Politics

Kratom will remain legal for days, possibly longer

“The ban would eliminate a substantial harm-reduction option for recovering addicts of other substances… and once stockpiled supplies dry up, people will buy more on the black market without being able to hold vendors accountable for what’s in the product.”

Susan Ash, founder of the American Kratom Association, estimates that 60 percent of kratom users have no history of addiction and instead use the plant as a non-pharmaceutical option for pain relief, mood improvement or an energy boost. Ash repeatedly has stressed that many people recovering from addictions to other substances, herself included, aren’t sure what they would do without the product, which they insist does not cause a high or the life-inhibiting effects of their formerly abused drugs. Some kratom users have reported that it can be addictive and that cessation can result in withdrawal symptoms – though many also insist they never have felt the grasp of addiction or negative symptoms when abruptly stopping use. Among those campaigning to keep kratom legal are scientists such as Andrew Kruegel, an associate research scientist at Columbia University. He says as part of research that needed to be completed before the ban takes effect, he was boiling in alcohol his stash of kratom to convert it into non-scheduled analogs of the two compounds the DEA specifically is prohibiting, effectively banning the plant: mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Kreugel told U.S. News research suggests the two compounds result in different effects than traditionally abused opioids, appearing only to be partial agonists of the mu opioid receptor – with a ceiling effect regardless of dose – and that they also appear to be biased agonists, meaning they activate what is called the G protein pathway but not a separate opioid pathway associated with constipation and respiratory depression, a primary cause of overdose deaths.

Original Article (US News):
Kratom will remain legal for days, possibly longer
Artwork Fair Use: ThorPorre

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