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  1. 5-HT2A
    WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nine out of 10 respondents in the largest survey conducted to date of kratom users believe that the coffee-like herb is effective for dealing with joint and muscle comfort and related problems, according to the findings released today by the Pain News Network (PNN) at http://www.painnewsnetwork.org/kratom-survey/.

    The survey of 6,150 kratom users was conducted between the August 30th announcement by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of a proposed ban on kratom and the end of last week. With the support of the American Kratom Association (AKA), PNN promoted participation in the survey to its own readers and the broader public via social media channels. The poll of kratom users involves a sample that is at least 10 times larger than any previous such survey. PNN maintained full editorial control of the survey questions and the presentation of the findings.

    Other key survey findings include the following:

    Susan Ash, director, American Kratom Association, said: "In declaring war on kratom, the DEA never took the time to actually look at what is happening with this natural herb. They never took the time to talk to or to survey kratom users. If they had, they would have learned of the very positive picture that emerges from the Pain News Network survey. There is no kratom epidemic or crisis. This is a natural herb in the coffee family that people are using in their lives in a variety of positive ways. The DEA war on kratom is not justified by the facts, it is not based on scientific data, and it needs to stop now."

    Travis Lowin, executive director, Botanical Education Alliance, said: " We must unite to bring the truth about Kratom to regulators and Congress. We cannot let the DEA get away with scheduling an herb that millions of Americans use safely to support their overall health and wellbeing. The DEA has failed Americans in its efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and targeting Kratom will make the situation worse. Our organization and Americans nationwide are only demanding that we receive due process and sensible regulation. Veterans, seniors, and other kratom customers in the US should not have to pay the price for the DEA failing to play by the rules."

    Dr. Addie Davis, a resident physician in emergency medicine in California, said: "The CDC has actually recognized the use of prescription narcotics and particularly the number of deaths resulting from their use as a national epidemic causing thousands of deaths every year. In 2014 there were over 14,000 resulting from narcotic abuse. On the flip side, there is kratom. Kratom is an herb that is not very well known but I happen to know plenty of people who use it. It is not new. It has many uses, some of which include managing fatigue, depression and anxiety. Most pertinent to my career, however, is kratom's ability to help people manage chronic pain. I have seen many people wean themselves off of opiates successfully with the aid of kratom. In contrast to prescription narcotics, kratom is not dangerous and is non-habit forming. Kratom is not an opiate. Its active alkaloids work on mu-opioid, serotonin and dopaminergic receptors in the brain. It cannot cause respiratory depression, unlike prescription narcotics. Kratom has clear health benefits and it is used by thousands of people in this country every day. If kratom is scheduled as a schedule I substance, many of the people who use it for pain control will likely return to using prescription narcotics. This will result in thousands of deaths annually."

    Pat Anson, founder and editor, Pain News Network, said: "Our survey provides the biggest and clearest overall picture to date of what is actually going on in the world of kratom use. What we see here are people with real issues and concerns who will be in a tough spot if the DEA bans kratom use. The survey findings dispel the myth that kratom is used recreationally like marijuana by people who only want to get high. The vast majority say they use kratom solely to treat and manage their medical conditions."

    The DEA is now seeking to ban kratom, or Mitragyna speciose, a tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia. Kratom leaves have been consumed in countries like Thailand and Malaysia for over 500 years. The herb is now available in the U.S. just like other herbal supplements.

    Kratom is not an opiate. Many studies have shown kratom to have positive medicinal benefits. Kratom is legal in 44 states. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released a December 2015 report that found: "Kratom does not currently constitute a significant risk to the safety and welfare of Florida residents." Nonetheless, on August 31, 2016, the DEA announced its intention to place kratom into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in order to avoid a supposed "imminent hazard to public safety," which, in reality, does not exist. In truth, kratom has never been present alone in a single documented death and is as about as habit-forming as the coffee to which it is related. By contrast, pharmaceutical drugs are one of the leading causes of death in this country, killing one American every 19 minutes. Prescription opiate pain killers account for more than 475,000 emergency room visits annually.

    September 20, 2016



  1. Phenoxide
    It's a good survey to raise awareness of the various ways kratom is being used for pain relief.

    Having the survey conducted by the Pain News Network, and promoted solely by the AKA inevitably biases the responses towards those that are using kratom for pain relief or have vested interest in keeping kratom legal. I don't think this is necessarily representative of the overall kratom situation. The fact that so many polled view kratom as being so benign in terms of risk is also concerning - any potent psychoactive has inherent risks.

    Some of Dr. Davis' editorializations undermine the more valid points she's making. For example:

    Yes, it's not an opiate - it's an opioid that also has other targets. Much like scheduled substance tramadol.

    I'd agree that the harm potential for kratom is low, especially relative to more conventional opioids. The idea that it's non-habit forming is unsubstantiated, and I think discussions in the kratom sub-forum on DF suggest people often underestimate this risk because it's a natural product rather than a pill.

    I'm not sure there is any evidence to support this claim. At high enough doses 7-hydroxymitragynine will cause respiratory depression like any other mu-opioid agonist.
  2. monkeyspanker
    I'm in total agreement with you Phenoxide, I was going to post just about the same, and you beat me to it.

    Anyway, let's remember that this is a total travesty by the DEA first and foremost, what's next on their list? They have waaaaay too much power and act like a totally unregulated entity of the US government!!

    Unfortunately our next president will do not one thing on these drug issues. It's up to us US citizens to contact our representatives, we start from the bottom and work our way up, sad eh?

  3. Hideyourlies
    I believe it can cause respritory depression but not to a dangerous level, nobody has there hands on pure chemical 7-hydroxymitriginine i think if they did it could be dangerous but you arent going to overdose because of respritory depression from kratom, you will throw up before this happens, i think if pharmaceutical companys extract the miteiginine from the plant and sell it as an alternative to pin medications this could be a more dangerous substance.
    I also agree that kratom is habit forming no matter what people say but i still think even being addicted to it myself that it is a safe substance and i get many benefits from it, and only few negatives.
    Im happy polls like this are going around and peple are doing whatever they can to have this stupid law postponed, lets hope all of our effors have helped.
  4. gonzochef
    I have a friend who uses kratom daily, and he's hopelessly addicted to it. He can barely get out of bed when he runs out. I'm not saying that this makes it as addictive as classic opiates/opioids, or as dangerous, or that it should be scheduled. I personally don't believe we need legislation on plants. I just think that the idea that kratom use and abuse is safe is a dangerous idea when there is at the very least anecdotal evidence in abundance to the contrary.
  5. ianzombie
    When people start making silly, false claims about kratom (being non-habit forming) they risk not being taken seriously or worse any truthful statements they make will not be believed.
    Those looking to have it banned only have to provide evidence to discredit that statement to have the whole battle thrown into doubt.
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