A global fight looms over Kratom, a possible opioid alternative

The U.S. government has twice tried to classify kratom as a controlled substance, but public outcry and pushback from Congress thwarted those efforts
Politico (US)
Saturday, October 9, 2021

kratom capsulesA World Health Organization meeting could determine the future of kratom, a widely available herbal supplement some tout as an alternative to opioid painkillers. Kratom, a plant indigenous to Southeast Asia, produces narcotic-like effects. Advocates say the substance is a promising replacement for opioids that could help wean people addicted to those drugs, which killed nearly 70,000 people in the U.S. in 2020. The WHO's drug dependence committee will conduct a "pre-review" of kratom. Kratom advocates suggest Washington a attempts to end run the federal regulatory process by taking the international route to finish what it could not accomplish domestically. (See also: Kratom: the creation of a threat: A policy commentary on the WHO pre-review of kratom)