January 6, 2016 9:29AM

A Testimonial about Kratom

In an earlier post, I argued that addiction per se such should not be regarded as a negative of drug use. And I discussed recent concern from policymakers and public health officials about Kratom, a plant that allegedly has medicinal properties but that is also allegedly addictive.

In response, I received this email (quoted with permission):

Thank you so much for this article. I discovered kratom almost three years ago, and have been using it ever since to control the symptoms of severe restless leg syndrome. I’m a 71‐​year‐​old woman, and before finding kratom I couldn’t take plane flights to visit my grandchildren, or sleep longer than two or three hours at night. Kratom gave me back my life. 

I don’t understand the push to make it illegal. Kratom doesn’t even seem to be dangerous. The only thing I feel when I take it is a blessed relief from the squirmy, torturous feeling of severe restless leg syndrome.  

The weird thing is that the prescription drugs prescribed for severe RLS (Usually the dopamine agonist drugs) really ARE dangerous. Their side effects are scary (obsessive compulsive behaviors like gambling, nausea, and the showstopper: the RLS eventually gets worse and the drugs no longer work. They call it augmentation). 

So thank you. I really hope it remains legal. I don’t want to be the grandmother standing out on street corners looking for kratom drug dealers.

Well said.