Herbal Supplement Kratom Under Fire by FDA for Injury & Death Claims
While the nation battles a catastrophic opioid epidemic, a new herbal supplement has emerged as the latest controversy in the health and drug worlds. Originating from Southeast Asia, kratom has been popularized in the West as a remedy for pain, anxiety, and drug dependence. Despite users praising its supposed benefits in aiding addicts to wean off opioids, the FDA claims otherwise. Alarming statistics detail the varying consequences of kratom use, including 36 fatalities as well as a meteoric rise in calls to poison control centers.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb spoke of the ongoing scientific investigation to analyze kratom and claimed all international mail facilities destroyed their shipments. Though the supplement continues to remain legal under federal law, all forms of the plant have been banned in several states. Various instances have been documented in which users mix kratom with opioids, creating a deadly and addictive combination.
The DEA initially intended to protect the public by adding kratom to the list of illegal substances such as heroin and LSD. However, these efforts were quickly extinguished by members of Congress and a protest held at the White House by the American Kratom Association. Supporters of this substance argue against its alleged dangers and insist it offers therapeutic benefits for those dealing with opioid addiction. As of now, the public remains at risk until the FDA’s scientific review is complete.
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