#Painlivesmatter Defending the human right to choose plant medicine

A Presentation of the Kratom Literacy Project

Living with severe, debilitating chronic pain is like being trapped somewhere 24/7 - 365 with no escape. Pain patients are trapped inside bodies that torture them with unrelenting physical trauma over and over again, day after day, night after night and year after year. Eventually, without adequate treatment, a person can simply take no more and this is when suicide may seem like a viable option.

Some of the politicians in Washington have been lying to us about the war on drugs.

"We say we're here to serve you, when in fact, we're serving ourselves. And why? We are driven by our own desires to get reelected. Our need to stay in power eclipses our duty to govern." HOUSE OF CARDS

Ironically, the character played by Kevin Spacey on House of Cards goes on to say, "you are entitled to nothing." And that may be true. After all, who gives us our rights? Are they God given rights? Maybe. Maybe not. But I would argue that the government certainly does not have the right to interfere with the doctor - patient relationship.

The job of the government is not to police what people put in their bodies. After all, certain foods like sugar are known to be addictive and harmful to one's long term health if consumed in excess and yet people do it every day. No one is suggesting we ban Krispy Kreme, so why are politicians and government agencies like FDA trying to interfere?

Because the pharmaceutical giants are slowly being replaced with holistic health care that combines herbal medicine with allopathic medicine. More consumers are becoming concerned with what's in the food and are speaking out with their dollars by refusing to purchase GMO food. Whether you agree with the concept of organic food or not is not the point. People have stopped putting their trust in pharmaceutical drugs. Sure, the chemical structures of pharmaceuticals are based on the active ingredients found in certain plants, but they are completely synthetic and cause serious and sometimes life threatening illnesses.

The FDA claims that companies which sell natural supplements should file NDI's (New Dietary Ingredient) applications on all their products so that they can go through years of safety testing. Did you know that pharmaceutical drugs go through these clinical trials and are approved often later to be found not only ineffective, but unsafe? So how do these drugs keep getting approved? One word.

GREED

It seems the product approval is based not on it's actual safety profile but upon how much a company pays for that approval, which is the exact opposite of evidence based medicine.

"Something is wrong when regulatory agencies pretend that vitamins are dangerous, yet ignore published statistics showing that government-sanctioned medicine is the real hazard. Until now, Life Extension could cite only isolated statistics to make its case about the dangers of conventional medicine. No one had ever analyzed and combined ALL of the published literature dealing with injuries and deaths caused by government-protected medicine. That has now changed. A group of researchers meticulously reviewed the statistical evidence and their findings are absolutely shocking. These researchers have authored a paper titled “Death by Medicine” that presents compelling evidence that today’s system frequently causes more harm than good. This fully referenced report shows the number of people having in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs to be 2.2 million per year. The number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections is 20 million per year. The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million per year. people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million per year."
The most stunning statistic, however, is that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US. (By contrast, the number of deaths attributable to heart disease in 2001 was 699,697, while the number of deaths attributable to cancer was 553,251.5)

THE CHRONIC PAIN EPIDEMIC

The Burden of Pain on Every Day Life
http://www.painmed.org/files/facts-and-figures-on-pain.pdf

CHRONIC PAIN and the OPIOID EPIDEMIC

The people being treated for addiction and the people being treated for chronic pain are two separate groups of people with very little overlap. Of course, there is some overlap, but it's very small. the media, however, blows the picture out of proportion, leaves out important data and presents the public with a highly skewed version of reality.
Fossilized poppy seeds and other archeological evidence found in digs near lakes in Switzerland reveals that the opium poppy was used by Neanderthal man as long as 30,000 years ago. Source: Opium for the Masses by Jim Hogshire

One of the media narratives that won't seem to die is that opioids will kill anyone who comes in contact with them. But opiates aren't what we've been taught. It's mostly been a false narrative.

"75% of opioid overdoses are due to COMBINING them with alcohol or another sedative," says Dr. Carl Hart, a neuropsychopharmacologist who studies addiction (in people, not rats) at Columbia.

One of the most surprising things I have learned during the course of my research about kratom, opioids and pain in general is that coffee, yes coffee, contains protein fragments that bind to opioid receptors in the brain, thereby causing pain relief on the same level as morphine - only longer.

Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug in America. It is estimated that 80% of American adults consume coffee on a daily basis.

"Caffeine is a drug, and like most other drugs, the human body can become dependent on it when exposed to it on a daily basis. The problem of caffeine dependence is so bad that it is now being classified as a specific disorder. It is only a number of hours after you stop ingesting caffeine that you will notice the symptoms associated with withdrawal."

"People who decide to quit caffeine after spending years using it often have withdrawal symptoms, which are on par with the withdrawal symptoms of class A drugs."

Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms are the same w/d symptoms experienced with kratom - yet the fda considers these "adverse health effects" when speaking about kratom. this is the most obvious double standard.

Just a few of the withdrawal symptoms listed for caffeine are the exact same things FDA lists as "adverse effects" of kratom. So why isn't there an Import Alert for coffee beans? The answer is obvious - Money.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF COFFEE (from The Cult of Pharmacology)

And now with the CDC's opioid prescribing guidelines restricting access to badly needed medicine for millions of people, we should brace ourselves for an even worse opioid overdose epidemic next year. In about two years, the results will be even clearer as they were in 2016, just two years after the DEA decided to schedule Tramadol, a medication millions of people were dependent upon for relief and the ability to function. Despite its drawbacks, unless medical professionals are given tools to help their patients without having their hands tied behind their backs - the problem will continue to get worse and worse. Thank your politicians for this backwards approach. Neither the DEA nor the politicians are medical professionals and they need to get out of healthcare because it is essentially the equivalent of practicing medicine without a license.

PAIN

It's frustrating. It's exhausting. And it's costly.

"Pain devastates the very fabric of people's lives. Marriages sometimes fall apart. Friendships are lost. Many are unable to work and earn a living. They can't care for their children and their families. Their self-esteem suffers. They're unable to enjoy things that give them pleasure. And they become housebound, isolated, and sometimes depressed."
"And then, of course, there is the relentless physical experience, which may be burning, stabbing, gnawing, knifing, and other unpleasant sensations. I equate it to feeling like you're a prisoner trapped in your body. But it's worse than that. You are a prisoner who is being tortured 24/7. And there's no means of escape."
"And yet when people seek help from health care providers, they're often met with skepticism and doubt and mistrust and an appalling lack of compassion."
"The scope of chronic pain in America is enormous. Pain is the number one reason why Americans visit their doctor. It's the leading cause of disability. The Institute of Medicine has documented that 100 million people live with chronic pain. And approximately 10% of those have pain so severe they're disabled by it."
"Yet, chronic pain is largely misunderstood by policymakers, the media, and the public at large. And there are many challenges in treating chronic pain."
"But a critical one now is the tendency to conflate the opioid epidemic with the pain epidemic. People with substance abuse disorder and those living with chronic pain are largely two separate groups of people with very little overlap. Opioid pain medications are one of many possible treatments for pain. They don't help everyone. And for the people they do help, they don't completely take the pain away. But for many pain sufferers who take them responsibly and legitimately, they are a lifeline that allows them to function and have some quality of life."

The following is an excerpt from the book

"Before ingesting a magical or medicinal plant, shamans might spend hours talking with it. They might provide it with offerings of food or drink; they might decorate its branches or sing songs in its honor. Only after propitiating the plant and becoming acquainted with its spirit would they work with it as a teacher and ally. Even then their dealings would be tempered with a good bit of caution, respect, and healthy fear. If treated disrespectfully, an ally could become a terrible, even a lethal, enemy."
Papaver somniferum
"Today most scientists would consider this behavior the height of folly. Instead of talking to a plant, they would rather uproot it and subject its remains to biochemical analysis. The idea that plants might communicate with humans is laughable. Accepting that plants might have an innate intelligence would mean that their existence might have some meaning outside of that which humans assign to it. Instead of viewing plants as the sturdy base of the food pyramid, we might have to see them as fellow travelers on planet Earth. This is, of course, sheer superstition. Why, next we’ll be saying that chemicals and elements have their own spirits!"
Poppies come in a plethora of colors, shapes and sizes
"For thousands of years shamans have followed these “silly” and “superstitious” beliefs. Rather than reserving intelligence, will, and volition for a chosen few life-forms, they have found it all around them. Instead of a model where aMost High Being manipulates things like pawns on a very large chessboard, they imagined a world where plants and animals communicated with each other and where mountains, rocks, and rivers were not inanimate objects but wise and powerful beings. The alchemists who followed their lead believed that sulfur, mercury, and the other substances they used were living beings and that their work could proceed only if their spirits were properly treated."
"Our modern chemical and pharmaceutical industries have created many substances that alchemists would have considered miraculous blessings. But they have also given us some terrible toxins. Many of their creations fall into both categories. Among the most infamous of these are the various drugs that have been derived from Papaver somniferum, better known as the opium poppy."
"We have spent untold amounts of money trying to control the illegal distribution and abuse of opiates. We have sent millions of addicts to prison or involuntary treatment programs. Every year we burn hectares of poppy fields and intercept tons of heroin and billions of stolen pills. And yet despite our best efforts, the scourge of addiction continues to grow and thrive. Our “War on Drugs” has to date been a one-sided rout. We keep saying “no” to drugs, but they refuse to listen."

The above was excerpted from the following book:

As you've seen, America has had a long and varied relationship with psychoactive substances. And what shapes the general consensus or opinion of these substances? The media. Ever since the rise of "yellow journalism" or sensationalism, the media has chosen to focus solely on the Dark Side of substances - addiction or substance abuse. While addiction is certainly something that needs to be addressed in our society - there is a part of the story the media leaves out - the story of the Chronic Pain Epidemic.
Andrew Weil has always shopped around, so to speak, in the marketplace of consciousness. There was Harvard, before he graduated cum laude in Biology in 1964 and before he took an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1968, where he fell under the immense, translucent shadow of Drs. Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, renegade psychologists intent on proselytizing the world on behalf of the wisdom and wonders they'd discovered in LSD and psilocybin. And although Weil was unable to participate directly in the set of experiments Alpert and Leary designed with artists and convicts, addicts and intellectuals (since the pair's agreement with the university's administration precluded the use of undergraduates in their experiments), he definitely got the beat--and information from Leary on ordering his own supply of mescaline--and launched off on inner space explorations of his own.

THE WAR ON DRUGS

The following paragraph is an excerpt from Johann Hari's book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.

From day to day, “you never know what they’re going to do. They might want to torture somebody to death today, or they might drown him today, they might hang him today, or they’re going to cut him to pieces and burn him alive. You never know what they’re going to do. It depends what they feel like doing.” He added: “Everything was always the same. They killed people on a daily basis. There’s not a day that goes by [that] they don’t kill someone. That they don’t torture someone. That they don’t burn someone alive . . . That’s your daily routine. That’s what they do for a living.” When he was sent to kill a person, “I don’t know the person who was in front of me. I don’t know what they had done. Anything.” He just knew to make sure they died. The cartels send messages written in human flesh. They have a system of signals known to everyone. If you betray the cartel, they’ll shoot you in the neck. If you talk too much, they’ll shoot you in the mouth. If you are a spy, they’ll shoot you in the ear. Each body is a billboard, 24 advertising that your cartel is the most vicious.
The War on Drugs has cost American taxpayers upwards of TRILLIONS of dollars. Dollars that could be invested in getting addicts the help they need. After all, if addiction is merely continuing a negative behavior despite negative consequences, then why would prison deter anyone from falling back into that pattern once they're released? Until the issues that led to addiction in the first place are addressed and we stop assigning blame to the drugs themselves, addiction will always be a prevalent disorder in our society.
That ultimately set the stage for a series of formal investigations in 1968 with Lester Grinspoon, pioneering studies of marijuana that overturned many of the cherished, but unfounded assumptions which then stood as common currency regarding the "killer weed." The Natural Mind followed, and if any book ever created a stir in the field of substance abuse, The Natural Mind was it. Weil took what he had learned in his earlier formal and informal research and turned that knowledge to a very good advantage, indeed, arguing that human beings have an innate need for altered states of consciousness and that attempts to eliminate this need--and the personal and cultural expressions of this need--are doomed to perpetual failure. Along the way, and in proving his point that human consciousness is the true magical substance common to all non- ordinary states, he took on nothing less than scientific orthodoxy itself in the book, in a careful, reasonable dissection of the structure and foundations of Western allopathic medicine.
Still he didn't stop. After telling middle-class America that everything it knew about substance abuse was wrong, Weil stayed Out There, on the forefront of consciousness manifesting itself, whether in Colombia studying the folkway and production techniques of indigenous coqueros, or in Mexico sampling the wares and sharing the psychospiritual good times with shamans and mushroom cultists, or in Amazon rain forests, getting down and getting off on esoteric plants, processes, and people.
"I cannot see the value of trying to understand consciousness through methods that exclude the most immediately relevant source of information: direct experience of one's own inner states," he wrote in The Natural Mind. "Nothing is ever really known by indirect means, least of all the nature of one's mind."
"Perhaps the problem lies not in our approach but in our outlook. So long as we see poppies as mere flowers and opiates as mere chemicals, we will have no chance of controlling them. Only when we recognize that Papaver somniferum and its derivates are sentient beings will we have a chance of understanding their attraction. We must learn once again to approach them with the respect due; powerful and potentially hazardous allies. Until we do that, we will never be able to reap their full benefits and avoid their worst dangers."

KENAZ FILAN

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Created with images by markingleukc - "Trapped" • Muffet - "Greed" • COCOMARIPOSA - "5 stages of grief (Depression) #4" • geralt - "burnout exhausted alone" • cafepampas - "poppy flower red" • jarmoluk - "coffee beans coffee the drink" • hello-julie - "poppy" • LunarSeaArt - "poppy flower red" • anyjazz65 - "Poppy" • petercastleton - "poppies saddlescombe" • hansbenn - "poppy red blossom" • Wylie-Young - "California Poppy" • Pomme68 - "poppy flower red" • orangeaurochs - "Poppy" • realworkhard - "poppy plant nature" • DVIDSHUB - "Dogs of war: Friends and saviors of Marines in Afghanistan [Image 5 of 9]"

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