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Kratom helps transplant recipient avoid relying on prescription medications


DEA
(NaturalNews) The DEA's decision to reconsider its plan to classify kratom as a Schedule I drug has caused thousands of people to breathe a collective sigh of relief, after fears that this natural painkiller that has helped so many would no longer be available.

Kratom is a leafy herb grown mainly in Thailand that has been used for hundreds of years for its painkilling and stimulating effects. In recent years, it has become popular in western countries, and is now used to treat not only chronic pain, but also opioid addiction, anxiety and PTSD symptoms.

Although kratom has few side effects and appears to be non-addictive, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency announced on August 31 that it planned to classify kratom as a Schedule I drug – in the same group as heroin, LSD and meth – by the end of September.

This caused an outcry among thousands of users and advocates of the herb, among them veterans who use kratom to successfully treat their PTSD symptoms, as well as those struggling with opioid addictions who have found kratom to lessen withdrawal symptoms, making it easier to kick the habit.

'It's given back quality of life for me'

People like 27-year-old Jordan Dodson from Texas, a multiple transplant recipient who suffers from chronic pain, were also extremely concerned about losing access to a natural treatment that makes pain management possible without the use of dangerous and addictive prescription drugs.

"I am still elated," Dodson told WFAA8. "It's given back quality of life for me. For sure."

Dodson has survived two kidney transplants – the first when she was 2 years old – as well as a liver transplant. "I used to be [on] so many medications, it was hard to keep up," she said.

Suffering from from back pain, anxiety and depression, Dodson decided to try kratom and found that it eased the pain and her other symptoms.

Nonetheless, the DEA was threatening to put kratom use to an end for people like Dodson.

From The Los Angeles Times:

"The Drug Enforcement Agency called it an 'imminent' health threat, saying kratom was addictive and had been implicated in 15 deaths, though 14 of those involved other drugs as well. The agency also noted that kratom resulted in 660 calls to poison control centers between 2010 and 2015. It is already banned in Vermont, Alabama, Indiana, Arkansas and Wisconsin."

But when the agency announced its intentions, there was an unprecedented public response:

"They were flooded with calls. Protesters descended on both the U.S. and Colorado capitols to rally against the plan. Fifty-one members of Congress from both parties sent letters to the DEA, the Office of Management and Budget and the Justice Department demanding they reconsider."

DEA delays Schedule I classification of kratom

In an uncharacteristic move, the DEA relented and agreed to delay the Schedule I listing for six weeks while allowing public comment on the issue.

That's encouraging news for Dodson and thousands of other kratom users. She plans to add her story to the discussion, and feels hopeful about the eventual outcome.

"We got this," she said. "We still have a long fight, but we got this, I feel like."

The DEA's surprising reversal on the kratom issue may signal a positive shift in federal policy regarding natural plant-based therapeutic substances.

It's too early to predict whether the agency will eventually ban kratom or not, but their willingness to reconsider and at least listen to public opinion is a step in the right direction.

Perhaps soon the feds will do the right thing and remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I drugs. Given the fact that the therapeutic value of cannabis has now been indisputably proven, and that 25 states have now legalized medical marijuana, it's high time the federal government recognizes what the majority of Americans already know – that natural herbs like cannabis and kratom are better than Big Pharma poison.

Sources:

WFAA.com

LATimes.com

NYTimes.com

NYTimes.com
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