Why Kratom Should Not Be Banned
While prohibition weakens in some areas, it rallies and strengthens in others. Kratom is one such area now facing danger, and it is largely thanks to media hype. Kratom is an herbal supplement produced from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree. It is closely related to coffee and has been used safely as a natural remedy for hundreds of years throughout Asia.
Until recently, the use of Kratom has largely gone unnoticed in the West. It is only in the last decade or so that it has really developed a following and appreciation for its effects. However, with this increased use, also comes media attention, who have likened kratom to taking heroin, lumping it in with hard drugs and synthetics. It has given this beneficial substance a bad reputation, and one that is causing it to be considered for a ban is some places. Doing so would be a huge mistake.
KRATOM: SAVING LIVES
Like anything, kratom has the potential for abuse. However, there has not been one recorded death directly caused by kratom, and those linked to it have involved a cocktail of other drugs. Kratom is a powerful herbal remedy, acting as a natural pain-killer and having anti-inflammatory, relaxing, and antioxidant effects. It can also be very stimulating in low doses while sedating in high doses. Most importantly, kratom acts upon the same receptors as opioids, without actually latching onto them the same way opioids do. The result is a substance that is able to help heroin addicts break their addiction, and has been used to do so across the globe.
It is kratom’s greatest potential that has largely been its downfall. Kratom is not an opioid like heroin or prescription painkillers; it is an extremely important distinction to make. Unfortunately, it is a distinction a lot of mainstream media has failed to realise, and view kratom as a lesser form of heroin, but with all the addiction risks and health concerns that go with them. The thing is, kratom does not have this level of risk, and certainly not the addiction – it is possible to develop a mild psychological dependence if used too much (as with anything you come to rely on to get you through the day), but not full-blown addiction, where the body literally needs the compounds to operate normally.
Should Kratom be banned, it will deny huge numbers of user’s access to an extremely beneficial tool. It is used by millions around the world as a painkiller alternative to more harmful pharmaceuticals, as well as a way to relax or reduce anxiety, and to addiction to life threatening drugs.
It is worth noting that things like prescription opiates account for more deaths than all illegal drugs combined, and adding kratom to the list of banned substances is only going to push that number up more.
We are not saying that kratom is a wonder drug; it comes with its own risks. In higher frequent doses it can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as the mild dependence we already mentioned. However, compared to the alternatives it is incredibly favourable, and the distinctions between it and harder, more dangerous substances are clear. Instead of pandering to media hype, governments would be better using their time to focus on ways to combat real dangers, such the synthetic legal highs sweeping through society, or the harder drugs they have been trying to control for decades. Banning kratom will solve nothing, and take a legal alternative off the legitimate market, leaving users nowhere to turn but the black market, where they will find nothing but harder drugs.
Written by: Josh
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