There are drugs that have been approved by the FDA is help relieve the symptoms of opioid addiction like Naltrexone, buprenorphine, and methadone. Over time, what someone can think is good for society can turn out to be a bad thing after lives are lost. On February 6th, the FDA declare the herb Kratom as an opioid which brought about controversy to those who take it for opioid addiction and recreationally.

Kratom is known as an herb that relieves pain from depression, anxiety, and to combat opioid addiction. Ironically, what was thought to change the opioid receptors of opioids was declared an opioid by the FDA. Kratom can induce the same effects on the brain as morphine and has addictive qualities. The DEA says it produces stimulant and sedative effects with possible psychotic symptoms. It has been documented that there were 44 cases where kratom killed people. FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said that kratom should not be used to treat medical conditions or as an alternative to prescription opioids.

Last August, kratom was a Schedule I drug, the same category as heroin, LSD, marijuana, and ecstasy but was withdrawn after outcry and petitions. Some would argue that kratom is safe since it is a plant-based product but then again, so is heroin. There have been no safety or efficiency tests for kratom before it was being sold. There have been a lot of cases with kratom was mixed with other substances like chemicals taken out of inhalers and over-the-counter cold and flu drugs. Federal agents have taken kratom from retailers but there is still wide online retailers that agents are unclear what to do about. There have also been reports of an outbreak of salmonella infections that are tied to products with kratom.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 28 people in twenty states were infected by salmonella and eleven were hospitalized after consuming kratom in pills, powder, or tea. Tacoma local Leah Staub is a grassroots advocate for kratom as she uses it to help her with anxiety. She believes that kratom should not be banned and that more research should be done to further explore the safety of the herb and it will only make the black market more dangerous. More tests need to be done as the safety of the people taking kratom should be the first priority over the effects that kratom brings.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.