KRATOM: THE TRUTH. An Open Letter to the FDA

Dear FDA,

You have been quite busy running a strong offensive against Kratom, the primarily Indonesian plant that you have labeled time after time as dangerous because of its “opiate like” qualities. You have called it a threat by citing deaths and salmonella outbreaks and whatever you can get your hands on to make your point. You have already try to ban it at the federal level, and since that has gone nowhere, you are now gone state by state, bill by bill, making sure this plant ceases to see the light of day.

I ask myself the question: Why are you so adamant about making sure that Kratom stays out of reach? As a recovering addict I am truly concerned, because if Kratom is anything like Heroin or Oxycodone or Fentanyl, we really need to take action, and we need to do it quick. You better than anyone know that the opioid epidemic is reaching new levels of destruction in our country, and we must do whatever is necessary to prevent it from growing.

Drugs Ruin Lives – This is a fact, no other way around it. I myself was involved in a ten-year self-destructive cycle, where alcohol and benzodiazepines and cocaine almost killed me after ripping away everything that I held dear. After being able to break the chains of addiction, I began to advocate for others, knowing how important it is to support those that are still imprisoned within its walls.

It was through some of the relationships that I made that I first heard about Kratom, a natural alternative that more than 5 million people use to deal with opiate addiction withdrawals, chronic pain and even mental illness. After hearing the stories of many that have used Kratom for many years, something simply didn’t match up with your claims, and I became intrigued. Does Kratom ruin lives like the other hardcore drugs do? Is there a real risk of death and overdose? How bad do withdrawals get? Are people who use it putting themselves at risk?

YES – Should have been most of the answers to the questions above if I only took into consideration your claims and the effort you are putting forth to ban Kratom, efforts worth of the most dangerous drugs on the planet.

I continued my research to uncover the truth, to really understand what the dangers and benefits were, where the global scale of risk vs reward came in with Kratom. I knew the best way to do this was to go to the source, to talk to the users that have experience first hand what this plant does.

What I was expecting to find? People whose lives were ruined by Kratom, who had lost everything because of it just like I did, just like others have on Crack and Xanax and Oxycodone. I was expecting to find lonely children because their Kratom addicted parents left them to go on a binge, broken spouses because their partners are not who they were before, homeless people because their Kratom addiction would not let them perform their jobs anymore.

But, did I?

I went online and found a community of Kratom users that were willing to share their stories and experiences with me. I really wanted to unveil the dark truth, the one you have been pushing for years. But the Reddit Kratom community was helpful in showing me something else, something much more different than I ever expected. This is their testimony:


I found kratom through a friend about a month after hospitalization due to alcohol abuse. That was September 2016 and I haven’t had a drink since, and no cravings. This was after 15 solid years of heavy drinking and intermittent drug use. I take kratom everyday and I truly don’t know where I’d be without it.


Prior to Kratom, I struggled through ten years of pain management. Epidurals, interdisc steroid injections, fentanyl patches, Kadian, Oxy, etc – monthly visits, monthly drug screens – and deep depression as the drugs worked less and the pain occupied every thought. Many days I considered ending it, because what was left? Ugh. Heard about Kratom and scoffed. It’s a herb. If Oxy doesn’t help anymore, how is a herb going to help me? That was two years ago. My life is transformed. Honestly, I’m dumbfounded. Then I think about the tens of thousands I spent on doctor visits, medication, hospitalizations, lost time from work – it’s no wonder the bean counters are worried. They see the end of the gravy train.


Had back surgery in 1999. Recovery took two years and included many types of pain pills. I could not do anything when I was taking those pills. I could not drive and I could not work. I mostly just slept. When I finally weaned off the pills and started exercising and got back to work I went back to work full-time for 15 years as a teacher.

About three years ago my back pain started kicking in again but it was a little higher up. Turns out the discs above the surgery were now giving out. The pain was brutal and they immediately wanted to put me back on pills. I have to admit I did take a few but I immediately was looking for some other way to relieve pain.

I googled natural pain remedies. I found kratom. I did a lot of research on it, probably two months worth, before I actually tried it. I’ve been taking it for four years now and have not had to take one pain pill. I do have other tools though I do acupuncture, meditation, I use gels, heating pads, ice packs, exercises, back supports, you name it but everything has to be natural.

Like pills, I do not think kratom is the answer to my pain problems. Kratom just helps take the edge off and helps me manage my pain it does not cure anything. And it must be respected. But it’s given me some very good days back and I’m self-sufficient and living on my own and getting by just fine.


I guess I’ll share my story. I wasn’t a full blown addict, but I was on that path. Before kratom I had been abusing opiates for a couple years. The reason I say I wasn’t a full blown addict is because I realized that if I took breaks, my tolerance didn’t build up. So anyway, I did that for years until I found kratom. The months before i found it, I had stopped using opiates just to get high. I was using them because I started becoming very anxious. It was getting to the point where I didn’t even enjoy it anymore because of it. I started looking for alternatives because I knew what was going to happen if I kept taking opiates. That’s when I found out about kratom. I have been taking it for years now, and it helps so much with my anxiety. I honestly don’t know what I would do without it. Probably go back to opiates, and that’s what terrifies me. 

You Can Read The Rest of The Testimonials by CLICKING HERE 


In the years that I have been dealing with addiction and with addicts I have NEVER heard: “Cocaine saved my life”, or “Xanax makes me a better parent”, or “Heroin makes me a model employee” or “Crack makes my life extremely manageable”. Something with Kratom just doesn’t seem to fit the model of these hardcore drugs, the real danger to the communities of our great nation.

The truth is that Kratom is generally safe to use, and most of the people that do experience mostly benefits. There are those that have developed dependency after using it for some time, and quitting cold turkey can come with some slight withdrawals, including cold-like symptoms, irritability, lack of energy and in some cases anxiety. Experienced users advocate a “less is more” mentality with Kratom, and those that stick to their doses without unnecessarily increasing them have been able to enjoy the plant’s many benefits for years.

So, what could it be? What is the real reason behind your intense efforts of banning this seemingly beneficial plant? Could it be that you, the FDA, find yourself in the hands of Big Pharma, who sees Kratom as a danger, not to the community, but to their profits? I wonder if things go deeper than what they seem, if you are really telling us the entire truth. I have yet to know for sure, but I will keep digging, until I finally discover where that fishy smell is coming from.

Oh, and just so you know, I am now one of the more than 5 million Kratom users in this country, and I am very happy to be so.


  • comment-avatar
    Jeffery Dye March 7, 2018 (2:56 am)

    I think kratom has a really goid place ,if people are taking it and moving and eating it is by far better than what the doctor gives people,and big pharm -shame on you, the lives that have been lost because you say its good ,pay me and take this pill sad and for the or representation this is 2018 people have had all they can take of you so called Health care forcing people to take even more pills ,people are sick from your medicine, and scandals. You made this mess,now people have took action and its there right to humanity ,force feeding them pills and hospitals overrun with morph addicts, that want to just have there pain eased,and didn’t ask for your precription of death in first place ,please show some respect.These are veterans, moms,dads,brothers and grandmother’s let the free of your drugs .they are making the first step ,eating leaves over taking have caused enough pain. It’s time you see,30,000 people dont just stand up and say look we need this if it didn’t work and better right now than what you have ever tried offering. Stand and be heard .#KratomChangesLives

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    Jeffery Dye March 7, 2018 (3:00 am)

    #U/kratomOG ,#IAmkratom

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    Kim March 7, 2018 (7:20 am)

    Kratos is very addictive just like opiates. Not to mention very expensive. Nobody talks about the expense. My son is addicted to it and spends 400.00 plus weekly. It’s is destroying our lives. I hope they ban it soon!

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      Justin March 7, 2018 (10:11 am)

      There is no way you’re telling the truth. Go somewhere else troll. Addicted? $400? I think there is something your son is not telling you. It’s definitely not Kratom he’s taking.

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      Wound Round March 7, 2018 (10:51 am)

      $400?? That’s a bunch of crapp. Your son is obviously doing other things you don’t know about. 1 kilo=1,000 grams of kratom is only $90.00. Maybe you’d better drug test him, sounds like there are other issues there. Kratom is not addictive, I’ve been using it off and on for 6 years and no problems. $400 worth of Kratom would supply me for a year!

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      Jennifer Batchelor June 17, 2018 (4:58 pm)

      As a mother, I am sorry for what you and especially your son is going thru. With that being said, that is a lot ofoney to spend on an inexpensive plant. However, after being in the Kratom community for almost 5 years, I have seen some that abuse it, and spend insane amounts of money because EOD where they purchase it. Like anything, kratom can be abused. Sugar and coffee, in excess, cause extreme withdrawal when stopped. Worse than kratom – as I’ve gone thru all. It is no the same type of ‘do anything to stop the pain’ type of withdrawal as drugs. The few that I’ve known that used kratom in excess were covering other addictions – one was trying to stop excessive alcoholism and didn’t really want to, and the other would use when they couldn’t find their true drugs of choice, heroin and methamphetamine. He also was more ready to break free of addiction. It truly sounds like there is something else going on, and kratom is taking the wouldn’t be the first time. If you would ever like to talk or just want some honest answers to questions about this plant, feel free to reach out – I’m easily found on Facebook or Twitter. Much love.💜🌱

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    Lori Smith March 7, 2018 (7:52 am)

    Spot on. TRUTH, and fact funding letter. Thank you for taking the time to disband the false accusation news reporting on this herb that has saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions, soles from Big Pharma overdoses, legal and taxed alcohol diseases and death, all while providing very effective pain relief. Because the FDA wants to make money while developing this plant into a synthetic form to be marketed as their own, the users of Kratom will suffer by its illegal status. While our nation is under an opioid epidemic and lengthy talks and funding for solutions are dragged out through the government, deaths are continuing to escalate, while right here under their noses is a “right now” solution that has been proven effective by its users. At what point do we put money and profit above human life?

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    Judie Plumley March 7, 2018 (7:57 am)

    I am kratom. After the removal of transvaginal mesh, I was still in agony and did not know why. After months of pain, it was discovered I had a herniated disc, and it was bone on bone.
    I had surgery to fix that and got MRSA in the OR. It was a horrible year, five more back surgeries followed. My spine broke in 2 places, and the tissue surrounding it liquefied. I was told they could fix it, but the pain would remain. I would be on narcotics the rest of my life.
    My COBRA was going to out. It would be another year before I would get disability. This meant no more care for my broken body. I researched and found kratom. That was in 2015.
    My illness left me with an onslaught of PTSD and major depression. I spent two years learning how to live in this body.
    Kratom got me through the pain, the PTSD was being controlled enough for me to live everyday life, and though I still have major depression, I can function without pharmaceuticals.
    The thought of this government banning kratom fills me with fear. I know, as my life goes on, I am going to suffer from more and more pain. I wonder how I am going to survive. I am no longer a candidate for surgery. They told me to never allow anyone to put a needle in my back, it would start the MRSA nightmare all over again.
    I don’t do well with opiates and its like pulling hen’s teeth to get them now, and really, after going through PAWS for a year, I have no desire to use them.
    I am in several pain support groups, several kratom groups and the stories are amazing. My government, on the other hand, approved the mesh that ripped through my insides like a serrated steak knife, and the hospital that gave me MRSA says the infection is an acceptable risk of surgery. My trust in the medical community is nil. Please, if you have an ounce of compassion for the millions of people who use this plant, leave our kratom alone.

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      Jennifer B June 21, 2018 (1:40 pm)

      Judie Plumley, your story makes me think it is time for you to join in those class action lawsuits against the surgical MESH that harmed you! You have my sincere sympathy. Thank God you found kratom.

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    Louie Martelli March 7, 2018 (8:02 am)

    Amen thank God for good journalism well written piece, I am taking kratom as well after 17 years of abuse of prescription drugs and heroin since I started taking kratom I have not looked back at any of that please keep up the fight for kratom I’ll keep you in my prayers. Faith, Hope, and Love always Louie Martelli

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    Dewayne Allen Bailey March 7, 2018 (8:04 am)

    It saved my life . i NEVER ask to be a drug addict nobody does.DOCTORS MD AND PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANies are legal drug dealer’s and don’t go to j@il

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    Dewayne Allen Bailey March 7, 2018 (8:18 am)

    I quit suboxone in 2 weeks with no withdrawals @nd costed me 69.89. Big parma u are the reason no one can afford ins because u don’t fix the problem u just manage it.. U should go to jail !!!!

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    Lenny LaRocca March 7, 2018 (8:34 am)


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    Rebeck March 7, 2018 (10:30 am)

    Kartom works plain and simple!if your lucky enough your state has medical marijuana.for me.the two back is collapsing from compound fractures.and after being addicted from oxycotin (back surgeries)no more !!!!!need to keep the two natural painkillers legal….im also 62

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    Jeremiah Oliver March 7, 2018 (11:26 am)

    I’m a alcoholic who’s life has changed from kratom, started about a year ago, started drinking over 20 years ago. Kratom has helped me to stay away from the booze tremendously! I stopped cold turkey while on vacation recently and noticed slight anxiety, like stopping coffee cold turkey but nothing as adverse as stopping alcohol cold turkey! When I return home I will probably pick up the kratom again for fear of returning to alcohol except this time with support, I’m afraid at the rate the fda and dea are moving kratom may become schedule 1, that means I can’t even ask for it by prescription. In the meantime anyone who knows how I can help fight the ban PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW I CAN HELP!

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      Jennifer Batchelor June 17, 2018 (4:51 pm)

      Are you part of any Kratom communities on Facebook or Reddit, or even Twitter? Come join us to help fight them to keep katom legal! We have Calls To Action constantly, and WTH current pending legislation we need all the Kratom Warriors we can use!

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    Kratom_United June 17, 2018 (2:16 pm)

    SCORE! This nailed the truth! WHY is Gottlieb so hell bent on adding kratom to the list of drugs that have no medicinal benefit? I have files on his financials showing who he made money from I also have files including tox reports showing what was really in the system of the deceased. for copies.

    I had major shoulder surgery 8 days ago and kratom is helping so much. Before surgery I had suffered daily chronic pain and had it not been for kratom I may have ended my suffering long ago as I have tried a few times already. I am also in recovery from alcohol with 20 yrs and I can say without a doubt there is no craving for raw herb kratom. The 8 Factor Gottlib did sounds like it was done on pure extract which many of do not even use. Why are you trying so hard? Losing money on the back end?

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    Linda Thoman June 17, 2018 (7:20 pm)

    I have chronic pain and was taking opioids for 15 yrs before I stumbled onto kratom and thank god I did! I researched kratom for over 2 months before taking a leap of faith that I am so glad I took and…..I have never looked back! The scary part is wondering about all the side effects (long term) from taking synethic chemicals for years, never mind the thousands of dollars of debt I am in because I didn’t have a drug benefit plan and was paying over $400.00 per month for my medication to treat my 24/7 chronic pain! As a single mother to 3 children, I had no other choice, but to put my medications every month on my credit card, I mean someone had to take care of my 3 children right?…….and that person needed to be me…..their loving mother, so that’s what I did! Kratom has given my life back, my financual situation is better because of kratom, I no longer have to bother with a monthly doctor appointment, monthly drug screening, missing time from work, every month, just to go to this appointment with my pain management doctor, my teeth are no longer rotting out of my head, which cost me thousands of dollars, on top of my medication bills!……I mean the list goes on and on! The FDA needs to start looking at peoples lives and quit looking at this as a billion dollar business! Put human life first and the well being of people and their lived ones because it affects their whole family!

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    Sharon A Hernandez June 18, 2018 (11:47 am)

    Thank you. I can not express how nice it is to see that real journalism still exist. My life was/has been consumed with chronic pain…25 years plus. Kratom helped me live again!! My pain will never just disappear and I have accepted that… however, after all the changes in the healthcare system, FDA and DEA in the last 10 years I came to a point were the tiniest amount of hope I once had was snuffed out by doctors who don’t care. Their fear of the DEA over rules their concern for patients who CAN NOT LIVE a “normal” life without their help. We are treated like drug seeking addicts when in reality all we have ever wanted was help and relief from the pain that has stolen our lives. Kratom has done nothing BUT positive things in my life. All positive❤ My family and friends are thankful for this plant each and every day as I can now be the wife, mother, daughter and friend that is me!!! I laugh at the bs comments I see written by obvious data trolls that say my so and so spent 400 a week on Kratom and is now a addict now blah blah blah …its ridiculous garbage! The percentage of Kratom users that “have never been better” far far outweigh those with “real” experiences with Kratom. I’ve noticed its always the same story from the trolls. O my friend/child/someone who knows a guy who knows a guy that has some bs story to spit. I have not once met anyone who didn’t fall in love with the benefits of kratom…Other than a FDA funded TROLL. This is my short version of how kratom has changed my life. I will fight for this plant because! #IAmKratom because #KratomSavesLives #KeepKratomLegal #PlantsNotPoison #LeaveOurLeafAlone

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    Will Newbern June 19, 2018 (4:43 pm)

    PLEASE leaf my kratom alone!!!