By Philip  |  11-12-2017   News
Photo credit: Theerapol | Dreamstime

It seems the DEA disinformation machine is kicking up into overdrive again. The New York Post just published an article that is rife with blatant misinformation. At this point, no matter how many times groups like the Botanical Education Alliance and American Kratom Association have had to step in and offer expert opinions from doctors and researchers to debunk false claims, some reporter always seems willing to offer up the DEA's error-riddled press releases as if they were gospel.

The New York Post article claims that 10% of the respondents to the DEA comment period claimed that they experienced withdrawal. The actual figure was somewhere in between 0.1% and 1.0% in all actuality. The American Coalition of Free Citizens did an analysis of the comment results. 99.1% of the 23,000 respondents were in favor of kratom. Only 113 of the 23,000 supported the DEA's decision for an extra-judicial ban. 48% of the respondents were veterans, law enforcement officials, healthcare professionals, and scientists. This population of the respondents came out in favor of kratom and against a ban with a support level of 98.7%. 21% of the filers who indicated age were 55 or older. Many users of kratom prefer the plant to prescribed pain medication because it is more effective and doesn't have the same side effects of intoxication and addiction that pain pills do.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Scientific American: <a href="https://twitter.com/DEAHQ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DEAHQ</a>&#39;s kratom ban will &quot;cripple&quot; painkiller research <a href="https://t.co/LRIuPGeLsc">https://t.co/LRIuPGeLsc</a></p>&mdash; Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) <a href="https://twitter.com/_cingraham/status/780783469752225792?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 27, 2016</a></blockquote>

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The New York Post also refers to the fact that kratom can bind to the same receptors as opioids. You know what else does that? Multiple studies show that <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelpellmanrowland/2017/06/26/cheese-addiction">cheese binds to opiate receptors.</a> Another study showed how <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6296693">"coffee contains potent opiate receptor binding activity."</a> The coffee plant is actually a botanical cousin to kratom. Both hail from the Rubiaceae family. The difference is, caffeine overdose actually does lead to a small number of overdose deaths per year, unlike kratom.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The DEA&#39;s Crazy Kratom Ban Dresses Pharmacological Phobia In Scientific Garb via <a href="https://twitter.com/Forbes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@forbes</a> <a href="https://t.co/lEfda78qV7">https://t.co/lEfda78qV7</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KratomSavesLives?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KratomSavesLives</a></p>&mdash; Melanie Hayes Victor (@lealaken) <a href="https://twitter.com/lealaken/status/783453795196043264?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 4, 2016</a></blockquote>

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Of the "15 cases of death attributed to kratom," <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/9790-Experts-Debunk-Kratom-Deaths">Dr. Babin points out</a> that 9 were shown to be traceable back to a Swedish kratom product that had been adulterated with the research chemical O-desmethyl-tramadol. Other cases involved at least one other drug that would be more likely to cause or contribute to a death by overdose. In one case, kratom was found present as well as the antihistamine diphenhydramine and cough syrup. Dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine are over-the-counter drugs that are occasionally abused for their hallucinogenic and dissociative effects. Nerve pills, alcohol, and other painkillers were also present at the time. Another "kratom overdose" was the case of a heroin addict who was found with large amounts of benzodiazepines (anxiolytic drugs like Xanax) and cold medicine in his system. Another case involved the drug propylhexedrine which has stimulant effects similar to amphetamines. Yet another death attributed to kratom, morphine, promethazine and other drugs were found in the system. Several of the attributed deaths involve multiple drugs being found in the system that are much more likely to have been the cause of death. In laboratory trials, scientists have not been able to induce death even in lab rodents with any amount of mitragynine intravenously.

Last year, Dr. Babin <a href="https://www.botanical-education.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Dr.-Jane-IP-Synergy-Kratom-Comment.pdf">blasted the DEA's Office of Diversion Control</a> noting that their initial conception of the plant was based on "contradictory opinions, incomplete knowledge of the most current scientific evidence and without input from the public on their experience with kratom." Sadly, despite being brought to task multiple times by doctors, pharmacologists and other experts they continue to spread the same disinformation. Bear in mind, the head of the DEA, when asked if marijuana was safer than heroin claimed <a href="https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/07/28/new-dea-leader-pot-probably-not-as-bad-as-heroin">he thought heroin was "probably" more dangerous but admitted, "I'm not an expert."</a> If you don't know whether heroin is more dangerous than coffee, marijuana or kratom, I'd say you probably shouldn't be in charge of banning plants that could potentially loosen the chokehold of the opiate epidemic.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Shawn Lucas Cause Of Death Revealed: He Was Drugged With Fentanyl, Cyclobenzaprine, Mitragynine <a href="https://t.co/owv5D32pxn">https://t.co/owv5D32pxn</a></p>&mdash; JusticeForWalaa (@ForPotus45) <a href="https://twitter.com/ForPotus45/status/900497610632548353?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 23, 2017</a></blockquote>

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As for kratom causing death, recently two coroners were debunked by lawyer and molecular biologist Dr. Jane C. Babin, PhD, molecular biology, Purdue University, and JD, University of San Diego School of Law. "Both of these cases appear to add to the long list of mistaken, inaccurate, and now discredited reports implicating kratom," Dr. Babin offered in her 15-page report on the mistakes in the two coroners' reports blaming kratom for two recent deaths. Karl V. Ebner, PhD, is a consultant at KETox Forensic Toxicology Consulting and author of numerous depositions, reports, and opinions related to drug and alcohol-related cases. Dr. Ebner concurred that Dr. Babin's report "very troubling indications" of incorrect attribution of death to kratom, once again.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Kratom Now Schedule 1: Cartel Sex Scandal Shamed DEA Suppresses Herb Imports <a href="https://t.co/5LCH4l353I">https://t.co/5LCH4l353I</a></p>&mdash; Hack (@racketnews) <a href="https://twitter.com/racketnews/status/771074452813598721?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 31, 2016</a></blockquote>

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In the midst of an opiate epidemic and the DEA and FDA are doing everything in their power to lie about a plant that could be the most effective ally in the war against addiction. Not like the DEA is in the best standing at the moment anyway. Scandals and corruption have haunted the agency for several years. It was discovered that DEA agents were partying with prostitutes paid supplied by cartels. Some of the prostitutes were likely underage sex slaves, the product of human trafficking. <a href="https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/dea-chief-explains-why-she-cant-fire-agents-involved-sex-parties-paid-drug">Trey Gowdy found it "stunning"</a> that the DEA was unable to fire agents involved.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">FACT: 1175 docs, veterans, scientists &amp; cops told DEA they don’t want a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/kratom?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#kratom</a> ban. <a href="https://t.co/iqoKgWx2bT">https://t.co/iqoKgWx2bT</a> See infographic: <a href="https://t.co/ytBLTaDncK">pic.twitter.com/ytBLTaDncK</a></p>&mdash; Paul Kemp (@healthseeker) <a href="https://twitter.com/healthseeker/status/850380635533221888?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 7, 2017</a></blockquote>

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The history of kratom misinformation has many causes. Despite experts like Johns Hopkins' Dr. Jack Henningfield, one of the world's foremost experts on addiction showing that kratom is no more addictive than coffee, a concerted effort to spread lies about this beneficial plant have been standard in the mainstream media. The war on kratom began when <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/kratom/comments/516s8z/former_head_of_fda_now_head_of_nps_speaks_out/">a group of consumer advocacy groups</a> expressed their concern over the safety of the plant which has been used as a traditional medicine in Southeast Asia for hundreds of years. It is noteworthy to mention that the heads of these advocacy groups are all tied to pharmaceutical companies that would stand to potentially lose millions if a safer, less addictive treatment for pain, anxiety, and addiction were available. Can you say "conflict of interest?"

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9 Comment/s


Anonymous No. 11705 1510525082

The bottom line comes down to money. We are protecting poppy fields in the middle East this very instant.

Anonymous No. 11714 1510540067

Great article, this is a travesty

MV No. 11765 1510593324

Thank you for the article and thank you for pointing out the misinformation being spread by the DEA. It seems like these government agencies are having a hard time accepting the truth about kratom. The public has spoken and they want this valuable, natural remedy left alone.

Anonymous No. 11789 1510621685

The thing is, if the governments' "trusted" drug enforcement agency doesn't even fully know about the risk of heroin over cannabis, then why are hey trying to control a substance like cannabis with no valid reasoning. Again might I add. The fact is, with the recent changes of opiates and painkillers, Kratom will save thousands, if not millions, of lives. It will also stop many complaints to doctors about the withdrawal from the medication if the cannot afford it or forgot it. Instead of the complaints, they may be able to even ween themselves off of those nasty meds and continue on a normal life path! I say, let the people be educated and let them decide!

Anonymous No. 11849 1510680346

Thanks for reporting from this side of the fence. Everyone seems to be forgetting that CBS 60 Minutes and CNN both just did reports in the last month against the DEA and in a positive light of kratom, respectively. It is not a surprise that the DEA and FDA are going to try to get some press going to oppose this opposition toward them. Their credibility is failing. They are losing support. The nominated Drug Czar had to withdraw from the spot because of what CBS said regarding his contribution to the opioid epidemic. Please remember this! These two agencies are just trying to save face, but it's not working. Thanks especially to stories like this. Forbes and The New York Times have also positively reported on kratom in the past. Keep your chins up, folks! Make their incompetence known!

Gael M McDonough No. 11902 1510724161

The misinformation that is being told about Kratom is ridiculous. Its a natural plant that helps people. Theres no way Kratom caused any deaths unless it was laced with something. You want to stop opiates Kratom can do that. The worst that can happen if you take to much kratom is you'll vomit. It cant kill. I need this plant to help me have a life. Its given a quality of life back.

Anonymous No. 11954 1510755525

I tried kratom and didnt like the taste. Its not for me, but that doesnt mean it cant be for you.

JC No. 12005 1510797053

Where is the common sense in all of this. They take the opiates away before MM is up and running so to speak. That will take six months they say. How would they like to have horrifying pain and that happen to them! With the opiates at least the doctor could guide safely. With this you are left quessing as to want you have to do with switching over and the dosage wether it be CBD oils, Kratom or MM. Thats where the drug interactions can happen depending on what else you are on. Either way they are murdering us wether it be from suicide or mixing meds! I for one have been ruined by epidurals. I have Adhesive Arachnoiditis. Doctors have ruined my life. I am living in agony and their are so many others. They do it to us then run like mice when exposed. I can not even get a pain management doctor because they are scared of AA. They caused it and now they get off when it is diverted back on us as if we are opioid abusers. We do not get high on it. Just sleepy. Yes, we have to be weined off of it but so will people on seizure meds . You have to crush, snort,or inject it to get high. Ok let us get this straight, follow closely now. They do it to us. Then we have no choice but to take high doses to be functionable. Then they blame both on us. Then the government is listening to basicly people that they think are experts. They are trying to make MM so it can be used without getting high. Spending all that money when opiates came from a plant also. It was gotten ready to use. Doesn't it seem like they already have something that helps pain. Make any sense? It is not the gun it is the person behind the gun. It is not the vehicle that runs down people it's the people. It's not the Kratom. It's the accidential mixing of the Kratom with other drugs. It's not the opioid. It's the person behind the pill that accidently takes it wrong. Listen up all the families that watched their loved one suffer with pain and their loved one accidently takes it wrong. If they were alive don't you think that they would say no, no, let them have the pills for pain. Don't let them suffer in agony because I accidently took it wrong!

Anonymous No. 12152 1510939079

Scott Gottlieb, head of the FDA, is on the New Investments Board of Glaxo-Smith-Kline. GSK has recently patented a pharmaceutical preparation derived from mitragynine. Crystalline substance that WAS kratom at some point in the same way morphine ONCE WAS a poppy plant. Wouldn't have the same health benefits and addictive potential most likely would be much greater, BUT it's patented. If a medication were made using an altered form of kratom it would become a "drug" by FDA standards and if the preparation were scheduled, most likely, the plant would be as well.

If we've seen anything, it's that the FDA and DEA aren't afraid to fight dirty. Luckily there are some really brilliant minds supporting the kratom cause (Dr. McCurdy, Dr. Babin, Dr. Henningfield, Dr. Ebner and others).

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