Linda and Robin’s presentation was very moving and eye-opening. I truly admire the strength, frankness, and inspiration that Linda shared with us. This presentation was one of the most heart-wrenching experiences I’ve ever had to sit through. At the same time, I learned so much from Robin’s presentation. Prior to this, I had never heard about Kava bars or Kratom. I found this very valuable to my career as a therapist because I feel that when it comes to substance abuse there are so many new things that are being scientifically created and therefore evading laws. One thing that I learned from this experience is the importance of keeping up with the “latest trends” in the context of substance abuse.
Robin and Linda's presentation was a powerful I learned about krava bars and kratom, two things I have never heard of before. Their presentation and experience made the substance more real. Linda's experience was heart breaking, no mom should ever have to go through that pain of losing a son or daughter and yet she is being strong for her son. It must take a lot of courage and strength for her to get up and share her sons story. It takes someone strong as Linda to make a difference. I think what she is doing great and like she said it helps her as well to share his story and keeps him alive in spirit.
As for the guest speakers, it was interesting to learn about Kratom, as it is a drug that I have never heard of. Linda’s story was difficult to hear but just proves how strong someone can be. I do not have family members (that I know of) who are addicts but I have friends who are and it is just as hurtful. Her story is a reminder of how important it is that we consider loved ones of those who are struggling with addiction. It is also a reminder that addiction is everywhere. Even the most successful person can experience it, at some point, so there is no way to judge what a “typical addict” looks like. It is important that we, as clinicians, listen to client’s stories and remain curious because if addiction exists in their lives, we can be of help.
I thought that Linda Mautner and Robin Akdeniz's presentation was fantastic. It was very informative for me because I had never heard of the drug Kratom before. I was not even aware of what a Kava bar was until the presentation. It is so scary to think that an innocent teenager or a naive person like me could walk into a Kava bar and be exposed to a powerful and addictive drug like Kratom. I could have just as easily became addicted to a substance like Kratom much like Linda's son was. Linda was very brave. I am so proud that she was able to be open and honest about her experiences and educate others about addiction and about her life as an addict. I personally do not think that I would want to speak about my experiences in front of an entire class and also disclose what I disclosed in therapy. I thought that Linda's story was inspiring and made me want to help people who suffer from addiction even more. I really appreciate what Linda has done in her community and I hope that she is able to have peace one day. Thank you, Robin, for educating us on a legal evil!
As I listened to your presentation, I found it fascinating, as I had never heard of this particular drug. But as I listened to Linda’s presentation, I realized that the use of kratom, which seems to be rapidly becoming an epidemic, is truly frightening. I could not shake my emotions last Wednesday evening after class, so I decided to call both of my sons to ask them if they had ever heard of the drug. I was surprised to discover that my younger son, age 22, is familiar (perhaps too familiar?) with kratom. He told me that it is easily purchased in head shops, some convenience stores, and definitely online. He also was aware that the drug is legal, and that it is becoming almost as prevalent as smoking hooka. He had no idea of the severity of the side effects. He basically said, “…it’s better than being arrested for underage drinking or possession of weed.” I was very disturbed by his answer to my questions, and I immediately insisted that he google Ian’s story. I would like to thank both you and Linda for an informative and compelling presentation, one that literally may have saved my son’s life or the lives of his friends.