As a responsible kratom consumer, I often cringe when I read the same regurgitated misinformation about kratom in various media outlets. However, I view it as an opportunity to educate reporters that just do not seem to exercise due diligence in the depth (or lack thereof) of their reporting. Whether by responding to the page or news outlet, or by contacting the reporter directly by email, keep in mind that, in doing so, we are acting as representatives of the kratom community as a whole. Be respectful in whatever means you choose to respond. It is important to remember that passion and emotion are subjective, and the available science we can provide is objective.
Things to remember before speaking to the media:
- Always spell check your work
- Fact check and avoid using unproven claims
- Don’t lose your cool (that passion thing can get in the way)
- When utilizing anecdotal information, identify it as such
KRATOM SCIENCE IS ON OUR SIDE:
Most frustrating are misrepresentations regarding methods of consumption, inaccurate effects, and horror stories of addiction rather than the more accurately described possibility of physical dependence that, for some, might be associated with responsible consumption. There is clarification on all of these topics (particularly the difference between addiction and physical dependence) in Dr. Henningfield’s 8 Factor Analysis. I often attach the link to this document, or make specific references (noting the source) when writing to address the misconceptions I find in articles and/or news reports. Pinney and Associates 8 Factor Analysis
Another pet peeve is the FDA’s PHASE (Public Health Assessment via Structural Evaluation) methodology, which “proves” kratom is an opioid. An opioid, by definition, is a compound that interacts with one or more of the three opioid receptors. Kratom alkaloids fall into that category, but as we know, so do compounds in cheese and chocolate! In addition, capsaicin and magnesium increase the activity of these same receptor sites in varying ways and degrees. The point is, not all opioids have the same effect, interaction, or binding mechanisms. Further research is necessary to carefully study these differences where kratom is concerned. Once laws are in place, these studies are difficult to continue.
Kratom is not a drug, nor is it a synthetic substance. Powdered leaf kratom is a safe botanical that many consume to assist with chronic pain discomfort, provide energy and focus, and may even help with some of the symptoms that can be associated with depression and anxiety, providing well-being and an improvement in quality of life in a natural way.
RESOURCES AND REFERENCE:
There are many resources available to provide information that can directly refute what an article is misrepresenting. Sharing this information as often as we can is critical to getting the right information out there, especially when our responses are directly on the page of a poorly researched article. The hope and purpose being, that those that read the inaccuracies are also exposed to science based facts (and resources) that provide a more balanced and truthful story.
There are two “Google Drive” references full of compiled studies. The documents range from comprehensive to complex and in such variety that you can easily select topics that are specifically related to the article (or reporter) you want to address. Among my favorite resources for these studies and fact based articles can be found here:
The following two links are the analysis done of the FAERS (FDA Adverse Event Reporting System) report on their “kratom related deaths”. The first analysis is written by Dr. Jane Babin Ph.D., Esq., and the second one was generated by three kratom advocates (identified in the document), and is based on the data from the FAERS report. They are good resources that provide the information that is often missing in the stories regarding “kratom related deaths”:
Lastly, American Kratom Association has great scientific reference material on their website under the “Science”, and “Media” tabs to utilize in your efforts to get reporters back on track.
Kratom is misunderstood and undervalued. It is imperative that we push the media to research the topic of kratom and provide a more accurate depiction of its true potential, rather than regurgitating misinformation. It is past time to hold them accountable for what they write and say!
This information can also be utilized to contact your local and state government representatives, law enforcement agencies, State Health and Hospital Department and State Board of Pharmacy. While timing is critical (don’t want to “poke the bear”), being proactive is always important to grassroots movements. I want to be certain that those in positions of power in my area have accurate science and education, rather than the same damaging, untrue nonsense the media is providing.
Written by Amy Hendricks kratom consumer and advocate.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.