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DEA places kratom plant onto schedule I


WASHINGTON - The Drug Enforcement Administration last week announced its intention to place the active materials in the kratom plant into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in order to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety.

“Kratom has been a public health target for almost five years, and its surging growth in use and availability is an unfortunate but real example of the federal government’s unwillingness to use existing authorities to enforce the law," stated Dan Fabricant, Natural Products Association CEO and executive director. "This is a necessary and welcome step, but unless it is followed with real enforcement and penalties for those who are selling it in coffee bars, on the internet and elsewhere, it will be toothless," he said. “Kratom is not an herbal supplement: it is addictive, harmful, and worse, it may be contributing to America’s opiate epidemic.  We are eager to work with the authorities and our members to help turn the tide against Kratom and ensure that it is seen as what the DEA says it is, a schedule I illegal narcotic that has no place in health or wellness."

Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are found in kratom, which is a tropical tree indigenous to Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, and other areas of Southeast Asia.  Kratom has been on DEA’s list of drugs and chemicals of concern for several years.

Kratom is abused for its ability to produce opioid-like effects and is often marketed as a legal alternative to controlled substances. In addition, kratom has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. These three factors constitute a Schedule I controlled substance according to the Controlled Substances Act passed by Congress in 1970.

The FDA has also warned the public not to use any products labeled as containing kratom due to concerns about toxicity and potential health impacts. In addition, FDA has issued and updated two import alerts related to kratom products.  


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