The FDA Warns Against Using Kratom

Kratom is Just as Addictive as Abused Opioids 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has once again weighed in on kratom, an herbal supplement some have said can help relieve pain and withdrawal symptoms from opioid use. And the verdict of the FDA continues to be negative.

According to a Gizmodo report, the FDA found that most of the top 25 compounds in kratom had a similar chemical structure to opioids like morphine. The model suggested these compounds bind to mu opioid receptors in the brain, much like controlled opioid drugs available today. The FDA also cited reports of people dying following kratom use as a reason to further discourage people away from it.

In a statement by an FDA representative, the scientific evidence the FDA evaluated provides a clear picture of the biologic effect of kratom. The FDA believes that kratom should not be used to treat medical conditions, nor should it be used as an alternative to prescription opioids.

Advocates have been less than receptive to the FDA’s claims. The American Kratom Association, which estimates that 3 to 5 million Americans use or have used kratom, blasted the FDA’s use of a computer model as an “unprecedented abuse of science” that flies in the face of available research showing that kratom doesn’t seem to be as addictive as abused opioids or as likely to cause overdose symptoms like slowed or stopped breathing.

In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) attempted to regulate kratom by temporarily placing on its list of controlled substances as Schedule I drugs, which would have effectively banned it from being legally used or studied. But it quickly delayed its plan following outcry from supporters and even lawmakers. Since then, the DEA has asked for agencies like the FDA to speed-up their own reviews of the evidence in order to inform a final decision. At this point, it’s still unclear when such a decision may come. But given the FDA’s renewed stance, it’s unlikely to be good news for those who advocate use of kratom.

Article Source: Gizmodo

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