The Silent Epidemic kratom, chronic pain and america's war on drugs

A presentation by the Kratom Literacy Project

This is an eight part series on how chronic pain, kratom and America's War on Drugs have affected our current drug policies. I will discuss how we got where we are today and what you can do to make positive changes in order to get the DEA out of our health care system.

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction to the War on Kratom and the War on Pain

CHAPTER TWO (Coming February 3rd)

Chronic Pain, Addiction & Kratom

CHAPTER THREE

The Kratom Community that Could: March on D.C. Sept. 13th, 2016

CHAPTER FOUR

2016 - The year of the opioid overdose

CHAPTER FIVE

Fentanyl's Rise to Infamy

CHAPTER SIX

Drug Overdoses: Facts and Myths

CHAPTER SEVEN

Addiction Experts Speak Out

CHAPTER EIGHT

Speak Out! Your Call to Action and How to Affect Positive Changes

CHRONIC PAIN AFFECTS OVER 100 MILLION PEOPLE EVERY YEAR. That's 35% of the population.

CHAPTER ONE: Florida Rep. Kristin Jacobs' Kratom Crusade

Over the course of the past three legislative sessions in Florida, Rep. Kristin Jacobs claims that kratom, a plant that is related to coffee and grows naturally in many parts of Asia, was responsible for this young man's choice to take his own life. I would argue that even if that were true, there are five million Americans who are taking kratom now to improve their quality of life and to PREVENT themselves from thinking about suicide.

Chronic pain often leads to depression, which sometimes can lead to suicide. It is the pain of feeling helpless to change one's circumstances and fear of not being able to live a normal life that leads to these feelings.

THE CULT OF PHARMACOLOGY

How the Drug Warrior's Mindset Works and How it Exploits the Disease of Addiction

IN HIS GROUNDBREAKING BOOK, THE CULT OF PHARMACOLOGY, Richard DeGrandpre, discusses America's relationship with a wide range of substances, from coffee to heroin. DeGrandpre argues that "drugs have long been seen as powerful spirits." during the twentieth century ‘‘pharmacological essences replaced magical ones.' Yet, this was not so much a revolution as a reformulation: ‘‘a drug’s powers were still viewed as capable of bypassing all the social conditioning of the mind, directly transforming the drug user’s thoughts and actions’’ (p. viii). Drugs came to be regarded as ‘‘all-powerful’’ substances, their effects on the user and society determined simply by their pharmacology. DeGrandpre exposes the fallacy of such a belief through an analysis of the characterization of drugs as either ‘‘demons’’ or ‘‘angels’’. Cocaine, he maintains, is seen as a ‘‘demon’’ drug, a dangerous and addictive substance that corrupts all those who come into contact with it. Ritalin, on the other hand, is regarded as an ‘‘angel’’, widely used in the treatment of children with (ADHD). Yet, according to DeGrandpre chemically the two drugs are very similar: it is social context which has shaped their meaning, not pharmacology.

Addiction is a disease. So is diabetes. Do we put diabetics in jail when they make poor food choices?

HB183 is a bill which seeks to criminalize people with either chronic pain or addiction. Both are public health issues, not criminal ones. Addiction is the only disease for which we throw people in cages without adequate support and/or resources to help them heal. Addiction stems, in part, from a perceived helplessness to change one's circumstances, so imagine feeling this way and then being thrown in a cage for it.

Addiction isn't a character flaw. It's a disease for which we throw people in a cage and expect them to get better without proper, evidence based treatment and then wonder why addiction is such a huge issue.
ADDICTION ISN'T A CHARACTER FLAW. IT'S A DISEASE, OR PERHAPS EVEN A LEARNING DISORDER IN WHICH THE ADDICT'S BRAIN IS WIRED DIFFERENTLY. MANY ADDICTS' BRAINS DO NOT PRODUCE ADEQUATE AMOUNTS OF "HAPPY NEUROTRANSMITTERS" INVOLVED IN PLEASURE, MOTIVATION, DESIRE, THE ABILITY TO PLAN AHEAD AS WELL AS LEARNING AND MEMORY.
Kristin Jacobs recently compared people who suffer from chronic pain and/or addiction to "Hitler" claiming that they were lying about their pain.

Jacobs also trivializes the chronic pain sufferer's life by saying things like, "cute little packets" and "cute little t-shirts." There is NOTHING CUTE ABOUT unrelenting chronic pain that can sometimes drive a person to want to commit suicide.

jacobs repeatedly misuses the term "addiction" when what she really means is "dependence." She has no degree in psychology, addiction medicine, neuroscience, or any form of science for that matter, and yet she's attempting to make public policy that will ruin the lives of thousands of floridians.

EPIDEMIOLOGIST JIM HALL'S ASSESSMENT OF KRATOM: The Illusion of safety and efficacy

During the course of PBS's fifteen minute segment on kratom, there were a number of red flags that were raised. He also says he doesn't know if kratom would save the lives of the 30,000 people who are dying of drug overdoses every year. Do we really want to find out? This isn't just about saving the lives of addicts. This is about the cruel and unusual form of punishment the government uses against those who suffer. It can take years to win a disability claim, if one wins at all. And is that what we really want? More Americans on Disability instead of out in the workforce? Do we really want Americans who have finally felt enough relief to play with their children to stop interacting with their children, thereby creating a generation of neglected children. Neglect can often lead to addiction thereby perpetuating the cycle over and over again.

For decades politicians hoping to advance their careers have exploited the disease of addiction at the expense of legitimate chronic pain patients.
Abigail Edwards - Two time combat Veteran

Abigail Edwards is a 2x combat veteran who served as a Paratrooper in the US Army for 13 years.

"I'm rated 100% disabled, primarily due to PTSD. Last year, I was prescribed 13 medications from the VA Hospital for numerous conditions to include PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, BPD, Arthritis, hip bone degeneration, Lordosis of lower spine and Traumatic Brain Injury."

Edwards now takes zero medications, thanks to Kratom.

"This tea allows my body to operate at full functionality, physically, & balanced, mentally. It is truly magic. Please don't take my ability to ease my symptoms naturally, away. I can literally go from a dark place of depression & back to feeling excited about living, with 1 cup of tea!"

Kratom is a miracle & will help so many more people that don't want to be pumped full of pharmaceuticals just to help them "live."

Current drug policy treats addiction as a criminal matter when in reality it is a health concern.

"Despite almost 50 years of the drug war—a policy that creates black markets, enriches drug cartels, and fuels killing zones in scores of cities, even as it causes the United States to cage more human beings than any other democracy in the world—it remains extremely easy for Americans to acquire the most addictive, deadly drugs." - The Atlantic
Just as in true war, the War on Drugs takes the lives of millions of innocent people every year - all funded with taxpayer dollars.

KRISTIN JACOBS RECENTLY COMPARED THOSE OF US WHO SUFFER AGONIZING PAIN, SOMETHING SHE KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT, TO HITLER, SAYING WE WERE TELLING A LIE.

As someone wrote on Reddit last week...

"Comparing those defending their right to maintain their health and bodies in the way they see fit cannot reasonably be compared to a genocidal maniac - I would like to present to you the words of the poet Martin Niemöller written during the Holocaust, a work I feel appropriate given the Hitler reference...."

"I speak out now because of what kratom has done for me. I speak out for my brother and sisters who might have what has given me back my life taken from them. I speak out because I believe that, no matter where one lives, what they put in their own body is their choice. And I speak out because I fear that next you'll come for me," said the Reddit user last week.

This project is fully funded with the support of people like you. Please consider making a donation today by going to www.kratomliteracyproject.com/donate today or click the button above.

Created By
Kratom Literacy Project
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Credits:

Created with images by Claudia24 - "composition women lying down" • 422694 - "girl depression sadness" • PublicDomainPictures - "lab research chemistry" • Taken - "jail prison ruin" • Kristoffer M.C. - "Depression" • Kryziz Bonny - "Circo" • Martina Troiano - "War"

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