Kratom, a Southeast Asian plant known for its opiate-like effects, may put users at risk of addiction and even death, the US Food and Drug Administration said in a public health advisory today. The drug has been rising in popularity as an opioid alternative.
Kratom, which has been consumed in Southeast Asia for centuries, binds to the same opioid receptor as morphine — so it can treat pain. Some chemists figure it’s a promising starting point for new, less addictive painkillers. But it’s currently taken as a recreational drug, with its users saying it treats anxiety, depression and opioid withdrawal. These anecdotal reports aren’t the same as real medical research — and more is needed to determine the plant’s medical benefits. “At a time…
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Author: Alessandra Potenza
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