FDA Declares Popular Alt-Medicine Kratom a Deadly Opioid

(From NBC News)

The Food and Drug Administration declared kratom — a plant-based stimulant with growing popularity — to be an opioid on Tuesday, opening a new front in its battle to get people to stop using the herbal supplement.

New research shows kratom acts in the brain just as other opioids do, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. And he said the agency has documented 44 cases in which kratom at least helped kill people — often otherwise healthy young people.

“Taken in total, the scientific evidence we’ve evaluated about kratom provides a clear picture of the biologic effect of this substance,” Gottlieb wrote.

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