IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY TO VOICE YOUR OPINION TO THE GOVERNMENT!
The New South Wales government has opened up a Special Commission of Inquiry surrounding the highly addictive and destructive drug methamphetamine, aka “Ice.” The Special Commission will investigate the nature, prevalence and impact of the drug in NSW, in order to better address this issue. To learn more about this Special Commission of Inquiry, click here.
The Special Commission invites people and organisations to share information, experience or views relevant to the issue, which will then be further investigated. Investigation will include research, requests for more information, and public hearings in Sydney and New South Wales.
This is an important opportunity to discuss an issue that has affected many of us, especially addressing the need for more information and regulation on the currently-illegal substances that have the potential to mitigate this issue, such as Kratom.
I’ve included my submission below, and if you feel so compelled I encourage you to share your opinions and experiences as well. The submissions close on May 7th, so make sure to do so ASAP! Make your submission here: https://www.iceinquiry.nsw.gov.au/make-your-submission/
To whom it may concern:
Firstly I wish to congratulate the commission for holding this necessary inquiry.
My name is Raymond Walter Thorpe and I am director of the Happy Herb Company Pty. Ltd.
My whole purpose for initially establishing the Happy Herb Company was to offer legal and safe alternatives to drugs of harm and addiction. I must say we have been quite successful in getting people off substances from nicotine to methamphetamine.
A chemist in New Zealand was intrigued by our mission of promoting alternatives to drugs of abuse. He himself was addicted to the drug ‘ice.’ But when he lost a very close friend to methamphetamine, he was inspired to do some research and testing.
He subsequently produced benzylpiperazine (BZP) and successfully weaned himself off methamphetamine.
He introduced the product to me and I too soon discovered that people who were addicted to ice were overcoming their addiction. BZP was legal at the time and we were promoting it in our 50 stores around Australia and overseas. We found that while nobody became addicted to BZP, it was very effective in getting people off their addiction to ice.
Unfortunately because it was not regulated, BZP was taken over by the criminal elements in New Zealand, who made the dosage stronger in pills etc and it was subsequently restricted by our Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to S9 ie not even available for research purposes!
This is a great pity, because at the time the abuse of methamphetamine was escalating all around Australia. We knew there was a product that could help people get off ice, but because of its restriction, were unable to broadcast this knowledge.
In contrast, expensive and for-profit rehabilitation centres who are operating to assist those with addictions, unfortunately with little tangible success.
We actually found that people who used the BZP to wean off their addiction to methamphetamine were virtually 100% successful. In a 2006 study using addicted rats, researchers found that BZP can substiute for methamphetamine as it produces similar effects in the brain, but it is one-tenth as potent and produces correspondingly weaker addictive effects (Brennan, 2006) making it safer and easier to stop.
Sadly we had to cease trading in that product because of its illegality in Australia.
Then we discovered another product, Mitragyna speciosa (Kratom).
We were excited about this natural product’s potential to replace BZP in order to help people get off methamphetamines. Paradoxically, Kratom also helps people with opiate addiction, another emerging scourge on our society.
Unfortunately the TGA restricted this product to S9 too, before it even hit our shores.
For your interest, I visited one of my stores in America, where Kratom is still legal, and a young man shared with me that by keeping Kratom on our shelves in San Diego, "Happy Herb Company had saved [his] family, life, job, and health...it saved [him] from methamphetamine."
Unfortunately, it is also banned in Australia as S9 - not subject to research.
Of course I have felt very frustrated knowing that these two substances can assist in controlling the scourge of the drug ‘ice’. But to date there are no other real solutions.
I really believe that these two substances, if regulated and made available only on prescription will solve most of the problems that both ice and opiate addictions are causing in our society.
The Happy Herb Co Pty. Ltd.