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Instead, it opened a pubic comment period to react to possible scheduling. Today, kratom leaves are ground into pills and powders, and sold as a dietary supplement. At higher doses, kratom is a sedative, producing opioid-like effects that dull pain.

It has this effect because mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine -- the active ingredients in kratom -- bind to the opioid receptors in our body, said Dr.

Ed Boyer, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who has done a handful of studies on the substance.

It's about as potent as morphine, Boyer said, and "dulls pain very well.

Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than motor vehicle crashes or gun-related incidents, and more than 300,000 Americans have died of an opioid overdose since 2000....

Three factors are driving the opioid aspect of this crisis in particular.

See An overdose of fentanyl can cause breathing to stop and lead to death.

Most deaths today are caused by synthetic fentanyl analogs smuggled into the United States from China. The President directed all federal agencies to prioritize resources to fight the epidemic.

However, after a public outcry, including letters from members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the DEA withdrew its intent make it Schedule 1. "Schedule I drugs are considered to have "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." Drugs considered Schedule I include LSD, marijuana, heroin and ecstasy. Native to Southeast Asia, the kratom tree's leaves have been used for centuries as an herbal drug by laborers and farmers. "When taken at low dosages, kratom can act like a stimulant, heightening alertness.

Head shops and some health food stores carry it, even Walmart stocks Kratom.

The public must be informed and let their elected leaders know that they not only want the right to have unrestricted access to medicinal hemp but also Kratom and all other natural plant based remedies for pain and disease.

Even though it's been around for some time, the media is calling kratom a "new legal drug." A tree native to Thailand, kratom leaves are harvested and dried to create the drug, which was banned there in 1943, after people had started to use it as an opium alternative and the government realized it wasn't being taxed.

She goes on to share her experiences drinking Kratom tea at a bar called Kat 5 Kava.

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