Does Kratom Cause Suicide or Prevent It?
The last time Kratom was accused of causing another young man in his 20s to commit suicide, there were other legally prescribed drugs involved. Two of them had suicide warnings, listed among the side-effects. A coroner, who reviewed the medical literature on Kratom, declared that Kratom was not at fault.
Now, Kratom is again accused, but this time, the media is rushing to pass judgement -- even before the medical examiner has completed the toxicology report.
Most of the people who are familiar with Kratom would probably laugh at the notion that this herb, which has known antidepressant activity, could be suggested as the cause of a young man's recent suicide. This is the second suicide where a mother has blamed her son's death on his addiction to Kratom -- another questionable topic I'll take up in a future blog.
Below is the testimony of a woman who credits Kratom for saving her from suicide.
Recently I interviewed a woman who had been diagnosed as bi-polar (aka, "manic depressive"). She has tried to kill herself several times. She had been in the military and had moved into another branch of the government, where stress was much higher -- all of which contributed to a drinking and drug problem.
If she didn't have enough problems, she is also epileptic, having 3 seizures a week. She believes this may have started because of a head injury she suffered.
All of the medical treatments, AA meetings, and pills she had been provided hadn't stopped her desire to end her life. Illicit drugs didn't help, except perhaps temporarily.
Finally, she was invited to try Kratom -- and, after one last suicide attempt -- and another failed rehab stay -- she got serious about researching Kratom.
When we met over the phone, she had been sober and straight for five months (now, it's six months), and she has no desire to drink or take drugs again, thanks to Kratom. She has no desire to end her life anymore. For this change of heart, she thanks Kratom.
She hasn't even had a seizure in the time she's been taking a moderate amount of Kratom each day.
Now, the frustrating thing for me is that -- because of her previous employment -- I can't reveal her name or any details about her. As with many other professionals, she can't come forth and talk openly about the superior results she has found with Kratom for fear of displeasing her former co-workers and employer.
Doctors and policemen who use Kratom for their back pain, ulcerative colitis, or other conditions can't speak openly about their personal experience, so I am left with little hard evidence to offer.
And, who is going to fund legitimate science so we can rebuke the claims of the TV reports, rehab facility doctors, and addiction specialists? They stir up a frenzy to ban Kratom when they find two young men who chose to commit suicide with Kratom in their possession.
But, did Kratom cause these young men to take their life?
In my 2+ years of being involved daily in the Kratom community, I have never seen or heard of a person who killed themselves. Have you? One common response to consuming Kratom is that it lifts one's mood.
I have seen many people who frankly admit that, when they thought there was nowhere else to turn except for the drugs their doctor had to offer, they were considering suicide. When they discovered Kratom, that all changed.
I have seen nothing in the many medical studies done on Kratom that would indicate that it even increased the risk of suicide.
About the young man who killed himself because -- according to his suicide note -- he had "tried everything" to solve his problems and had "ruined his life with drugs", I can't say much. I sympathize with the loss his parents must feel, but I am not convinced that banning Kratom is any solution.
#1) We don't have the facts we need -- and yet, the TV reporters are asking the public to support a ban on Kratom. My guess is there were other substances, perhaps prescription antidepressants, benzos, or OTC nootropics (such as phenibut) or opioids either in his system, or he was withdrawing from. We could have ten more weeks to wait for a toxicology report.
#2) We haven't seen an analysis of the "Kratom" he had been taking. How are we to know it hadn't been spiked (adulterated)? We need to see lab results on that. Based on his mother's description of the addiction he developed because he couldn't take (whatever it was) fast enough to avoid the "withdrawals", it doesn't sound like Kratom, at all.
#3) This young man needed some better advice than he was getting. Life is about solving problems. Life has its ups and downs; it always gets better, if we wait out the rough spots and keep looking for answers to minimize what is causing us problems.
#4) If we are expected to believe that Kratom can do this in some people, like this young man, where are the others? And how do we account for the suicides in youths who aren't using Kratom (or anything else, for that matter)?
#5) Most people using Kratom find it helps them let go of unhealthy habits. Why is this case different? There are many questions that must be answered.
#6) One thing is certain: Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. When we die, we get no more chances to solve the problems that were making us miserable.
So, in this blog, we have seen two different approaches to life's problems. We are being asked to ban a substance that purportedly caused one suicide, but it has helped millions of others -- many of whom were about to kill themselves. So, what shall we do? You see, the decision is not so simple when we consider all the factors involved.
The American public deserves better journalism than this.