People who believe in the herb kratom say that it offers relief from anxiety, pain and depression. Scientists say that the herb may hold the key to helping people kick addiction to opioid medications and treat chronic pain. The Drug Enforcement Agency says that is an imminent hazard to public safety.

Last month, the DEA made an announcement that it would be including kratom on the Schedule 1 list, right alongside LSD, ecstasy and marijuana. But why?

According to the DEA, kratom has no current medical use and a high potential of abuse. Proponents of the herb are outraged. People have rallied in front of the White House as a result of the announcement, and a petition circulated garnered 124,000 signatures.

Among those attempting to reverse the decision are research scientists. While arguments are being held, people who currently use the herb are rushing out to purchase as much as they can before it becomes illegal.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom has been used for centuries to relieve pain. A tropical tree found in Southeast Asia, kratom can be eaten raw, but it more typically crushed and put in capsules or brewed as a tea.

When taken in low doses, the herb is a natural stimulant. In large doses, kratom acts as a sedative. According to the CDC, there were multiple cases of non-life threatening symptoms requiring some form of treatment between the years of 2010 and 2015. The DEA says there have been at least 15 deaths caused by an overdose of the herb between 2014 and 2016.

What’s Next?

There is currently no official discussion between the DEA and anyone else to reverse the decision to classify the herb as a schedule 1 substance. The decision is temporary. The agency will work in conjunction with the FDA for the next three years in an attempt to make the decision a permanent one.

If you or a loved one has been accused of a drug crime in Orlando or the surrounding area, call our office. A member of our team will review the details of your case at no cost to you and advise you of your options. Call today or browse our website for more information about our firm.

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