Opioid “alternative” kratom actually contains opioids, FDA says


Source: CBS News

Kratom capsules are displayed in a 2017 photo.

Mary Esch / AP

WASHINGTON — U.S. health authorities say the herbal supplement kratom, which is often promoted as a natural alternative pain remedy, actually contains the same chemicals found in opioids, the addictive family of drugs at the center of a national addiction crisis. The Food and Drug Administration analysis, published Tuesday, makes it more likely that kratom could be banned by the federal government.

The FDA also said it has identified 44 reports of death involving kratom since 2011, up from 36 reported in November.

Sold in various capsules and powders, kratom has gained popularity in the U.S. as a treatment for pain, anxiety and drug dependence. Proponents argue that the substance is safer than opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, which have contributed to an


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