The FDA recently re-issued an alert that agents, effective immediately, will detain any imports or supplements that contain kratom. The alert says that the “FDA has seen an increase in the number of shipments of dietary supplements and bulk dietary ingredients that are, or contain kratom…”, also known as Mitragyna speciosa and a variety of other names depending on the region.
What is Kratom?
Kratom was once used as a folk medicine to help people in Southeast Asia recover from opioid addiction and a variety of other remedies. Now, people have been using it in the US for years for that exact purpose and more. Depending on who you ask, people say it has helped them with chronic pain, inflammatory conditions, and mental health issues.
The FDA, however, has not approved the supplement for any use, and there is no evidence that it is safe to use. Some people say that when they stopped using opioids with kratom’s help, they developed a new addiction. Kratom use can escalate as a person develops a tolerance to the drug, making researchers worry it is a dangerously addictive drug.
Kratom is Controversial
Kratom is controversial because it has been credited with helping people with opioid addiction get sober. They say the drug can help alleviate many of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
The supplement is used for other purposes, including alleviating mental health symptoms such as depression and anxiety.
Some people say it’s an appropriate replacement for opioid medications they relied on as chronic pain patients.
What is the Danger of Kratom?
Aside from potential addiction issues, the FDA’s bulletin says that the substance has not yet been proven to be safely used for any purpose. The FDA has received reports of severe health impacts from the use of kratom, including severe withdrawal symptoms and hallucinations. People have also experienced trouble breathing and a variety of mental health impacts such as delusions and aggression.
For this reason, the FDA is authorized to halt the import of the drug.