On November 14th the FDA attacked a community of users of a botanical supplement called kratom (Mitragyna speciosa). Kratom is used as an alternative to traditional opioids in the management of chronic pain and by manner former addicts in staying clean. This is the latest attempt by the federal government to interfere in patient self-care.
The leaves of the herb kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), a native of Southeast Asia in the coffee family, are used to relieve pain and improve mood as an alternative to traditional opioids. There is an abundance of anecdotal reporting online by users who say kratom helped them kick heroin and other hard drugs. Ongoing research at the University of Mississippi is studying kratom as an alternative to opioid replacement therapy drugs like methadone. Despite this promising research the plant has come under fire from both the DEA and more recently the FDA.
While many states are pushing ahead with the legalization of marijuana, kratom strangely, is under attack. In the case of both plants advocates that they are safer alternatives to the synthetic opioids currently approved by the FDA. The Washington Post went as far as to call the ban proposed “insane.”
What is not known at this time is how the latest barrage from the FDA will affect current kratom consumers. The American Kratom Association, a kratom consumers advocacy group, is currently marshalling its resources to fight any new attempt at banning the herb. It is hard to hear this call to arms though the current news media focus on pushback against the Trump administration's efforts to roll back Net Neutrality rules. If you are interested in learning more about kratom and how to help this community of consumers stay safe please read the full list of scientific studies on kratom and here to take action.