In 2016, when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was preparing to push to make kratom illegal, they asked for public comments. Their plan was to swiftly impose a ban on the herbal supplement to ensure that it was no longer readily available for public use. However, their endeavor backfired. The response in support of Mitragynine speciosa was overwhelming.

Comments Reveal: Veterans Use Kratom and Support Keeping the Herb Legal

VA hospital expanding into Clovis - ABC30 Fresno

Veterans Use Kratom

A total of 23,116 comments were left and out of those 99.1 percent supported keeping kratom legal. Interestingly, a strong push to keep the herb legal for public use came from doctors, seniors, law enforcement, and ex-military. Interestingly, many veterans use kratom on a regular basis to cope with different issues.

The American Kratom Association (AKA) and American Coalition of Free Citizens (ACFC)took the time to carry out extensive research to find out what the comments left for the DEA said and who was in support or opposed. It was revealed that veterans left  449 comments. Out of those, 448 were in favor of kratom and only 1 was opposed. The impressive feedback clearly shows that there are reasons why so many veterans use kratom. In this article, we will explore the leading reasons so many are turning to herbal supplements.

1. Veterans Use Kratom to Overcome Illicit Drug Use

Illicit drug use has started to decrease in active duty personnel because of mandatory drug tests. However, it remains a problem with veterans. In one self-reported survey, it was found that one in five young veterans between 18 to 25 use illicit drugs.

Kratom helps many opioid addicts overcome withdrawals and clean up. The herb reacts with the body’s opioid receptors in a positive way which can reduce cravings so the user can not only get off the drugs but stay clean.

2. PTSD and Veterans

VA is critical to medicine & VAntage Point

Kratom for PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious problem with veterans. A 2017 study revealed that 12.9 percent of all veterans suffer from PTSD. This statistic is extremely high when you compare it to the general population which shows that only 6.8 percent of the general population suffer from PTSD.

Studies have revealed that kratom does benefit those with PTSD with a significant reduction in symptoms.

Symptoms of PTSD in veterans include:

  • Feeling upset over the past.
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Vivid memories
  • Inability to emotionally connect with others.
  • Feeling isolated
  • Loss of interest
  • Emotional numbness
  • Remaining constantly on guard
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Becoming startled easily
  • Showing jumpy behavior

Testimonial on Using Kratom for PTSD

In an interview with The Cut, Andrew 43, a veteran who uses kratom reveals the following about his experience with the herb and PTSD.

“I saw a psychologist who specializes in combat stress. She said I was showing every sign of PTSD. They had me on an SSRI, but I was having a lot of weird side effects. I think I had about seven actual, full-on, proper panic attacks. I probably took eight different types of medication in a year. My blood pressure would spike — change it up. Anxiety? Try this. That makes me stay awake all night — okay, try that. When I finally started sleeping, my nightmares were so severe I was ruined for the whole next day.”

A Detailed Look at Kratom Use

Andrew goes on to talk about his kratom use, “I experimented with toss and wash — you know, throw it and some juice in your mouth — and that’s when it started working. Apparently, if it’s diluted too much, it doesn’t break down very well. It was a lot of trial and error. I reached out to forums and got tips, and I would take notes and I kept a journal. I began to feel a little better.

It took a few weeks. Each morning, I would mix some into juice and drink the foul-tasting brew — like when you make green tea and don’t mix the powder properly, but 100 times worse. Sometimes I puked it back up. But once it kicked in, it was, like, night-and-day difference.”

“I take it 26 days out of the month, and then I have a four-day break to cleanse, because one of the things I learned is that the opioid receptors in your body are not just in your brain — they’re also in your digestive tract. So, to get them to bind properly, you need to have an extremely healthy, clean digestive tract.

I changed my diet a lot. The kratom is a tool in my toolbox. I get therapy, I go to PTSD groups, I do a lot of things to work on my well-being. And there are days where I wake up and I am not having any type of pain at all so that I may skip it.”

3. Veterans Use Kratom for Pain Relief

Kratom has been used for centuries for pain relief in Borneo, Thailand, Malaysia, New Guinea, and the Philippines. The first documented use of the herb to ease discomfort appeared in 1836 as an opium substitute. Traditionally, Asians would chew the leaves for their analgesic qualities. They would also drink the leaves as a bitter, alkaloid-rich tea.

Nowadays, one in five veterans reports chronic pain. Our analysis showed that veterans were about 40 percent more likely to experience severe pain than non-veterans,” stated Richard Nahin, Ph.D.

Many doctors prescribe highly addictive prescription narcotics to treat the discomfort of chronic pain but with continued use, they can start to suffer from addictions that can quickly become worse than the chronic pain. To cope, veterans use kratom. The all-natural herbal supplement often gives them the relief they seek.

4. Kratom for Depression and Anxiety

Depression among veterans is common. | VA Benefits for Depression

Coping with Depression

Depression and anxiety in veterans are common occurrences. Many have trouble communicating, getting around, self-care, and managing daily tasks as a result of the debilitating disorders. The herb kratom can bring much-needed relief.

In a 2017 study, it was shown that kratom offered a great deal of assistance in relieving depression in participants.

Self Help Methods

Veterans use kratom in combination with the following:

  • Journaling
  • Exercising
  • Going to a support group
  • Stress management
  • Meditating
  • Outdoor time
  • Healthy eating habits
  • Improved sleep

The alkaloids found in kratom – Mitragynine and 7 hydroxymitragynine effectively bind with the body’s opioid receptors which create antidepressant effects. They ease depression and feelings of anxiety. The alkaloids also appear to trigger the release of adrenergic, serotonin, and dopamine which helps to uplift the mood. Some strains are more effective than others. Veterans use kratom to gain all these positive effects so they can better cope with their emotional responses.

Certain strains often work better than others. At My Kratom Club, we sell a wide array of kratom products HERE.