The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has reversed its plan to classify the potential opioid alternative kratom plant as a schedule 1 substance.

On August 31, the DEA had announced its intention to temporarily place mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, the primary psychoactive constituents of the plant Mitragyna speciosa, also known as kratom, into schedule 1 of the Controlled Substance Act.

Widely used recreationally in Southeast Asia, kratom has become popular in the United States in patients with chronic pain and those addicted to opioids. The drug is known for its sedative purposes and could potentially be addictive, according to some reports.

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The DEA will consider public comments, and the FDA will conduct scientific and medical evaluations and provide a scheduling recommendation regarding mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

All public comments must be received by December 1, 2016.


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  2. Rosenberg C. Withdrawal of notice of intent to temporarily place Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine into Schedule I. Fed Regist. October 13, 2016.
  3. Singh D, Müller CP, Vicknasingam BK. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) dependence, withdrawal symptoms and craving in regular users. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014;139:132-137. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.03.017.
  4. Schwarz A. Kratom, an addict’s alternative, is found to be addictive itself. New York Times. January 2, 2016.
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drug Facts–Kratom. Accessed October 26, 2016.