Tom Segura is a super famous stand up comedian. He has four Netflix specials and he’s currently on a massive world tour called “I’m Coming Everywhere“. Segura recently published his first book, I’d Like to Play Alone, Please.
“I took some kratom and I was just fucking geeked out of my mind!” said Segura on episode 664 of his popular podcast, Your Mom’s House, that he co-hosts with his wife, comedian Christina Pazsitzky.
This reaction may be confusing to consumers of moderate doses of plain leaf kratom. The reason is, Tom didn’t follow proto. Instead of starting with one teaspoon of plain leaf (which we recommend), Comedian Tom Segura decided that his starting dose of kratom would be an entire shot of strong liquid extract. Now there’s a cool guy! Most liquid extract vendors recommend starting with one or two drops.
Perhaps Segura is going from zero to 90 on kratom due to bad influence from his best friend, Burt “The Machine” Chrysler, the fattest and drunkest party animal in comedy since Chris Farley. The Machine only drank one beer in his life, insisted there was no alcohol in it, and permanently switched to drinking warm hard liquor directly from the bottle, chased by the occasional half gallon of Kool-Aid, often spiked with MDMA by his friend Artie Schafer.
“Get the liquid kind!” said Tom to his guest, comedian Andrew Santino, who is Italian but also a ginger. “There’s pills too, but it’s the liquid that’s what’s up!”
As a science resource, we must insist that there is in fact, alcohol in beer, and there are, in fact, alkaloids in plain leaf powder kratom, often packed into capsules.
Segura again brought up kratom on episode #669 of Your Mom’s House to his guest, comedian Johnny Pemberton.
“I gotta get some Kratom going today,” said Segura. He went on to explain that he takes a “vial” of kratom 2 to 3 times a week before a workout.
“How do you decide when to take it?” asked Pemberton.
“I just feel like getting geeked out today,” Segura replied. “Go in there with a little extra juice.”
Segura then proceeded to do what every kratom beginner has done: sift through a bunch of bullshit about kratom on the internet. Segura is so successful he’s able to hire a full time assistant to Google for him, Nadav, known for his patented “Slow Method” of Googling.
“Is it addictive?” asked Segura.
“Isn’t everything though?” replied Pemberton.
Nadav the Googler found the website of a multi-million dollar rehabilitation company called Eleanor Health. The article, “How Addictive is Kratom?” does not cite sources, but for a for-profit rehab website, the information is mostly accurate. However, the author does exaggerate negative side effects, and even lists some for which there is no sound science, such as: “bone pain”, “delusions”, and “hallucinations”, a claim Kratom Science has debunked. The article also lists symptoms of physical dependence as being the same as addiction.
We recognize that people can become physically dependent on kratom (see our Tolerance and Tapering page). Physical dependence is when “the body adapts to the drug, requiring more of it to achieve a certain effect (tolerance) and eliciting drug-specific physical or mental symptoms if drug use is abruptly ceased (withdrawal)” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). We recognize that some people can become addicted to kratom. But physical dependence and addiction aren’t the same thing. Addiction is a psychological disorder faced by a tiny minority of people who use drugs or engage in pleasurable behaviors, defined by NIDA as “compulsive drug use despite harmful consequences”. If negative consequences aren’t associated with drug use, even if someone is physically dependent, then there is no addiction. Physician Dr. Gabor Mate, journalist Johann Hari, and neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart have all articulated the science showing the primary source of addiction is not drugs, but some form of psychological disorder from trauma due to abuse or socioeconomic factors. Addictions to gambling, shopping, sex, exercise, and video games also occur. Most people who use drugs, have sex, shop, gamble, exercise, or play video games are not addicted to these behaviors.
There’s a chance Segura will develop physical dependence to kratom if he keeps taking Fedsmoker-level doses of extract and increases his intake from three to seven days a week. But Segura doesn’t seem to be prone to addiction. After breaking his arm and rupturing his knee trying to slam dunk a basketball in late 2020, Segura did not develop an addiction to pain medication, as far as we can tell. However Tom should be aware that mixing kratom with many medications, especially pain meds, may slow the metabolism of those medications, which is why most “kratom-related deaths” have involved fentanyl. Segura did overdose on GHB (the “date rape drug”) when he was in college, which may demonstrate a penchant for over-consuming weird drugs that nobody really knows about, though it’s extremely difficult to suffer side effects other than nausea from overdosing on kratom alone.
We recommend that his friend Burt Chrysler stay as far away from kratom as possible, since it doesn’t mix well with alcohol, hard drugs, or Winston Churchill breakfasts.