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Does Kratom Need Tighter Regulation?

A few years ago, government agencies were debating how to handle kratom, a substance made from the leaves of a Southeast Asian tree, which was being used by millions of Americans for everything from pain relief to stress management. However, since then, efforts to regulate or ban kratom have largely fizzled.

In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced plans to make kratom a Schedule I drug, putting it in the same category as heroin and LSD. HHS initially issued a letter in support, which they later rescinded after public outcry. The DEA then changed course a few months later, though it still includes kratom in their Drugs of Abuse resource guide.

As of now, kratom is considered to be an herbal supplement and therefore falls under the FDA’s jurisdiction and is largely unregulated.

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