kratom, drug abuse, DEA, FDA, addiction

Kratom, also known as Mitragyna speciosa, is an indigenous tree in Southeast Asia. Its leaves contain mitragynine and 7-hydroxymytraginine. These components act on the brain’s opioid receptors and relieve pain. In high doses, it’s a sedative. In low to moderate doses, it’s a stimulant.

People have been using the herb for a variety of reasons. It has been used to relieve pain, instead of standard opioid medications. Others have taken it to wean themselves off opioids. Some have tried it because it’s a legal high.

Last August, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced its intentions to classify kratom as Schedule I drugs. These are substances that have no medical use and are highly addictive. The agency recently halted their plans when they received online complaints about this plan. They have asked the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assess the herb and make a recommendation. The public has until December 1 to comment on this issue.

Despite the limited time frame for public comment, its advocates, both users and researchers, are pleased with the development.

  1. October 16, 2016

    Yes, true! The DEA has withdrawn its proposal to ban kratom and temporarily suspended efforts to make it a Schedule 1 drug. The move comes after an impassioned Internet-based protest by a decentralized network of advocates and activists who contend the southeast Asian plant has tremendous medicinal value. While not a permanent ruling, the reversal is extremely unusual for the government agency, which is known for aggressive enforcement of its drug policies.

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