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Kratom Ban: Comment Period for Herbal Opioid Alternative Closes Dec. 1

Image: Kratom Ban: Comment Period for Herbal Opioid Alternative Closes Dec. 1

The deadline for the public to comment on a potential kratom ban ends Thursday. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016 02:10 PM

The DEA will soon decide on a kratom ban, classifying the herbal substance as a Schedule 1 drug, following the close of a public comment period Dec. 1.

When the DEA proposed making kratom a Schedule 1 substance, effectively banning it from use in the U.S., users were quick to protest and succeeded in getting more time for consideration before a ban would take place.

The ban on kratom is being considered because two of its main compounds, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, are psychoactive and bind to some of the same receptors as opioids. Because of these similarities, kratom has been used by millions as a painkiller and a treatment for opioid addiction since it doesn’t appear to cause the same physical dependence as opioids, Forbes reported.

The ban, initially set to start Sept. 30, would have been temporary. However, opponents of the ban say kratom does not fit the Schedule 1 criteria of being an "imminent hazard to public safety" and helps people become less dependent on opioids, which are more dangerous and even deadly.

The numbers seem to back up the protesters: In 2014-2016, more than 29,000 people died from opioid overdoses. The number who died due to kratom was only 15, and all but one of them also had other drugs in their system at the time, Forbes reported.

The DEA did report poison control centers received 660 calls related to kratom exposure, but in the same time period 55,622 phone calls were made about opioid exposure.

According to Wired, more than 11,000 comments have been received so far regarding a kratom ban.

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The DEA will soon decide on a kratom ban, classifying the herbal substance as a Schedule 1 drug, following the close of a public comment period Dec. 1.
kratom, ban, comment, period
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2016-10-30
Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016 02:10 PM
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