Published on July 22nd, 20190
Despite this, kratom has not been approved by the FDA as safe and effective for any medicinal purpose, which the agency says puts patients at greater risk of addiction, overdose and death. In recent months the FDA has cracked down on sellers of kratom products that market the substance with unproven health claims.
- “Kratom is used for energy, to increase attention/focus, to relax, and also to treat pain and addiction. Here is just some of what our customers have used kratom to treat … Chronic Pain, Migraines, Opiate Addiction, ADHD/ADD, Anxiety, Depression, Arthritis, Insomnia and much more!”
- “Red Vein Kratom … is generally used for it’s [sic] sedation and pain killing effects. It’s better for treating pain & for relaxation.”
- “Greens … are great for ADHD and depression …”
Among the Kratom NC products named in the letter were Red Indo Powder, Green Bali Powder, White Indo Powder and Gold Bali Powder. (The FDA followed up the warning letter with an alert urging consumers not to use the company’s products, after lab tests by the agency found them to be contaminated.)
As of February 2018, the FDA had identified 44 reported deaths associated with the use of kratom. (Less severe side effects linked to the substance include dizziness and drowsiness.) The Center on Addiction, meanwhile, notes that kratom is listed as a controlled substance in 16 countries including Australia, Germany and Malaysia (the herb is indigenous to Southeast Asia), and banned in several states including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
While it’s tempting to seek alternative treatments as calls for Big Pharma to be held responsible for the opioid crisis grow louder, it’s important to remember that marketing supplements as having the ability to treat, cure, alleviate the symptoms of, or prevent developing diseases and disorders is simply not permitted by law. If a supplement really could do all that, then it would be a drug subject to rigorous study and testing to gain FDA approval.
If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, you can search for local treatment centers here.
Find more of our coverage on addiction here.
Only drugs can be marketed as having the ability to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent or mitigate a disease, and the only way for a product to gain legit drug status is by getting FDA approval, which means any product that doesn’t get FDA approval can’t say it has the ability to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent or mitigate a disease.