Amid Opioid Overdose Epidemic, DEA Wants To Ban A Popular Plant-Based Treatment For Addiction

‘When I found kratom, it was kind of like a miracle,’ one user told MintPress News of the herbal remedy that helped relieve chronic pain and depression caused by a severe back injury.
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    Green Bali Kratom powder is displayed next to it's packaging. Kratom, which is widely available in gas stations and other shops, is set to be banned by the DEA.

    Green Bali Kratom powder is displayed next to it’s packaging. Kratom, which is widely available in gas stations and other shops, is set to be banned by the DEA.

    AUSTIN, Texas — The Drug Enforcement Administration appears set to schedule kratom, a plant used in traditional medicine in Southeast Asia that has gained popularity in the United States as a chronic pain management tool and a way to kick opiate addiction.

    On Aug. 31, the DEA announced the impending kratom ban, due to take effect on Sept. 30. At that time, kratom will join other “Schedule I” substances like heroin, cocaine and cannabis which the government deems both dangerous and lacking in medical use.

    In the statement, the DEA says the plant’s “active materials” pose an “imminent hazard to public safety.” Advocates for the plant’s continued legal use argue otherwise, saying kratom is a safe alternative to opioid painkillers that has already helped ease withdrawals symptoms for thousands of people weaning themselves off of other addictive substances.


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    MintPress News spoke to James, a member of reddit’s popular kratom subreddit, who asked to be identified only by his first name, citing legal concerns over his use of kratom to treat severe chronic pain.

    “It literally transformed my life, it’s just incredible,” James said of the substance.

     

    Kratom saves lives?

    Kratom has been growing in popularity in the U.S. recent years. The agency said it encountered over 55,000 pounds of kratom at “various ports of entry within the United States” between February 2014 to July 2016, and that it was aware of 15 deaths caused by the substance between 2014 and 2016.

    “It kind of makes me sick when I think I’m not going to be able to have access to the plant after the 30th of September,” said James, who took issue with almost every aspect of the DEA’s announcement, especially the reported risks of the plant.

    He’s far from alone in criticizing the impending ban, which provoked outcry on social media, inspired a White House petition asking for it to remain legal, and spawned the hashtag #KratomSavesLives on Twitter.


    With an ongoing, and growing, epidemic of opioid overdoses sweeping the country, James suggested that access to the plant is more important now than ever. Rather than saving lives, James warned that the DEA’s ban could actually have the opposite effect. He explained:

    “There’s going to be people overdosing, and people going back to harder drugs because they don’t have access to kratom. People are dependent on kratom to help them treat their withdrawals or treat their chronic pain.”

    Some kratom supporters have even suggested a connection between Alabama banning kratom in May and an upswing in deadly drug overdoses in the state shortly thereafter.

    The DEA, however, doesn’t appear to be swayed by the wave of public support for keeping kratom legal. David Kroll, a contributor to Forbes, noted on Aug. 31 that in its haste to ban kratom, the DEA circumvented laws requiring the agency to consider public comment.

    Kroll also cast doubt on the DEA’s framing of the ban as a solution to a public health emergency, writing:

    “As an example of the risks of kratom, the DEA cites a CDC study published this summer that counted 660 poison control calls during a five-year period from 2010 to 2015 on behalf of people suffering untoward reactions to the herb or teas made from the plant material.”

    He added, “To put kratom risks in perspective, poison control centers received 6,843 reports of young children ingesting single-load laundry pods in just the first seven months of 2016.”

     

    ‘Negligible harmful effects’

    “[K]ratom has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision,” the DEA wrote in its announcement.

    An examination of kratom’s traditional use suggests the agency’s assessment may be missing the mark when it comes to the plant’s safety and potential medical uses. A member of the coffee family native to Southeast Asia, the raw leaf of kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is traditionally chewed as a mood enhancer or painkiller.

    Thailand banned the plant in 1943, seeking to protect the country’s lucrative opium taxes, but there’s a growing movement to legalize it again. In a May 2011 report for the sustainability NGO Transnational Institute, Pascal Tanguay examined kratom’s use in Thailand. Tanguay found that “kratom is an integral part of Thai culture and has negligible harmful effects.”

    All leaves are carefully selected and separated by their vein type so as to not mix the wrong ones together. Above we have some freshly collected green vein leaves.

    Kratom leaves are selected and separated by their vein type in a remote areas of Sumatra.

    Tanguay, the former program director of the Thailand offices of PSI, a Washington-based global health organization that promotes harm reduction among drug users, currently serves as an associate for the International Drug Policy Consortium in Asia.

    “Criminalisation of kratom is unnecessary and counter-productive given decades of unproblematic use,” Tanguay continued. “In the absence of health and social harms, decriminalise use, possession and production of kratom and empower community leaders to control production and manage consumption.”

    Meanwhile, the DEA’s claims about kratom-related fatalities could be misleading. In 2010, for example, Swedish researchers linked the deaths of nine people to a dangerous chemical additive found in a kratom product. In other words: Kratom itself may not be dangerous, but other chemicals and additives in unregulated products sold as kratom can pose serious harm.

    There’s never been a single death associated with kratom,” Tanguay told Global Post’s Patrick Winn in September 2013.

    “People have been chewing this for thousands of years with no cases of overdose, psychosis, murder, violent crime. Never in all of recorded history.”

    James told MintPress that he can take small doses of kratom and remain alert enough to work. At higher doses, unpleasant side effects like vomiting and headaches appear quickly, well before most users can ingest a deadly or dangerous amount.

    “You’re going to throw up, you’re going to get sick,” he said. ”It’s not going to kill you, it’s just going to make you uncomfortable.”

    Like most opioids, kratom is addictive. But a reddit FAQ on quitting kratom suggests that, for many users, the worst symptoms of withdrawal often pass within a week.

     

    ‘When I found kratom, it was kind of like a miracle’

    James spent about six years as a professional mixed martial arts competitor before a severe back injury left him with severe, debilitating nerve pain.

    “A long time after the initial injury I wasn’t very mobile,” he said. “There were days where I couldn’t walk. It’s an incredible amount of pain.”

    The constant, intense pain made it almost impossible for him to sleep, which also contributed to overwhelming depression. “I was in a pretty bad spot for about two years.”

    James found prescription painkillers largely ineffective, and he was also concerned about the consequences of addiction. “I’d lost a brother earlier,” he said, “so it was kind of obvious I didn’t want to go that route.”

    Now, James treats his pain with kratom, which he consumes during the day in powdered form via pills or in a tea. He said it usually takes effect within 45 minutes of ingestion, allowing him to quickly return to work and to sleep through the night.

    “When I found kratom, it was kind of like a miracle,” he said.

    James has communicated with dozens of other reddit users who’ve used kratom to treat their drug addictions and ease the effects of opioid withdrawal that can sometimes be life threatening. James told MintPress:

    “It’s not that kratom was a fix-all for them, but when they have these withdrawals that cause them to have headaches, nausea, and some of them anxiety attacks … kratom relieves that for them. Kratom has almost no danger to it, so they go from using this extremely dangerous hardcore substance to using a plant.”

    He suggested the DEA’s move to ban kratom could be financially motivated, because kratom can be much cheaper for addicts than the options presented by the pharmaceutical industry. James continued:

    “It’s bad timing for the good people of America, but it’s good timing for them that profit off of it. They’re producing all these drugs to get people off the drugs they’re producing, and these drugs aren’t cheap.”

    Despite kratom’s uncertain future James hopes those in the movement to legalize cannabis, another plant-based medicine with widespread medical applications, will also throw their support behind kratom. “Their fight is our fight, and our fight is their fight,” he said.

    Cannabis’ schedule I status has made research into the plant’s potential benefits extremely difficult — a fate James fears will befall kratom as well.

    “People need to have access to a plant that helps them,” James urged. ”They don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on medication, they just have to harvest the plant and help themselves.

    “These plants help people, they’re inexpensive, why can’t they have access to them?” he asked.

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      • Jennifer Kurtz

        Lot of positive reviews on Kratom and millions of fans are there. DEA is
        now working on an agenda of Big Pharma and definitely going to make a
        big money.

        Find my blog here: http://kratomguides.com/

      • If no public comment is “necessary” how are they working for the safety of the American people. WE pay THEIR bills with our tax payer dollars. I am calling for the head of the “Acting” head of the DEA. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a thorough investigation of what their intentions are of banning a harmless medicinal herb unless of course “me thinks she doth’ protest too much”; as they are covering something up such as working directly for the big pharmaceutical companies. This leaf poses a serious threat to any company that sells pain killers, SSRI’s, MAOI’s, anxiety medications and suboxone for withdrawal help as well. The current industry sells their drugs that do have serious side effects and if Rosenberg and the DEA did their research correctly like the should be mandated to do so before just arbitrarily making an herb, a leaf, SCHEDULE I !??!!! What are they thinking, how much money they can extort from big pharma and us as tax payers that pay their salary to keep us safe. Making Kratom a schedule I drug would be a death sentence period, for most people that have tried every way possible to cope with pain, anxiety and depression all of their lives. First they make it difficult to nearly impossible to attain low-grade opiate based medication on a control list. Rosenberg needs to step down and be fired in my opinion as for at least 40 years researchers have been trying to find a safe alternative for withdrawal management. Well, we found one and they want to ban it on an herb that is 99.9 % safe as deaths only occur when mixing certain medications and the few deaths they did find where Kratom was involved is in the low 30’s at most 20-30 people around the world – that’s it in 5 years?!!?? More people die just by drinking a soda in large numbers or how about diabetes which I just found out today that Kratom (God’s gift to humanity) can help with diabetes! First they ban in 2014 opiate based pain killers (no, they didn’t ban them per’se) but they might as well have. Now it’s nearly an act of God to get one’s hand on painkillers thanks to the thousands that died and ruined millions of lives of people that really are in pain because the thousands have a disease they can not control. Addiction is a disease. It’s not the drug, it’s the person as they can become cross addicted to eating, playing video games, etc. This sudden knee-jerk ban is dangerous. Heroin and other serious drug use will skyrocket as it already did in 2014 after the rescheduling of low-level Opiates. America has become a police state and our rights are being taken away, 1 x 1. The DEA is an agency that cares nothing obviously for anyone but themselves only to demonize a highly effective and safe herb they think is serious competition for their big pharma buddies and their prison buddies as addiction now means incarceration period! No longer is addiction being treated as a disease, innocent people are being victimized and sent to prison for addiction and not getting medical help like the should. “Yea, that makes complete sense!” The DEA is clearly acting highly irresponsibly and should be investigated for corruption and bribery. If they want to make assumptions and not care what other people think (the taxpayers that pay their bill for their high rates of ineffectiveness as over 40 years of a drug war costing damned near $1 Trillion dollars, 2 things becomes painfully obvious, The DEA cares nothing about people’s health and they care only about incarceration and keeping their jobs! This is NOT how a federal agency is supposed to run. The drug war has failed and it’s time to fold as all we have done is taken amateur drug dealers and made them strong, highly motivated, heavily financed and even para-military trained. Kratom is the safest medicinal herb out there and if Kratom is dangerous based on their obtuse data of deaths or calls to the Poison Control Center; then they should ban alcohol, cigarettes, driving cars, walking across streets, sugar, salt, fats, meat, chicken, fish, milk, eggs, cheese, all GMO foods by Monsanto, High-Fructose corn syrup and so much more. The DEA is now officially out of control and dangerous to the American public. Wait and see, you will have your houses broken into, your lives will now be at greater risks for muggings and theft and more drugs that are far more dangerous will hit the streets. Don’t come crying to me when I’ve warned you when either one of your children die by peer pressure to do a certain drug that is out there. Kratom will not disappear, just now it WILL be laced with something as no longer will professional, high quality re-sellers distribute the product that cared about the quality and safety of the product. The DEA just can’t stand anything they can’t control and can alleviate the need for serious drugs. What do they want? They wanted people to get off of opiates, which only served to increase more deadly drug use since 2014, and we have an herb that can stop the opiate abuse, but they want to ban that as well. It’s just too obvious anymore who’s side the DEA is on, not yours!

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      • Respect

        Meanwhile, each year 88,000+ people die from the ingestion of alcohol alone. 20,000+ die from the ingestion of prescription pain killers. And the chemicals from this plant, between 2014 and 2016, were found in 15 dead people.

        You can’t make this stuff up. The DEA is completely full of crap. They KNOW they’re full of crap, and that’s why they said, “No public commentary is necessary.”

        Why do the people tolerate this stuff?

      • I_LIVE_PAIN

        Keep spreading the word everybody, lets keep this PLANT legal!!! I have so much anxiety from this potential ban that it is affecting my mood and sleep so bad. All I want to do is fight this war but at the same time feel like we have no chance. I have contacted my Congressman and Senator today and will be calling the DEA tomorrow and making other phone calls to the right channels. If you guys truly care as much as I do and want to be able to use Kratom without being a felon this time next month, we must do everything we can!! Our voices will not be silenced, #IAMKRATOM #SAVEKRATOM #STOPTHEBS #WAKEUPAMERICA

      • I knew a fella who had just retired from the US Navy with a great pension. He had just married a great Gal to have a Mom for his Kids they were living the dream, until he got board, went out and got a construction job and broke his back falling off a ladder. He did not drink or do any other drugs, but the Oxycodone killed him with in three years. Now his Kids are orphans and have nothing.

        I knew of a guy close to the Family who just came back from doing a couple tours clearing mines (many times with his buddies bodies) in Afghanistan and he over dosed on oxycodone and booze as soon as he got back and he was not even 25.

        Do not ride Uncle Satan’s Big Afghan Horsey.

        I have recognized a well established pattern of The US Government killing off those it owes military retirement or compensation money too with oxycodone. 22 Vets per day.

      • Kristen Wiggins

        I suffer from a painful, incurable connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I’m also 9 years sober. Kratom allows me to safely manage my pain without jeopardizing my sobriety. It doesn’t get me high. It does not cause respiratory depression. I am not powerless and my life is not unmanageable. I just want to be of service to my family. Kratom gave me my life back.#iamkratom

        • I love your statement. ” I just want to be of service to my family”.

          I know just how you feel. I have no income and am a burden to my Family.

          I am glad to here about Kramtom as I live with constant numbness in my arm and a partially paralyzed leg. I have constant twitches and spasms and neurological tingling through out my torso that never goes away from a spinal cord injury that made it impossible for me to work in my trained career that fed my Family.

          I broke my neck in a construction accident and my Boss lied about it and denied me and my Family workers compensation.

          I now have permanent spinal cord damage that makes me not be able to feel my right arm and even worse, I walk like the Kid who was killed by the Baltimore Cops, Freddy Grey did in his last few steps. People are cruel and often laugh at my paralysis because they think I am drunk or have cerebral palsy.

          I can’t dance with my wife any more or work construction.

          I live in great pain with orthopedic problems in all my limbs and always have for many years as a construction worker and the Doctors have given me thousands and thousands of Dollars of Insurance company paid Oxycodones and I have thrown every last one of them in the trash can. I just take the pain instead.

          On this Earth I am a One Legged Man in a butt kicking contest so I can take the pain, all I ask for is a pair of lead underwear.

          My goal is to not be killed by Uncle Satans Afghan Horsey like all my Fed Buddies and live to drain the Beast as Long as I can.

          I dream of someday achieving a social Security Disability rating for my paralyzed Limbs and being able to support my Family again as I feel like an Old injured Lion on the Serengiti with the mean strong younger Lions coming around to eat my cubs and take my pride. The Last thing I need is to be addicted to Opioids.

          I am going to live!

      • TeeJae

        The DEA is doing this at the behest of BigPharma, period. As with cannabis, BigPharma sees this plant as a threat to its profit margin, knowing people will choose a natural and less harmful plant over their deadly pills every time.

        This is yet another in a long line of examples of government agencies serving and protecting industry over people and the planet.

        Write the President and urge him to do the right thing.

      • Brittany Jordan

        I’ve used Kratom safely, responsibly and successfully for a couple of years to treat my depression, anxiety and physical pain from type II bipolar disorder and back pain. I continue to use Kratom while taking up healthy practices of prayer, mindfulness, exercising self control and personal ethics. All of these things used together help me to maintain a calm mind and satisfied sense of being.

        Of course due to the near impossibility of doing ANYTHING when depressed, in pain and anxiety ridden, it was difficult finding a way to incorporate prayer and mindfulness. But, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. After a long while of pharmaceutical medications, attending counseling and therapy services, my state of mind became stagnant and dissonant. Once I began using Kratom, I was able to Identify the crippling traits of my mental illness and I began to utilize the extra dimension Kratom provided and use that as a new scope from which to live. The scope of relief! I chose my actions according to a deeper and more genuine understanding of myself. Without the “fog brain” pharmaceuticals gave me, I was able to live a normal life and now work 3 jobs on top of teaching yoga.

        I found Kratom three years ago after I had began searching for natural and safe ways to address my physical pain. This, as I understand is a side effect of bipolar disorder and depression. My medication schedule was so oppressive. So many side effects and the amount of time took to get the therapeutic dosages, it was draining and most of the time unsuccessful. I finally gave up all prescription medication and spiraled into a 6 year period of alcohol and drug abuse.

        When I first found Kratom, I immediately noticed minimizing effects of cognitive dissonance, the absence of anxiety attacks and the impact of depressive obsession. With Kratom, I began to slowly, but surely, turn around to more frequent and longer sustained times of clarity, calmness, and satisfactory pain relief regardless of any difficult condition.

        The presence of clarity and pain relief that accompanies Kratom use, allows this extra mental space, and physical ability to go to work and function as a happy, healthy individual. Kratom reinforces the element of self-control, or “doing what I think is right” (personal morals), and contributes to work ethic which builds resolve and a more solid sense of ability.

        I am a daughter and a soon to be wife. My family depends on my being well to take care of them, to provide. Certainly I can do it without Kratom. Certainly I can live my life without successful treatment of my illnesses. People do it all the time, every day- even now. But, to be robbed of a benign plant with so many safe properties (that has all but cured my mental illness and made my physical pain completely manageable) is inhumane and torturous! I will live and manage, but it will be in pain and with much suffering. I am being sent back to medications that don’t work, or work for short periods. And, soon to follow that, another guessing game at dosage and timing and WHICH medication. With their side effects and their abuse potential and their monthly follow-ups and their co-payments. I have to go back to all that? This is equivalent to taking insulin away form a diabetic or refusing a by-pass surgery to a heart patient. Is it not?

        Kratom is absolutely, without a doubt, the best natural intervention I have stumbled across. I am extremely grateful to have had it.

        Kratom, with its alkaloids, needs to have some conclusive studies done, SOON, to verify that this IS a promising plant and has endless potential. Kratom, with its alkaloids, is scaring the FDA. Allowing the DEA to schedule Kratom as a Schedule 1 substance is extreme and unnecessary. Scheduling Kratom this way prevents science to study it’s effects in a medical setting. This is overreach is terrible and harmful to most of society. It is undemocratic. It is a thievery of basic human rights.

        Please step in and stop this perversion of what this country was founded and built. Freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

        There is currently a petition to the Whitehouse that has yielded over 60K signatures in 7 days. We the people deserve to be heard, but the DEA claims there is no reason for public comment.

        Please help us get the word out about this amazing plant, it helped me with my mental illness but countless people use this tea for chronic pain, lupus, endometriosis, PTSD and a myriad of other health concerns.

        Thank you for your time and energy

      • Where does Opium come from? Who would have thought? Boom!

        Jan 9, 2015 Opium Production in Afghanistan Sets Record – America Soldiers Helping Heroin Production

        http://youtu.be/FIkLYlaZ6kY

      • Afghan Vet

        I’d like offer my own story, as I am STILL ALIVE because of Kratom. When I came back from Afghanistan and my reserve unit demobilized, the anxiety I found reintegrating back into civilian society was crippling. I drank myself to sleep most nights. Then I began to drink during the day. My marriage and civilian job were on downward spirals as was everything in my life. VA called it PTSD and their psych meds made things worse and added a layer of fog to my brain. I’ve never felt more dead. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t love I couldn’t do anything. Then I found Kratom. It was like night and day; I never felt more alive! Fast forward several years, with almost daily Kratom use – I saved my marriage and we now have 3 beautiful children. They are alive because I survived; our marriage survived. Although the battle against depression and anxiety never truly ends, I am winning. I’ve been winning since Kratom. My career took off. I support my family with an amazing job that I worked very hard for. I have not had a drink in 3 years. 3 years. Considering the person I was, that in itself is a miracle. I am a high functioning, extremely productive adult; I am an active father and am still serving our Country. In my civilian job, while not in law enforcement, I assist law enforcement on a wide range of cases including human trafficking, terrorism and organized crime. Does this sound like the work of a drug addict? Every morning I have a scoop of Kratom and a cup of coffee. Every morning I drop my kids at school and go to work to “fight the bad guys”, as I tell my son. Now DEA wants to make me one of the bad guys??? For choosing not to accept anxiety and PTSD? For choosing a naturally occurring supplement over synthesized chemicals made in a lab at Big Pharma? I keep reading about a Florida mom who attributes her boy’s suicide to Kratom. My heart goes out to any parent that loses a child. As a father I can not imagine a life without my children. But to blame Kratom? On the contrary I’m willing to bet that Kratom gave this boy the little hope he may have had. Every year thousands of young people being treated for depression choose to end their lives. Sometimes nothing is enough. On the contrary, every year thousands of people are driven to suicide BECAUSE OF medications like SSRIs, SNRIs and other chemicals prescribed to treat mental health problems. A ban on kratom will not solve this. I fear it will lead to many more of our sons and daughters being lost to suicide, opiates and heroin. Kratom was the last bit of hope for many, myself included. What will become of us? I remember times in Afghanistan where I was scared for my life, but they pale in comparison to this. If there is one positive I can take away from this, it’s the realization that I’m not alone. Thousands of others, my fellow “Kratomites”, took their lives back from pain, depression, addiction and anxiety. I never knew all of you were out there. Although we’ve never met, I feel you are all just as much my brothers and sisters as those I had the honor of serving with. I hope there is some intervention in this. I hope the petition gets a response. I hope that we will continue to have hope. While any life lost, especially a young life, is a tragedy, the worst tragedy would be all the lives that stand to be lost by a ban on Kratom. All the hope that Kratom brought, all the victories over physical and/or mental pain and/or addiction, all the children who live and breathe today because somewhere, sometime their parent/parents were able to take their lives back – we should not stand to lose that. America should not stand to lose all those people who have worked so hard to be the best version of themselves. That would be the worst tragedy of all.

        • Sea Stories

          Thanks for sharing and welcome back to the land of the living! I’m truly happy for you and your family that your life got turned around and is back on track again.

      • Sea Stories

        Interesting that the DEA is making this decision without supporting information from the FDA, the organization tasked with, well, administering food and drugs. So how did the DEA determine that this plant is dangerous to human safety if the FDA didn’t tell them? Have they carried out extensive scientific research to arrive at this decision? If not, that would be the cart leading the horse.

        The obviousness of money running every facet of our lives has gone from semi-hidden to full in-your-face over the last few decades. I wonder how much more of their $hit they think we’ll take before we follow those incredible words of wisdom from JFK about peaceful/violent revolution. If it were up to me, I’d have had my friggin’ pitchfork bloodied a long time ago.

      • Thank you for taking the time to do the proper research and for getting the facts straight when it comes to this plant. We are in the midst of a horrible upswing of overdoses related to heroin that is laced with elephant tranquilizers and Fentanyl which is killing many more people than ever before. I shudder to think how many lives will be lost to overdose and suicide if this ban is allowed to move forward. We desperately need President Obama to step in and do something about these tyrant bullies. They are not medical professionals and should not be allowed to make medical decisions for the general public. This isn’t bath salts or spice we’re talking about, even though kratom is often incorrectly lumped in with those substances, which are labeled Novel Psychoactive Substances. I wish the federal government would realize that prohibition does not solve the problem of addiction and it makes the lives of Chronic Pain patients almost intolerable. We (Chronic Pain Patients) are collateral damage of the failed War on Drugs. Nixon began this mess with an Executive Order and now someone needs to step up to the plate and speak out and tell them to back off for once. They (DEA) did this with Tramadol back in 2014. I had been prescribed Tramadol for chronic pain and had been taking it for two years when they scheduled it, which made it impossible for doctors in Florida to prescribe. Now everyone is forced into a pain management program and treated like dirt. I’m not understanding why the United States gov. thinks it’s ok to FORCE us into the Western Medicine protocol. We want the freedom to explore alternatives to costly doctor visits that last for *maybe* five minutes. We’re then given a piece of paper with a prescription drug on it and told to take this medicine. We are continually asked to believe the lie that “FDA approved drugs” are the only things we’re allowed to use to treat our own pain. And that’s just the thing. It’s MY pain. Not YOUR pain. Not the GOVERNMENT”S pain. Not the DOCTOR’S pain. It’s MY pain. My body! My right! I feel like if the Supreme Court could rule in favor of Roe in the Roe v. Wade case, and give a woman the right to kill an unborn child in the womb, then by God I should have the right to put ANY substance I so choose into MY body. MY BODY, MY RIGHT!