In recent years, many have started to question the reliability of the media. Sometimes, it seems like the various news channels are biased and pushing their own hidden agendas. However, despite the uncertainty, there is typically a kernel of truth in everything reported and then the hype is layered on like icing on a cake. In this article, we will look at the reasons why the media considers kratom dangerous. You’ll have to carry out your own detective work to determine if there is any validity in what reporters are saying about the herbal supplement. Ultimately, there is no black and white so things can become a bit confusing.

1. Research is Limited

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Although kratom has been widely used for centuries throughout much of SE Asia, actual medical research carried out in the western hemisphere is limited. The lack of clinical studies makes it hard to determine with certainty the plant’s safety. With so many gray areas circling kratom, rumors start to spring up and the media latches onto them. People start guessing about what they don’t know. Just like the old saying, “talk is cheap when the story is good.” 

2 . Why the Media Considers Kratom Dangerous?: Addiction

Without a doubt,  the media considers kratom dangerous based on one crucial component, the danger of addiction. When used regularly, kratom dependence and tolerance form. However, to put kratom addiction in perspective let’s look at caffeine and sugar. Both are potentially addictive substances but almost everyone uses them.

Regular kratom use can lead to changes in the brain’s circuitry or pathways which makes the user feel happier. The reason has to do with the body’s opioid receptors located in the central nervous system which react positively with the kratom plant’s natural alkaloids. The chemical messengers in the user’s body impact mood and pleasure. Kratom users continue using the herb to gain euphoria and when they stop using it then they end up missing the feelings created with use.

In addition, extended kratom use leads to tolerance. It takes more and more of the herb to gain the same physical effects. Everyone tries to attain the sweet spot with dosage but the body starts to adapt to the alkaloids so the user has to increase their usage. However, you can avoid kratom tolerance by switching strains frequently so you are always using a different alkaloid percentage. Changing often keeps your body guessing and makes it less dependent. 

3. Possible Side Effects

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The media likes to hone in on the negatives because they make a juicy story. All medications can have side effects. Have you ever listened to an advertisement on television for the latest pharmaceutical drug? The list of side effects seems endless. They have to outline every possible side effect, no matter how rare. The same is true of kratom. The media focus on the herb’s side effects to spur an emotional response of fear in the reader or viewer because it makes for a more interesting and riveting story. 

4. Death

Almost everyone is afraid of death. The media has learned that if they want to create a front-page story then death is a sure way to capture immediate attention from the viewer or reader.  Many people die of drug overdoses. Sadly, it’s become commonplace in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2018, 67,367 people died of a drug overdose in the United States. Out of those, most were related to opioids. 

Many who are addicted to opioids regularly use kratom to try to overcome their addiction and cope with the withdrawals. Kratom appears to help. However, they often lose their battle and end up dying from a drug overdose. Unfortunately, when an autopsy is performed, kratom is often found in their system alongside opioids. Sadly, the media reports on kratom as if it killed the person and not the narcotics. Undoubtedly, they do this because a kratom overdose is rare and will grab more attention than an opioid overdose which has become all too common in the country. People become desensitized to everyday occurrences which is why the media has to take another avenue to intrigue the viewer or reader. 

5. Kratom Overdose

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Many people wonder if they can overdose on kratom.  Yes, you can overdose on kratom if you take too much of the herb or if you mix it with another drug. 

Symptoms of a kratom overdose include:

  • Lethargy
  • Breath abnormalities
  • Slurred speech
  • Listlessness 
  • Impaired motor skills 
  • Delusions/hallucinations

The media often latches onto kratom overdose stories because they are rare. Unusual things pique the interest of the media and they quickly start to sensationalize the situations. The media considers kratom dangerous when the story captures the imagination. 

6. Media Considers Kratom Dangerous Due to Its Natural Relationship

The Mitragynine Speciosa tree grows throughout much of SE Asia. Locals in the region have used kratom for centuries for its reputed holistic benefits. Nowadays, they harvest the leaves of the tree, cure them, and then pound them into a fine powder referred to as kratom. The entire process seems exotic and possibly dangerous from the viewpoint of the media. Yes, Mother Nature provides the herb but is it safe?  The media struggles to focus on the alkaloid levels found in the tree’s fibers and often reports it as a dangerous natural substance instead of a beneficial herb. 

7. Kratom as a Ban Substance

At this time period, kratom remains legal in much of the United States. However, some regions have implemented laws to make the herb illegal. The media focuses on the areas that have banned the herb. They also look at the fact that kratom remains a controlled substance in at least 16 countries such as Germany, Australia, Sweden, Thailand, and Malaysia. The fact that the herb has been banned becomes a red flag for the media to report it as a dangerous substance.

8. Poison Control Calls

The media grabs at the fact that the poison control hotline has reported a spike in kratom-related calls. Although not substantial, on occasion they do receive kratom calls when a child ingests the herb or when someone else takes too much of the plant substance. The moderate side effects make the user feel unwell and sound the alarm so they call the Poison Control Center for advice on what to do. Typically the effects of a kratom overdose are far from extreme but the media enjoys reporting on statistics without revealing the fact that people do not die from the overdoses and instead just exhibit sicknesses such as nausea and vomiting. 

Everyone likes to listen to the news or read reports but you have to always consider the source and try to figure out why the media considers kratom dangerous. A lot of rumors swirling around the herb which the media uses to build their reports. In addition, two sides exist, the good and the bad.

However, somewhere in the middle, in the fine gray area, lies the truth so the media has to uncover both sides of the story and let the public make their own decisions. You’ll encounter positive and negative reports about kratom. Researching the herb on your own is often the ideal solution. At My Kratom Club, we provide an FAQ and blog section loaded with kratom information.