HealthDay News — The US Drug Enforcement Administration has discontinued their move to ban kratom, a plant that experts say could help battle the nation’s opioid epidemic, as they try to bow to public pressures.

Kratom is a plant from southeast Asia that contains a number of substances that trigger effects similar to opiates when consumed. Some people claim that kratom helped them overcome opiate and alcohol addiction and to treat chronic pain. 

In a preliminary document posted to the Federal Register on Thursday, the DEA announced withdrawal of its notice of intent to ban kratom and said it needs to obtain more research, the Washington Post reported.

Researchers say kratom may help them develop non-addictive alternatives to opioids, but that a DEA ban on kratom would hinder those efforts, the Post reported. A number of US lawmakers have also opposed the DEA’s move to ban kratom.

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The DEA will accept public comment on krakom until December 1st of this year and asked the US Food and Drug Administration to expedite a “scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation” for the active chemical compounds in kratom, the Post reported. After the public comment period closes, the DEA could impose different levels of regulation on kratom or leave it unregulated.


“Withdrawal Of Notice Of Intent To Temporarily Place Mitragynine And 7-Hydroxymitragynine Into Schedule I”. Federal Register. Updated October 13, 2016. Available at: documents/2016/10/13/2016-24659/withdrawal-of-notice-of-intent-to-temporarily-place-mitragynine-and-7-hydroxy mitragynine-into. Accessed October 14, 2016.

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