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When kratom appears in the media, it is often described in a negative way and associated with other substances that it has nothing to do with. Clearly, kratom is still relatively unknown in the western world and this seems to contribute to some general misunderstandings. But by comparing the herb to opiates, as some journalists do, or talking about abuse and addiction as though this is somehow related to kratom, the users of this gentle herb are being negatively stigmatized as well. So below we show the most frequently occurring misconceptions about kratom, that appeared in the media the last few months.
Misconception 1: kratom is a substance of abuse.
Kratom usage rarely, if ever, leads to the situation where usage results in negative effects for the user or for his friends and family. Kratom has never been responsible for a police call, poison control center call, traffic accident, death or any other form of societal disruption. Kratom does not cause crimes. It does not cause aggressive behavior. It doesn't cause people to become impaired and lose their inhibitions. It poses precisely zero threat to society.
Kratom is also not a "street drug alternative," despite the fact that a few ignorant vendors try to market it as such. Those who do use kratom as a "legal high" or drug substitute are invariably disappointed, and likely move on to something else (although it should be noted that it poses no risk even to those who would try to use it for such purposes). But kratom users are, in fact, mainly middle-aged and well-educated folks who mostly use it as an alternative to deal with depression, anxiety, pain, addiction or other ailments.
Misconception 2: kratom is not safe.
In case the thousands of years of safe usage are not sufficient to prove its safety, one can check the scientific reports of its toxicity as well. Compared to stimulants and prescription medication, kratom is relatively much safer. Besides this, kratom also contains a wide range of beneficial compounds, including immuno-stimulants, anti-hypertensives, antileukemics, antioxidants, vasodilators, analgesics, antitussives and more. Again, considering the number of people that have used kratom, how many incidents have been reported? Yes, zero to none.
Misconception 3: kratom is addictive
Kratom can be habit-forming for some. That should be acknowledged freely. But the distinction that must be made, and often fails to be reflected in media reports, is that there are profoundly varying degrees of habit-forming potential. Kratom's habit forming potential is in the same league as that of coffee. People drink coffee, at least in part, because they enjoy the subtle caffeine boost. They enjoy it, so they continue to drink it often. After they have become accustomed to drinking it for some period of time, it's natural that it may be difficult at first should they decide to give it up. This is much the same with kratom.
Misconception 4: kratom has no medical value.
Since the media often report negative assumptions, the real reasons why people use kratom are completely being ignored or even denied. But one look at our kratom testimonials, will show that there are many great benefits to its usage. For example, Kratom is an excellent pain reliever. It isn't hepatotoxic in the way that acetaminophen and other pain relievers are, and it doesn't have the serious risk of addiction and the mentally and emotionally numbing effects of opiate-based pain relievers. For many people, it's the best pain reliever that they've found and it allows them to regain the life that chronic pain took away.
Kratom is a general stimulant and an effective anxiolytic. While it's not a long-term treatment for depression or anxiety, it does help with both in the short term, and it doesn't have the various risks and side effects that antidepressants and anxiety medications have.
Kratom is an exceptional aid for overcoming addiction. For many people, it still is the only thing that has ever truly worked. From alcohol to prescription drugs or heroin, countless people have used kratom to rid themselves of their addictions and regain control of their lives. It contains for example the compound rhynchophylline, also found in cat's claw that possesses NMDA antagonistic qualities, which are proven to disrupt addiction and habituation.
Misconception 5: kratom even had to be banned in Thailand, where it came from.
This is often is used in media as some kind of reference: if it isn't legal there, why should it be here? Traditional usage in Thailand dates back to early mankind. One of its tradtional applications was as an alternative among those battling with opium addiction, and controversially this lead to the kratom ban in Thialand in 1943 as we have explained here. The ban had a lot to do with corruption, and very little with concerns about public health. Today there is a growing number of people who plea for a decriminaliziation of kratom. Like , Pennapa Sapcharoen, director of the National Institute of Thai Traditional Medicine in Bangkok who said that kratom "could be prescribed both for opiate dependence and to patients suffering from depression" And a recent report from the Transnational Institute and Thai Narcotic control Board, who concluded that "Kratom is an integral part of southern Thai culture" and furthermore "Criminalisation of kratom is unnecessary and counter-productive given decades of non-problematic use". And who have recommended that in the absence of health and social harms, kratom usage should be decriminalized.
Considering these last recommendations, it is suprising that the western media does not have a more open mind towards kratom, especially considering the growing amount of users who clearly benefit from it, as can be seen in the hundreds of comments here for example.