by Jay Syrmopoulos, The Free Thought Project:
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) moved to ban the popular pain relief supplement kratom by temporarily placing it on the Schedule 1 list, which denotes “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” – the most restrictive classification under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
A notice of intent to classify kratom was placed on the Federal Register on August 31, with plans to temporarily categorize the supplement as a Schedule I substance on September 30, according to a filing by the DEA:
Notice of Intent
The Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration is issuing this notice of intent to temporarily schedule the opioids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which are the main active constituents of the plant kratom, into schedule I pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of the Controlled Substances Act. This action is based on a finding by the Administrator that the placement of these opioids into schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. Any final order will impose the administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions and regulatory controls applicable to schedule I controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act on the manufacture, distribution, possession, importation, and exportation of, and research and conduct of instructional activities of these opioids.
One of the major problems with this contention is the fact that Kratom is used by many people suffering from opioid addiction to successfully recover from severe physical and psychological dependence on pharmaceutical opioids, such as Oxycontin, and heroin.
According to a report by David Kroll in Forbes:
Various forms of kratom and teas made from the plant’s leaves are sold in cafes and on the internet. Their primary effect is to provide a short-lived peaceful and calm feeling that is described as pleasant. Consistent with this effect being opioid-like, anecdotal reports indicate that some users have used kratom to successfully recover from physical and psychological dependence on prescription opioids and heroin. Comments on my last report on kratom have also indicated the successful use of teas made from the plant in managing chronic pain without the side effects and addictive potential of prescription opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine.
The DEA seems to be clearly ignoring the latest in scientific literature. In just the last two months, peer-reviewed research has revealed that kratom could potentially be a much safer alternative to deadly prescription opioids.
The latest research indicates that the main component of the herb, the alkaloid mitragynine, and its metabolite and oxidation product, 7-hydroxymitragynine, produce an effect on certain opioid receptors separate from many of the mechanisms that precipitate many opioid side effects.
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