have the desired effects.

Opiate withdrawal occurs when you suddenly quit the intake of Opiates. This is a condition in which you get certain symptoms that make you feel crippled.

These symptoms appear within 6-12 hours for short-acting Opiates and around 30 hours or more for long-acting Opiates.

Early symptoms of Opiate withdrawal syndrome include muscle aches, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, sweating, increased tearing, runny nose, yawning and fever.

These appear within 12 hours of the last usage of Opiates. Late symptoms start appearing within 72 hours and may last for a week.

These symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, dilated pupils, and goosebumps.

Why does withdrawal occur?

Opiates, when administered for a long duration of time, result in certain changes in the body. The body initially is receptive to Opiates.

Gradually, the intrinsic mechanism of the body gets it that there is an extrinsic supply of Opiates so the intrinsic formation of Opiates stops.

When there is the further administration of Opiates, down-regulation of Opiate receptors is observed.

The receptors become inactive and no more respond to the Opiates. Desensitization of mu, delta and kappa receptors forces the user/addict to take more and more Opiates to achieve the desired effects.

Dependence occurs when the body requires a continuous supply of Opiates to function normally.

This means that the body needs an extrinsic supply of Opiates to release dopamine that is one of the neurotransmitters responsible for the elevation of mood.

When the extrinsic supply of Opiates is stopped, these nerve cells stop functioning or malfunction and you start feeling the withdrawal symptoms.

How can Kratom help in Opiate withdrawal?

Kratom and Opiates act on the same receptors that are known as mu, delta and kappa receptors and both of these substances produce almost same effects.

The advantage of Kratom over Opiates is that Kratom doesn’t cause such severe addiction, dependence, and tolerance.

In fact, it relieves the withdrawal symptoms of Opiates by producing the effects and helping the receptors come back to normal.

Once Kratom reduces the withdrawal symptoms, it is gradually tapered and this is how one gets rid of the withdrawal symptoms of Opiates.

How long does Kratom take to eliminate Opiate withdrawal?

Opiate withdrawal in severe cases may last up to months if the treatment regimen is ineffective or the patient is not compliant.

The regimens that are employed for the treatment of Opiate withdrawal require patience and a lot of motivation to continue because the process of rehabilitation requires months.

In such cases, usually many patients revert back to the use of Opiates. Kratom for Opiate withdrawal can be the best option if it is included in the treatment regimen. Kratom for Opiate withdrawal considerably reduces the time span.

There is no time frame for Kratom to eliminate Opiate withdrawal as symptoms in each individual vary.

If the Opiate addiction is severe, you may require Kratom for a longer duration and if Opiate has been consumed via injections you will need to take Kratom for an extended time. The health of each individual is an important factor too.

You can use some of the strains of Kratom for Opiate withdrawal which are mentioned below;

  1. Bali blend

    It is one of the best strains of Kratom for Opiate withdrawal. It is an analgesic and has sedative properties, helping with insomnia and other sleeping disorders.

    Gold Bali Kratom

     

  2. Red Sumatra

    This strain of Kratom is most effective for the removal of opiate cravings thus it should be included in the treatment regimen.

    Red Sumatra Kratom

  3. White Maeng Da Extract

    This strain is known for its exciting activity.  Maeng Da takes away the fatigue-related symptoms and energizes one. It produces euphoria, thus helping with saddening thoughts.

    White Maeng Da Extract

  4. Patients suffering from reduced libido or sexual dysfunction due to opiate withdrawal can take Green Thai powder.

    Green Thai Kratom

  5. Super Green Malay

    Super Green Malay Kratom

Green Malay produces intense euphoria thus elevating mood. It also acts as an analgesic and helps one attain a relaxed state of mind and body.

What is the required dosage of Kratom for Opiate withdrawal?

Usually, it is recommended to take Kratom extracts for reducing the symptoms of Opiate withdrawal.

An extract of 15x to 30x strength has proved beneficial. The dose should be 75-100mg twice a day for around a week. If the symptoms subside, taper the dosage.  Black Diamond 50x works well.

You can also take Kratom powder to get rid of the Opiate addiction. Start with a dosage of 2 grams and if you still feel the symptoms, increase the dosage to 4-5 grams.

Those with severe addiction may require a dosage of 9-10 grams, almost three to four times a day. Ensure that you do not use more than 30 grams of Kratom per day.

Continue this routine for 4 days and by day 5, start tapering the dosage. Day 5 onwards take a dose 5 grams or even lesser. By day 8 usually the symptoms disappear and thus you should taper the dose to less than 1 gram by this day.

What are the side effects associated with Kratom intake?

Some of the side effects that you’ll note with the consumption of Kratom for Opiate withdrawal include;

  • constipation,
  • drowsiness,
  • nausea,
  • abdominal cramps,
  • a headache, and
  • Fatigue.

Is Kratom addictive?

It is repeatedly mentioned in the article above to taper the dosage of Kratom and to avoid using high doses and for longer duration.

The reason being, that Kratom is mildly addictive too. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the dosage after day 3 or 4.

If the dose isn’t tapered one may even get addicted to Kratom and suffer from Kratom withdrawal symptoms which are milder as compared to that of Opiates.

What alternate methods can I use for Opiate withdrawal?

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Use supplements and vitamins to maintain your health.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Use acupuncture for pain.
  • The Hot water bath helps in relieving irritability and stress.
  • Massages help in reducing muscle cramps and soothe the nerves.

What other supplements can be used for the withdrawal of Opiates?

The list below mentions the supplements that can be used for Opiate withdrawal other than Kratom;

  1. Kava kava– active ingredient kavalactones
  2. Phenibut
  3. Passion flower-active ingredient flavonoids
  4. 5-hydroxytryptophan
  5. Agmatine Sulphate
  6. Rhodiola Rosea
  7. N-Acetyl Carnitine
  8. Bacopa
  9. Ashwagandha
  10. Black Cumin Seed Oil
  11. Ibogaine Root
  12. Calcium and Magnesium
  13. B-Complex Vitamins
  14. Melatonin

When to contact a doctor?

If you are not getting better with Kratom or any of the above-mentioned supplements and your symptoms are worsening, it is the time that you visit your doctor and get immediately prescribed medication for your worsening condition.

You should also contact the doctor if you are severely dehydrated due to vomiting and diarrhoea.

Some of the symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, extreme thirst, no urination, fever, disorientation, tachycardia, sunken eyes and rapid respiratory rate.

If you have any pre-existing health condition you should avoid taking Kratom and self-medication for Opiate withdrawal.

What is the bottom line?

Kratom for Opiate withdrawal is an effective treatment as it acts on the same receptors and produces similar effects without having any major adverse effects if used with caution.

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Various kratom products have started appearing in head shops across the United States. They either come in a bag of powdered leaf, or more commonly in a package of capsules. The capsules are sometimes just powdered leaf, in which case they may barely be enough for a small dose and likely cost upwards of $20. When they do contain extract, often it’s a weak extract requiring in some cases every capsule to be consumed to get any effects.

It’s also the case that the head shop employees know little of kratom, marketing it as a sexual enhancement pill (which it’s actually pretty poor at).

Online vendors, on the other hand, are forced to compete more on quality, especially with the wide range of forums critiquing the quality from various vendors. They have a reputation to maintain, and are forced to compete with all the other online vendors, whereas headshops often have little local competition.

The only downside to online vendors is that they must sell kratom as “not for human consumption” due to it not being approved by the FDA and on their Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list.

Klub Kratom on the other hand is a vendor that is more than willing to talk about Kratom, however, I as with any drug, co

Headshop employees have the luxury of being able to just tell a customer about how to consume it, but online stores tend to be weary of this risk. This in no way means that kratom is unsafe, but it often confuses customers.

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