Kratom: All about the controversy

Proponents of Kratom say the herb can help with chronic pain and opioid withdrawal. Critics criticize the potential for addiction to the supplements. There's not much science to support either side.

Should the substance known as kratom be banned?

Kratom is a plant native to Southeast Asia. It has been used for centuries as a painkiller and recreational drug. Click on this link for more information According to the American Kratom Association, an industry and advocacy group for kratom, between three and five million people in the United States currently use kratom. And many of them for pain relief, mood enhancement and even drug withdrawal symptoms. Federal regulators and drug enforcement officials say there is little evidence that kratom is effective for any of these uses and that it can be a dangerous and addictive substance.

Polemic over kratom ban and drug planning

In August 2016, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) decided to classify two psychoactive chemicals in kratom as Schedule 1 drugs after kratom use was linked to a handful of deaths.

What is or the truth about the safety and value of Kratom?

In fact, very little is known about the safety or effectiveness of kratom. Some kratom proponents fear that criminalizing kratom will make it difficult to conduct the kind of scientific and clinical research that could help determine whether kratom might be an effective treatment, for example, for opioid withdrawal symptoms. The DEA reversed its decision in October 2016, stating that more research was needed on the safety of kratom before a decision could be made on planning for the drug.