Former DEA Agent Speaks Out On Kratom

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Because of my work in the military and the DEA, I suffer migraines, nightmares, headaches; sometimes I can't sleep for two weeks at a time.

The worst moments are when I wake up screaming, remembering the fear I felt when we would go in on a raid and knowing that could be my last moment and I would never see my family again.

With 23 years in the military and working for eight years for the DEA, I've experienced a lot of real-life nightmares. I was injured and suffered a concussion during a raid, hitting my head on an airplane, which triggered depression and anxiety which I tried to cover up by drinking. I was even considering suicide the last four years of my service, but I kept it quiet because we all know what happens to a person who admits they just want to end their suffering.

My work for the DEA was with drug interactions. I would infiltrate groups and blend in. At that time, I was on Wellbutrin, Zoloft--I can't remember all the different types of drugs. I would refuse anything like Perlexin or Haldol. They made me too loopy and, with my job, I had to be on my toes. Drug smugglers are not a real good combination with those drugs. They slow down your reaction time and cloud your thinking.

I never heard of Kratom until 2014. I was going through therapy for drinking. It was a girl I was dating who told me about Kratom and kava. I had left the DEA in 2006. 

So, how I coped from 2006 to 2014 was I drank a lot, took pain pills, and dabbled in a few holistic items, cannabis and mushrooms. How I didn't get caught, I have no idea; but I stayed away from the hard stuff. My job was to take down sellers, not to become their customer. Toward the end of my tenure at the DEA, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was inoperable. I've had two brain aneurysms, and one of them was removed. I began getting terrible headaches, but not normal headaches; these were cluster headaches that come and go.

I have had a total of six brain surgeries since the doctors found the brain tumors in 2008. I was prescribed Neurontin and Lortab after I built a resistance to Naco. It was so bad, I couldn't even tell when I took a pain pill. They just didn't work on me, so I suffered.

I had my first surgery in 2000 and, then, I had another surgery the next year. Between those operations, I developed a dependence on pain medications. I had to have pain medications just to function and, when the cluster headaches got diagnosed and I was diagnosed with epilepsy, that's when I really got depressed. I was prescribed Dilantin, keppra, phenobarutol, vimpat. I felt like the government was testing drugs on me and I was their guinea pig. That went on for years.

Imitrex shots, oxygen, coffee, Kratom, that was my daily routine. Then Keppra, vimpat, fiorecet, but a doctor would prescribe me one drug and, then, my insurance would tell me that it's not covered. This was a vicious cycle in my medical treatment.

For a while, I had a friend who was a pharmaceutical representative. When he ran across some of these drugs, he picked some up for me; but now, he's retired.

When you have somebody doing surgery on your brain and you're wide awake, you can only imagine the nightmares that I live with. They kept asking me my name over and over. The last time, they said they wanted to do surgery on my brain. I said I was done--I can't handle any more surgeries, not just the physical recovery, but the emotional trauma it put me through.

Working for the DEA, you can't come to work drunk; but a lot of them were alcoholics. Some of them were hard-asses others were just assholes all the way around. Some were good guys for the most part. I worked directly with the higher-ups, but the pencil pushers were pretty much jerks. They mostly wanted the dealers that were messing around with the school-age kids; but, basically, everybody I worked with at the DEA were just ordinary people wanting to protect Americans from dangerous drugs.

Some of the things that I did notice working for the DEA were that cocaine does not always go to the controller room where all the cameras are. I've seen some crazy stuff. I used to have photogenic memory but, since the seizures, my memory is not what it used to be. I couldn't even remember my phone number after the seizures started. For the most part, everybody I worked with in the DEA moved on to other jobs, companies, and even other countries. So I just got out--retired, old.

I've been honored with awards during my time, both military and DEA. A few of them, you have to wear on your uniform. I'm not bragging, but I was really good at my job. Where most men couldn't even get close, I was always right on the inside. I was instrumental in protecting Americans from the actual dangerous drugs in our country.

Now at the ripe old age of 60, aside from the cluster headaches, seizures and nightmares, and because of Kratom, I lead a pretty good life. I get so angry with the DEA and FDA. I served our country working as a DEA agent, and I know the drugs that are killing Americans. Kratom is not one of them. I was an insider. I know what wars we should be fighting and Kratom is not an herb we should be banning. It's an herb we should be embracing.

My story is quite vague and I'm sure the audience understands that, working for the DEA, you make enemies; so I'm going to only share details about how Kratom has helped me because I don't want to wake up and have some old jail bait at my door with a pistol. I'm considered a bad plant to some druggies. I don't think I've changed my appearance that much. I just don't want any surprises. I've been to jail with drug dealers and they have confided in me about stuff that I could write a movie about. I have a journal in a safety deposit box with a list of names in case something ever happened to me. If they ruled it suicide, nobody would question it. That list is my insurance.

My message for the DEA: I know you're not all assholes; you're just doing your job. But as one of your own, Kratom is not dangerous. You need to read the science and follow the money. I've worked side-by-side with you and you already know how to find the truth; so I'm asking you, as a former DEA agent, to follow the money.

When I take Kratom, it gives me a better quality of life. It doesn't make me high. It doesn't mess me up. And I have been in the drug busts, taken down dealers putting heroin and other illicit drugs I don't know on the street for youth to become addicted to. Kratom is not the plant to fight. I implore you to follow the money, do what you do best, and investigate who is behind pushing a ban on Kratom because it's not for the welfare of America, it's for the welfare of the elite, Big Pharma, and their partners. Until then, I will continue to take my Kratom and hope my health holds up for the day my brothers at the DEA realize that Kratom saves lives, not takes lives.