A few states have banned kratom entirely, while others have taken a hands-off approach, leaving kratom legality to the discretion of individual retailers and Mitwellness . Other states have recognized kratom as a legitimate medicinal herb and introduced regulations to ensure the safety and quality of kratom products sold. Still, a majority of American states have not made a stance on the matter, which allows unscrupulous sellers to offer contaminated kratom to unwitting consumers. Legitimate kratom advocates have fought to prevent this, leading to the passage of kratom consumer protection acts in some states.
Kratom, Mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical plant in the coffee family that has long been used in Southeast Asia. It has been used as a stimulant, pain reliever, and mood booster. The kratom plant has two alkaloids that act like opioids in the brain, producing sedative effects at higher doses and stimulating effects at lower doses. This dual action helps many users manage chronic pain and anxiety disorders. People who use kratom also report mood lifts, focus enhancement, and energy boosts.
The kratom plant has been grown in the United States since the 1990s. Its popularity rose in recent years as a natural pain reliever and energy booster, as well as a potential treatment for opiate withdrawal. In addition to these benefits, kratom may be an effective antidepressant. However, its potential for addiction and abuse has sparked controversy, with some states banning the drug completely and others regulating it.
In response to concerns about kratom’s safety, the FDA recommended in 2016 that the DEA schedule kratom as a Schedule 1 substance, putting it in the same category as heroin and LSD. The DEA ultimately decided not to make this move after receiving significant backlash from the public and a powerful lobbying campaign by pro-kratom activists.
However, the CDC has warned that kratom is associated with 44 deaths in the US. This number includes individuals who consumed the drug along with other drugs, or ingested adulterated kratom that contained harmful substances such as salmonella.
If you have been using kratom and experience signs of dependence, you should seek medical help. A doctor can help you safely withdraw from the drug and address any underlying mental health issues that may be contributing to your substance use. Often, a full kratom addiction treatment program also includes behavioral or family therapy to explore situations that lead to drug use and provide tools to cope with cravings in the future. This support will make it easier to maintain your recovery. Contact a reputable kratom rehab to learn more about your options.