My Experience with Kratom

Published on September 10, 2016 by in Success Stories


kratomThe DEA’s recent classification of Kratom as a Schedule 1 narcotic met with complaints and protests from those who claim Kratom is a safe and natural alternative to opiates. I applaud the DEA’s decision, as from my personal experience, this idea that Kratom is  safe is very false.

About four months ago, my brother stopped at a convenience store, not knowing that on that particular day, his life would change forever. At that time, he had completed a drug treatment program and was sober for a bit of time. He was stopping to get an energy shot from the store on his way to work. The guy behind the counter told him he should try a new energy shot that was different from a 5 hour energy because it makes you feel good. My brother gave it a try despite the fact it cost a little more than five hour energy. Shortly after drinking it, he knew something wasn’t right.  It gave him energy and a good opiate like feeling. He googled it to make sure it was safe and wouldn’t cause him to fail a drug test.  He discovered it was all natural and wouldn’t read on a drug test, so he figured it was safe as well.
He found himself buying more and more of these “energy shots”, which were Kratom. He felt it wasn’t right because he had the feeling of being high, but he kept drinking them anyway. He started with one in the morning.  Then he added one at night.  It got to the point he was drinking them all throughout the day. He asked our mother to buy him some and showed her a picture of the bottle assuring her it was an energy shot.  She questioned it and he countered by pointing out it was sold out in the open on the countertop at a local gas station.  This didn’t raise any suspicion with her. When has a gas station sold something illegal? They don’t, so kratom must be ok right?
This past Mother’s Day 2016, I saw my brother at my mother’s house.  He appeared to others as energetic, happy and productive. Despite that, my first thought was he must be getting high again.  Since it was Mother’s Day, I did not think it was the time or the place to confront him.  This was a day for my mom and not for he or I to ruin it with drama.  Little did I know the drama was about to begin.
The very next day, I was on my way back from an ultrasound.  I was about 35 weeks pregnant with my youngest son and I received a phone call saying my brother was found sitting Indian style slouched over, not breathing and his girlfriend called 911. My mother told me this was obviously an overdose but on what she wasn’t sure. I rushed to the hospital hoping for the best but prepared for the worse.
The drug screen wasn’t back and my brother had only woken up one time to say he couldn’t feel his legs and was knocked back out. He was very unstable so they transported him to another hospital to put him in a medically induced coma on life support. Not knowing if I would ever get to talk to my brother again, I wanted answers.  The drug screen came back with a low level of benzo and amphetamines, baffling the doctor as to how this happened.
About a week went by and they woke my brother up. His kidneys were not working and his leg was swollen. To keep from amputating it and to relieve pressure,  they had to cut it open down both sides. When my brother was able to communicate, he told the doctor he had been drinking kratom 2-3 times per day for 3 months. This was such a new thing the doctors didn’t know what to think, they said there isn’t much research on it but this had to be the cause for his overdose and condition.
My brother’s body had given up and started to shut down one organ at a time.  The doctors had to bring him back to life multiple times. Once he did wake up, we had no idea if he would be able to walk again or if his kidney function would come back. I talked  to him one time and then the next day I went into labor, a month early with my son.
After my own stay at the hospital and getting back home, a month had passed and my brother had a long road to recovery. His kidneys started to function again but he was wheel chair bound coming home. Four months have passed now and he is still struggling. His muscles had atrophied from him being in the same position unconscious for so long. He had to get the atrophied muscles removed from his leg so walking is a challenge. When he starts to walk, he ends up with an infection due to poor circulation and some type of injury, so he ends up right back in the wheel chair.
Seeing articles online about how Kratom isn’t bad and that it is all natural, so therefore “safe” makes me angry as I know that is not true.  The reality of what happens to some people is not what is put forth. Not many people go online to tell how they overdosed on Kratom and lost everything in life.   My brother has no job, no money, can’t walk and is suffering just to complete simple daily tasks. You don’t hear about any of this but in reality this is Kratom, this is what it’s capable of.

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