- DEA will make kratom a Schedule I drug beginning September 30
- Schedule I drugs have "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse"
Other Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, marijuana and ecstasy.
In this week's Federal Register
, the DEA proposes designating the drug as Schedule I for up to three years. After that time, the status could be extended permanently. Up until this point, it has been considered a supplement, loosely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
What is kratom?
Native to Southeast Asia, the kratom tree's leaves have been used for centuries as an herbal drug by laborers and farmers. Today, kratom leaves are ground into pills and powders, and sold as a dietary supplement. It can be found in head shops and online. It's even made into drinks in some bars
When taken at low dosages, kratom can act like a stimulant, heightening alertness. At higher doses, kratom is a sedative, producing opioid-like effects that dull pain.