Citing 36 deaths, the Food and Drug Administration chief warned consumers Tuesday not to use the herbal supplement kratom to ease opioid withdrawal and announce plans to step its regulatory oversight to combat the opioid epidemic. The FDA public health advisory on kratom follows the Drug Enforcement Administration’s reversal or at least delay of plans to classify kratom as a controlled substance on the same level as heroin and LSD. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the FDA plans to

work with the DEA to determine how kratom should be classified. Kratom, a plant grown naturally in countries including Thailand and Malaysia, is widely sold in smoke shops and other locations as a powder that can be used in tea to slow the effects of opioid withdrawal. But it has addictive properties of its own, FDA says. public health advisory related to the FDA’s mounting concerns regarding risks associated with the use of kratom. READ MORE