Kratom is a herb that has been in widespread use in Southeast Asia for centuries; it is chewed for to increase stamina, induce gentle euphoria and relaxation, and it has also been used with unheard-of success to help people kick their addictions to opioid painkillers. Read the rest
Kratom is an herbal supplement that's become popular in recent years in the United States. Kratom users say taking capsules of the powdered herb helps with social anxiety, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder. On Tuesday, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that it intends to place two of kratom’s psychoactive chemicals into its list of Schedule I controlled substances, on temporary basis, citing the necessity "to
avoid an imminent hazard to public safety."
According to the DEA, substances in Schedule I "are those that have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision."
From the DEA's announcement:
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Evidence from poison control centers in the United States also shows that there is an
increase in the number of individuals abusing kratom, which contains the main active
alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. As such, there has been a steady
increase in the reporting of kratom exposures by poison control centers. The American
Association of Poison Control Centers identified two exposures to kratom between 2000
and 2005. Additionally, the Texas Poison Center Network (TPCN), which is comprised
of six poison centers that service the State of Texas, reported 14 exposures to kratom
between January 2009 and September 2013. Between January 2010 and December 2015
U.S. poison centers received 660 calls related to kratom exposure. During this time, there
was a tenfold increase in the number of calls received, from 26 in 2010 to 263 in 2015.
Six US states have banned the sale and use of the Kratom, a psychoactive plant-derived drug from Southeast Asia that is available online and in head shops. Researchers studying kratom have found that it affects brain receptors for strong opioids.
A new study provides some data to support those states’ concerns (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b00360). A team of researchers shows for the first time that kratom’s primary constituent, mitragynine, and four related alkaloids bind to and partially activate human µ-opioid receptors (MORs), the primary targets of strong opioids in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract.
Countdown to kratom landing on the list of federally controlled substances in 3... 2... 1... Read the rest
The contents of this jar make me think of the old dinner table insult, "Do we eat it, or did we eat it?" Swell drawing, though. I wish I had hands twice the size of my head, too.
[via 10 years ago on Boing Boing] Read the rest