- People might not know what happened to my big brother, Caleb Jonathan Sturgis, but that’s what I’m here to tell you about today.
- Caleb was the kind of person to stay up all night feeling guilty, because he couldn’t stand to go to sleep knowing that someone might be hurt or upset. Caleb loved the idea of happiness—he never wanted to see anyone otherwise. Caleb was too spirited and too caring; laughing so hard, smiling so big, and teasing everybody so much ever since he was just a baby. He often would walk up to random strangers in the mall telling them how awesome they looked that day, or how nice their hair was, then seeing how that person’s face lit up... Caleb did not want to lose that light in life. After all, he was raised by a family to have a strong independent voice, and he wasn’t afraid to use it. So, being independent, he started doing research to see if there were any better substitutes for coffee, especially without the caffeine crash and cranky jitters, which he dreaded... even though coffee’s side effects are mild compared to what he had found to substitute for coffee.
- There is a “safe, natural herbal supplement” on the black market called Kratom, or “Mitragyna Speciosa,” which is banned in several countries from being sold without strict and medical regulations. Some conceal the dangers of Kratom by swearing that this is another type of tea since it actually comes from the coffee family. This Asian plant, Kratom, acts similar to an Opioid, hence, playing a big role in the ongoing Opioid epidemic health crisis happening in the United States... Kratom users and unlicensed doctors across the world claim that Kratom help addicts recovering from symptoms of substance abuse, people with body pains, that it can replace coffee for its energy potential, and the list goes on (similar to any other fake drug trying to be introduced in the United States, really). The quality of up-to-date research studies conducted on Kratom is so poor that these studies cannot be included in the science on regulations for Kratom by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). There are many reasons why this drug has not been approved by the FDA… the side effects of Kratom are so severe that they include nausea, seizures, coma, impaired memory function, and even death. Those are only some of the listed side effects found in the very few credible research studies done on Kratom.
- These false claims forced Caleb’s life to come to an end. 25 years. Far too short. He still had many things to do in life. Work. Pay bills. Adopt a dog. Get married. Have kids. Take care of his parents when they become old. Grow old. I, as Caleb’s little sister, dreamt about teasing him for these things. Now I can’t. The word, “natural,” has been played around with so much in marketing, it places a price on something as priceless as life.
- Articles have been released to the public about my big brother, Caleb, and news reporters have started doing their own research about the death of Caleb. What truly disappointed me and broke my heart was the fact that some are trying to come up with their own theories and made up false assumptions, with absolutely no evidence, that Caleb was secretly doing other drugs on top of Kratom making it fatal for him… Little do they know, Caleb was sober. Caleb and I were best friends; we knew every single thing about each other, from A to Z. Caleb showed absolutely zero interest in alcohol or smoking or anything you can think of. He was too afraid to! He had a terrible, terrifying experience with those in his teenage years (just like any other curious teenager in the world), to the point where he refused to touch a sip of alcohol or a cigarette again after his teenage years going into his twenties. He eventually gave everything up and stuck with only coffee when he started his career. He also did not believe in energy pills, powders, or any of these silly products featured in infomercials. That is why he was desperate to find a natural solution that would not put his health at risk and help him stay awake. Caleb believed that Kratom was harmless, that it was safe, so he kept taking it, because he did not think there was anything wrong with Kratom.
- At least thirteen countries, six states, and several localities already have banned Kratom outright. These who support Kratom, and do not agree with the idea of regulations on Kratom, or possibly ban, do not realize the severity of the side effects nor do they have the courage to understand that people who are against Kratom... simply don’t want to see another life removed from this world over something like Kratom. Kratom should have not been introduced to the United States in the first place. There are over seven billion people on this planet and we have been doing absolutely fine without Kratom for thousands of years. Come on, we have enough drugs in our country! We need to be searching for drug-free solutions. My big brother had to pay with his life for the greed... Everyone may be fighting their own battles, but at least they have a shot at living again. Caleb cannot come back. We will have to accept that fact and live with that for the rest of our lives. Over Kratom. Never use vulnerability or ignorance against people to market something that isn’t researched or even heard of by most doctors in the world. Kratom is not safe.
- The unfinished business. The wondering. The suffering. Theren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe this never-ending sorrow. There is no going back for Caleb and his family. He was deeply loved by everyone who had watched him grow up from a boy to a strong and handsome spirited man. His little brother, (REDACTED), age 18; little and older sisters, (REDACTED), age 24, (REDACTED), age 27; parents of Caleb, (REDACTED) and (REDACTED); boyfriend of Caleb, (REDACTED), age 28; grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and many others. If you happen to already know what Kratom is and you are afraid for someone’s future, or want to discuss it with someone in confidentiality without making any drastic decisions that could forever change your life…. There are a few options that can be taken--call the National Poison Control Center at the phone number, (800) 222-1222, the Addiction Resource at (888) 459-5511 for any treatment and/or information related to Kratom... or if you would like to look up your local poison center for immediate attention, you can do it at the following link here: https://www.aapcc.org/centers/… (for more information on the drug, Kratom, links can be found in the comment below).
- Before it is too late. Please, do not let there be any more lives torn from this world.
- Side disclaimer: Do not attempt to quit Kratom immediately without reaching out for help as doing so can have dangerous, or even fatal, side effects on your body. Seek for help from a medical consultation first.
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