Kratom, which is native to the region, is a mild sedative and pain reliever. Americans have used it to help with opioid addiction.
“Small quantities of kratom act as a stimulant like cocaine, but larger doses act similarly to opioids, like morphine and heroin.”
Almost all of those who tested positive for kratom also tested positive for other substances.
The Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act (SITSA) would give the Attorney General unilateral power to ban drugs for up to five years.
The FDA's moves to ban kratom have already slowed research into its potential as a painkiller.
There are rallies planned in almost every state this weekend.
The DEA proposed banning kratom in 2016 but backed off following massive public pressure. Instead, it asked the FDA to conduct a formal scientific evaluation.
Opioids are, by definition, compounds that interact with opioid receptors; that doesn't make them good or bad.
The green powder from Southeast Asia could help fight addiction—but is that the whole story?
The agency says the herbal supplement may not be a safe alternative for opioids.