I had never heard of Kratom until a few weeks ago. I was working out with my friend and he told me that he doesn’t take pre workout, he takes an herb called Kratom. Later that day I learned that Kratom is not a well known drug but has many benefits. Kratom is a tree that primarily grows in Southeast Asia, whos leaves can be used for multiple benefits. The most common uses in the United States are for recovering heroin and painkiller addicts, pain relief, and at small doses can be used to boost performance during strenuous activities. If Kratom is such a useful drug, why did the Drug Enforcement Agency decide to ban it this month?
On August 30th, 2016 the DEA announced that Kratom will no longer be legal in the United States as of September 30th. Kratom will be classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act. This means Kratom will be grouped with other hard drugs such as Opium, Acid, and Heroin. The DEA’s reasoning for this is because people who us Kratom at high prolonged doses may become physically addicted to the drug. Short term effects from abusing Kratom include sweating, blushing, loss of coordination and causes your pupils to shrink. Long term use can lead to anorexia and psychosis. One of Kratom’s active ingredients is mitragynine which at a high dose can give users the feeling of being high from opiates. Mitragynine is different from other drugs because it binds to different opiod receptors than most common opiates. The mu receptors when targeted with drugs like Morphine and Heroin help release a numbing feeling of euphoria, while mitragynine binds to delta opiod receptors which improves your mood and reduces pain. Users often need to up the doses of Kratom to maintain the same effectiveness of the drug from when they originally started which could lead up to a physical abuse. There have only been fifteen deaths related to Kratom.
Kratom has many benefits if it is not mistreated, and should atleast be sold through perscriptions. At roughly $1.75 per dose of 5 grams Kratom is a much cheaper and safer alternative than other perscription painkillers.
First picture: http://omaha.legalexaminer.com/fda-prescription-drugs/beware-of-imported-kratom-leaf/
Second picture: http://wiat.com/2015/06/08/addiction-in-a-bottle-liquid-kratom-available-in-at-gas-stations-in-birmingham/