Response to Kratom Designation Shocks DEA


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
The DEA clearly didn't know what they were dealing with when they proposed that Kratom be made illegal and a Schedule 1 substance - an addictive plant without medical value. Over 130,000 signatures have been produced for White House petition! What an incredible response....

One person said

“I’m the one in pain. The people making these laws, they’re not the ones going through this pain; they’re not the ones whose families have broken up,” she said. “I found life and I have no intention of letting it go.”

People have uploaded hundreds of videos talking about why they drink or swallow kratom pills — veterans coping with PTSD, recovering alcoholics, people with fibromyalgia. A petition on to keep it legal has more than 118,000 signatures.

Even the DEA has been hammered with calls, says spokesman Melvin Patterson. “The response has been unexpected,” he said. “People calling us in opposition of our plan to temporarily schedule kratom as a Schedule I, due to it not having a medicinal use.”

Patterson says the move to schedule kratom come out of a concern for public safety. Between January 2010 and December 2015, U.S. poison control centers received 660 calls related to kratom, he says.

In Texas, there have only been 17 kratom calls so far this year, but Kristina Domanski, with the North Texas Poison Center, says the numbers are creeping up.

“Most people obtain this online,” Domanski said. “Because this is not necessarily legal or regulated, you don’t know what you’re buying, there’s no quality control, it’s not a supplement [that’s] regulated. You don’t know what you’re buying, so there’s a risk that it’s not kratom; it could be mixed with something else.”

The DEA attributed 15 deaths to kratom between 2014 and 2016. Critics call it a legal heroin, ripe for abuse and addiction.

The science behind kratom is still evolving.

Pharmacologist Kroll said it is going overboard to classify this plant as a dangerous drug. “Kratom being lumped in with other opioids is both unfair and unscientific,” he said. “It glosses over the subtleties of how the main chemical in kratom actually works.”

That chemical is mitragynine. It binds to some of the same receptors in the brain as opioids, providing some pain relief and feelings of euphoria, but, Kroll said, not the same high. And the chemical doesn’t cause the same, sometimes deadly, side effects as opioids, such as respiratory depression.

“It turns out mitragynine has a very low risk of respiratory depression,” Kroll said. “It also appears that it’s very difficult to get mice addicted to ‘mitra’ — either with the herb or with the pure chemic


Well-Known Member
Good article by Mercola on Kratom... Below is part of the article...

Has DEA Squashed a Plant That May Reduce Pain and Aid Opioid Withdrawal?

Opioids have a strong physical addiction component that makes withdrawal painful and sometimes life-threatening. A plant from Southeast Asia, called kratom, has been used by some addicts to self-treat withdrawal symptoms. Almost as quickly as it came to the attention of researchers looking for an alternative pain reliever without the side effects, the DEA made it a Schedule I drug. The ban takes effect September 30, 2016.30

This move has frustrated some researchers who believe, from initial testing prior to the ruling by the DEA, that kratom may hold the key to a non-addictive painkiller or even a route for treating addiction. They found the ingredients activated just the pain relief receptors and not the secondary receptors responsible for the deadly side effects from opioids, such as respiratory depression.31

Although also addictive in nature, kratom effectively treats withdrawal symptoms from heroin without life-threatening side effects, and has been useful in treating chronic pain without the potentially lethal effects of opioid overdoses.32 The CDC lists minor side effects, including headache and nausea.33

Forbes contributor David Kroll cast doubt on how the DEA framed the ban on kratom as a solution to the opioid public health emergency and was quoted in the Mint Press News, saying:

"As an example of the risks of kratom, the DEA cites a CDC study published this summer that counted 660 poison control calls during a five-year period from 2010 to 2015 on behalf of people suffering untoward reactions to the herb or teas made from the plant material. To put kratom risks in perspective, poison control centers received 6,843 reports of young children ingesting single-load laundry pods in just the first seven months of 2016."

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