Kratom is a herbal supplement, derivative from a plant in Southeast Asia. It’s typically used as a natural pain-reliever, and it is also used in controlling addictive behaviors. However, these benefits are dwarfed by the side effects: seizures, withdrawal symptoms, and anxiety. While legal, it had the properties of opioids according to the FDA.
Susruta Majumda, a professor at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, claims that, while safer than opioids, it is a highly addictive substance. The combination of Kratom with other drugs creates a cocktail of toxicity; however, he doesn’t believe that it should be outright banned. He advocates for testing the drug in order to have a concrete evaluation on its ability to treat addiction and pain—research is a necessity in deciding whether or not to pursue it as an alternative to dangerous opioids. He believes that as long as you educate individuals on the supplement, and are able to guarantee its safety in a transparent manner, there is no reason to pursue a ban on the substance. Statistics show that the most common symptom, as 20%, was agitation. Fatal side effects were more rare, however in pregnancy it can cause addiction in children and lead to possible death of the infant.