The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) decision earlier this month to make kratom a Schedule I drug is facing resistance from advocates who say they use the drug to cope with a variety of medical issues including post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism and fibromyalgia.
Kratom is a plant-based drug with opioid-like effects. Schedule I drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse and to have no currently accepted medical treatment use.
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned kratom is an emerging public health threat. Kratom can lead to psychosis, seizures and death, the CDC said.
NPR reports that people have uploaded hundreds of videos describing why they use kratom pills. A petition on WhiteHouse.gov to keep kratom legal had more than 123,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.