The Life-and-Death Fight Over Pain Reliever Kratom

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration told 24 Hour News 8 it will “soon determine whether to place kratom under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I drugs, like heroin and LSD, have no medically accepted use and high potential for abuse.

“I honestly don’t know what I’ll do if it’s made illegal,” Amber Hitsman told Target 8 from the living room of her Spring Lake home.

Hitsman, 30, has been taking kratom for a year and a half to relieve severe back pain caused by a degenerative disc disease.

The American Kratom Association says kratom has helped millions of Americans manage their overall health and well-being. Part of the coffee family, it can produce a mild euphoric or stimulant effect. It’s used to ease anxiety, depression and pain, and it comes in multiple forms, including capsules, tea and powder.

In November 2017, the Food and Drug Administration issued a public health advisory related to the FDA’s “mounting concerns regarding risks associated with the use of Kratom.”

“Evidence shows that kratom has similar effects to narcotics like opioids, and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and in some cases, death,” the advisory read in part. “Thus, it’s not surprising that often kratom is taken recreationally by users for its euphoric effects. At a time when we have hit a critical point in the opioid epidemic, the increasing use of kratom as an alternative or adjunct to opioid use is extremely concerning.”

Read the full story at Wood TV

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