Kratom is an herb from Southeast Asia that is related to coffee. It has been used to treat pain and mood. It has typically been utilized by chewing an herb. It used to be used like coffee to treat fatigue.
FDA Report On Kratom
In February of 2018 the fda released more data around the deaths from kratom. They cited knowledge of 44 deaths related to kratom. The FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb has been leading the charge.
The fear cited by the FDA is that kratom has opioid components in it and it is being used by people to treat opiate withdrawal.
One reason it has been labeled as an opiate is because of high concentrations of mitragynine and 7 hydroxymitragynine which interacts with the opiate receptors like an opioid. The interactions with opioid receptors have been compared to a sensation similar to that of morphine.
It is thought that only one kratom overdose death case cited by the FDA involves use of kratom alone. All other deaths involved kratom being mixed with other substances.
Nine of the 44 kratom overdose deaths that the FDA cited were related to deaths in Sweden. The type of kratom that caused these deaths was labeled as krypton kratom.
DEA Ban On Kratom
In August of 2016 the DEA banned kratom as a schedule 1 drug. After banning kratom, the DEA retracted their emergency measure in October 2016. They wanted to wait for additional public comment.
The DEA banned kratom using the authority of the attorney general that was granted to him by the controlled substances act. From that act there is power provided to the attorney general to ban a substance temporarily on recommendation from the DEA if there is imminent harm to the public from the substance.
The DEA cites hundreds of cases between 2010 to 2015 to emergency centers where kratom was utilized alone. This is one of the reasons that the DEA chose to temporarily ban the substance.
The DEA also cited 15 deaths related to kratom as another reason for the ban. Many people are trying to understand what 15 deaths the DEA cited and if they were related to krypton kratom, but the DEA said that those deaths were separate.
Krypton kratom is a modified version of kratom. In 2010 nine people died from Krypton Kratom in Sweden. This is because it contained a synthetic opiod with O-Desmethyltramadol. Caffeine was also detected in Krypton Kratom in Sweden.
Just because krypton kratom has been causing deaths many in the kratom-taking community say that kratom should not be labeled as bad or as an opiate. There should be a ban on kratom if it is taken responsibly according to kratom advocates.
Politicians have been using krypton kratom as a reason to label kratom as an opioid and ban it.