The debate over kratom's effectiveness continues. After Denver banned the herbal substance, supporters came out in droves to advocate for the plant that some say can ween people off opioids. Others claim that it is an addictive, overhyped substance. And after we published a story in which one user argued that kratom had ruined his life, readers were quick to respond. Says Luke:
Sucks for him. Kratom saved my life from heroin addiction.
Kratom is a derivative of the coffee plant, its chemical makeup is nowhere near marijuana or any illegal drug... the guy's own account of his "addiction" literally sounds like an average coffee-drinker. Guys, you can be addicted to ANYTHING if you really try. What's next, Westword? You gonna start writing about the "addicted" people who eat cotton balls every day?
I worked with a guy who would drink Kratom all day. It would give him a little pep for an hour or so, and then he would crash so hard that he would pass out virtually anywhere, including the parking lot. He didn’t have a car.
Nice propaganda piece.
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The Denver-area resident who spoke at length to Westword warned that kratom isn't always benign, especially for people like him with addictive personalities. In his words, "Kratom ruined my life."
Even many proponents acknowledge that kratom isn't entirely risk-free. One example is Roxanne Gullikson, facility director for Portland, Maine's Greener Pastures Holisticare, which has developed a treatment program using kratom and marijuana to help people hooked on heroin to kick the habit. "Some people can become dependent on kratom for two simple reasons," she said in February. "One is that it works, and as humans, we're naturally attracted to anything that works. But it's also a plant in the coffee family, and coffee can have that effect, too."
Gullikson added, "If you don't use kratom mindfully, it does have factors where you can build a tolerance to it — so if you're using a lot of it, you need higher amounts. But I personally know people who take high doses of kratom every day, and it's done nothing but give them their lives back, because they're not using the pharmaceutical that turned them into addicts."
What do you think about kratom? Let us know in a comment or a note to email@example.com.