Robert Reiter suffered through a 15 year opiate addiction that threatened his life and career. Three times, he nearly died of a heroin overdose..This dark period of Robert’s’s life came to an end when, he says, he discovered kratom and never looked back. Now he’s married and runs the family business.
Deren: When did you first learn about kratom?
Robert: I got introduced to opiates when I got my oral surgery. That was probably around 2002. And I’ve always smoked a little bit of cannabis. But I really liked the way percocet made me feel, unfortunately.
I went over to pick up some cannabis one day and my friend that I got it from had this container of these little blue pills. And I was like, “What are those?” percocet. I’ve heard that before. That’s what I got when I got for my surgery. I’m like, wow, they made me feel really good. You could probably guess where that went from there.
I used percocet for probably three or four years, and then moved onto harder stuff. Then one day, I actually didn’t have any money left, because it took all my money. That was probably somewhere around 2007. I was just Googling and found bluelight, you know, I was hurting. I’d been abusing these things. I was chasing it.
And kratom came up. I looked where I could get it. I went and bought some. I was astonished at the results of it. I never looked back, you know?
It’s just like a God-send for me. I’ve always had such an addictive personality. Kratom eliminates cravings. But I don’t chase kratom. I just need a little bit. I’m a daily user but I never chase it. I’ve had more money than I’ve ever had, because I’m not buying any oxycodone or hard drugs or anything like that. It’s just helped me out so much.
I just want people to know if they’re going through anything, just give it a shot.
Did the alcohol do that same kind of thing?
Yeah, exactly. I used them together.
It brought you out of your shell?
Yeah, for sure. If you asked people who hadn’t seen me, the people I went to high school with, they would never had thought I would ever get into alcohol like getting drunk at least two or three times a week. But I went that path.
It was taking all my money, and they were getting harder to find. I guess they cracked down on them. One day this dude that I used to get percocet 30s from went, “Hey man, I got this. Use it the same way, pretty much.” I didn’t know what I was getting myself into with any of it. No I never did it IV. I’ve never used needles.
everything I did revolved around heroin. If I didn’t have any opiates, or couldn’t drink alcohol or something, I wouldn’t go out. I was miserable. I was depressed. I was a former version of myself. Yeah. Actually I got a Xanax bar that was combined with fentanyl. And I did that, but I was also using opiates at the same time. The cop found me, and he tried to wake me up and couldn’t. He didn’t have any NARCAN or anything. But EMS got there. I woke up in the ambulance. They said, “The cop said you were dead. You were blue as a blueberry.”
That was the first time actually. The second time was more severe, the time I just told you about. Really it was one of the worst memories of my lifetime. It’s hard to even look back now. I do, just to keep my head on straight. But I just can’t believe I was so numb to the fact of what I was doing.
I’m so healthy now. I eat as healthy as possible. I drink my little bit of kratom tea or shot of extract. It makes me so happy and fulfilled in life. It just presses that little button that I have in a safe and healthy way.
Well, for me kratom is not even in the same ballpark as heroin. I get a little bit of restless legs. I still sleep good. I wanna drink a glass of it, kind of. I have a large stockpile, I could go drink a glass easily. But my mind’s like, “No, I’m taking a little break from it.” And I’m strong enough to do it. If you had pills or something like that. I’m pretty sure – at least I would not have been strong enough not to do them. When I had them, I would do them.
I was so scared after that first time i overdosed. I said I would never use it again. But, you know, a couple weeks went by, I was like, “Well, maybe I can do a little more and I’ll be okay.” That’s just how much of an addictive personality I am. It’s just the way I am. I started using again, and it happened to me again.
My fiance is the exact opposite of me. She doesn’t drink or do anything at all. But she went through this time where she was very stressed out and kind of depressed. She was like,
I don’t recommend kratom to anyone I don’t think really needs it or can’t use it as a tool. But she was like, “Can you make me one?”
I made her a low-dose one. I weigh all my kratom out on a digital scale. I know exactly what I’m taking when I take it. I made her one, and she jumped out of there. She got a lot of school work to do. She knocked it out. She was very happy. She hadn’t done it in a while now. But whenever she gets in a little funk, she’ll just ask me for some kratom tea .She knows it’s safe. Even someone without an addictive personality at all, it’s really made her life better too, in a way. She uses it as a tool whenever she’s having a rough patch in life.
I got kratom for the opiate withdrawals, and it helped me out so much. But then after that, I thought, it helped me get off of it, but I didn’t think it was going to make my life as positive as it’s made it. So I was totally clean off everything for at least six months. I had some [kratom] left over. I was using capsules at the time, and I took some. I was like, “Holy crap!” I don’t wanna do more and more and more and more. It pressed that button that I’m talking about. I did capsules for a while after that. Eventually I switched to my powder with orange juice.
I hadn’t looked back since. I haven’t bought a single street drug. I have not been blackout drunk since I started with kratom. I’ve drank a couple beers here and there. But I really don’t care about alcohol that much. I feel like I use [alcohol] as it’s intended to be used. It’s just helped me in so many areas.
Do you have a favorite strain you like to use?
Green malay is my favorite. Usually in the mornings I’ll do a white and green mix. Then at lunchtime I’ll do a straight green. And then at night time I’ll do a red.
How much do you take on an average day?
I do eight grams at a time. Some people say that’s too much. But I’ve experimented with different doses and that’s just what works for me. I never get the wobbles. I never get nauseous. That’s just how it is. It’s crazy how that works right? It gives you energy but it also eases my social anxiety at the same time.
And with the pandemic, I know a lot of people that say kratom helps your immune system. I’m not saying it would help anything, but I personally haven’t been sick in almost three or four years since I’ve used it. I used to get two or three colds a year. Now I haven’t even had a cold. I have a little bit of allergies but that’s about it. It’s got to be something there.That’s why I’m careful. I only really tell people about it who can really benefit from it. I don’t just tell everybody. I don’t want it to get too out there, but I want it to get out there enough to help people who really need help. It’s a tough situation. I know Big Pharma is trying to kill it as hard as they can. I’m scared of the bans. We’ll see how it goes, I guess.
Kratom has actually reduced my cannabis intake. When I was doing hard opiates I would want to smoke all day with them. But kratom fulfills me so much and makes me have a little bit of energy, I don’t even think about smoking hardly at all. I don’t even smoke every day anymore. I used to smoke whenever I got the chance. It’s helped me in so many ways.
Do you make a tea or do you do toss-and-wash or capsules?
I usually mix white kratom with apple juice. I can do toss-and-wash, it doesn’t bother me. But apple juice is my favorite. I enjoy the taste. People probably think that’s crazy but it tastes good to me.
I don’t get any side effects. I feel like I live a normal life now. I’m happy like a person is supposed to be. A little bit of constipation, but that’s nothing that a little Miralax wont take care of. I drink a lot of water now. It’s not bad. That’s the only side effect I could speak of, really.
Nah. I actually went to New Orleans for a week and a half for my friend’s bachelor party, and I actually forgot it. I hardly even thought about it. I was with my friends and we were having a great time. If I was all by myself, I would’ve been like, I wish I had a drink of kratom. But it’s not addictive like that. I got a little bit of restless legs, but it’s hardly enough to notice. For me, personally. I don’t know other people’s experience.
Start taking just a little kratom to make you feel better. Then after you get through that, stop everything don’t go back to your dealer. Go the safe way. Get a little more white vein kratom. Take that. If it works for you like it worked for me, it just presses that button. You’ll feel great, and hopefully you won’t crave [opiates] any more, and you’ll live a happy life. A fulfilled life. And you’re not always chasing, worried about getting this and that.
Kratom is so much more affordable than heroin or pain killers, so much safer, so much cleaner, so much better for you. Just give it a chance if you’re going through it. It really does work. People think cause it’s legal, it’s no good or something. But it really does work. Please give it a chance if you’re hurting.