Fighting meth addiction with hard drugs

21 September 2013
In the media

Thailand's justice minister believes "kratom," a leafy jungle stimulant, can help users kick their habi.

Published at
Salon

The legal status of kratom is now under review in Thailand. “There’s never been a single death associated with kratom,” said Pascal Tanguay, a program director with the Thailand offices of PSI, a Washington DC-based global health organization that promotes harm reduction among drug users. “People have been chewing this for thousands of years with no cases of overdose, psychosis, murder, violent crime. Never in all of recorded history.”

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The 4×100 brew is a mixture of boiled kratom leaves, Coca-Cola and cheap cough syrup. Tanguay, who tried it while investigating kratom use for the Transnational Institute, said 4×100 brings on heavy drowsiness.

“Chewing the leaf made me feel like I’d had two cups of coffee,” he said. “Drinking the tea mixed with cough syrup put me to sleep very quickly. It was three in the afternoon … and I had difficulty keeping my eyes open.”

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