Kratom: An Update on Proposed Regulations

The proposed ban of Kratom, a Southeast Asian plant based drug, by the DEA has recently sparked a lot of controversy. The news of the proposed regulations came as a shock to many consumers of the drug who use it to manage pain. Many kratom users expressed their outrage at the proposed emergency ban of the drug publicly, which has resulted in the DEA reversing their proposal.


The DEA first proposed adding kratom as a schedule I drug, a category that also includes heroin, mescaline, marijuana, and MDMA, among others. This category is reserved for drugs deemed to have a high risk of addiction and no accepted medical use.


What caused the DEA’s complete turn around regarding their decision to ban kratom? In essence, outcry from the public and the scientific community. As previously stated, kratom is used by many to manage chronic pain. It has also been used to help ease opioid withdrawal symptoms during addiction recovery. Researchers are also looking at the drug’s potential to create better and safer pain management drugs that don’t have the dangerous side effects of current pain management drugs like morphine and oxycodone. Because of this, the DEA received many emails and letters that revealed what the public thought about their proposed ban. The topic was also trending on social media.
The DEA is granting a 6-week period to hear concerns about the drug. After the 6-week period, the FDA will evaluate kratom’s potential for medical use, which could take years. For now, kratom is still available legally in the United States.