Herbal Supplement Kratom Contains Opioids, FDA Says - NBC4 Washington
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Herbal Supplement Kratom Contains Opioids, FDA Says

Though still legal, FDA inspectors have been seizing and destroying kratom shipments at international mail facilities for months

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    NEWSLETTERS

    FDA Ramps Up Warning About Kratom

    NBC 6's Dan Krauth reports on the U.S. FDA's newest determinations on kratom, which it calls addictive and dangerous.

    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018)

    U.S. health authorities say an herbal supplement promoted as an alternative pain remedy contains the same chemicals found in opioids, the addictive family of drugs at the center of a national addiction crisis.

    The Food and Drug Administration analysis, published Tuesday, makes it more likely that the supplement, kratom, could be banned by the federal government.

    The FDA also said it has identified 44 reports of death involving kratom since 2011, up from 36 reported in November.

    Sold in various capsules and powders, kratom has gained popularity in the U.S. as a treatment for pain, anxiety and drug dependence. Proponents argue that the substance is safer than opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, which have contributed to an epidemic of drug abuse. More than 63,000 Americans died in 2016 from drug overdoses, mostly from opioids.

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    [NATL] Avalanche Buries Unknown Number of People in NM

    Ski Patrol and first responders are working to rescue an unknown number of skiers buried in an avalanche at Taos Ski Resort in New Mexico

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

    FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb reiterated that there are no FDA-approved medical uses for kratom, which is derived from a plant native to Southeast Asia.

    "Claiming that kratom is benign because it's 'just a plant' is shortsighted and dangerous," Gottlieb said in a statement. "It's an opioid. And it's an opioid that's associated with novel risks because of the variability in how it's being formulated, sold and used recreationally."

    FDA scientists analyzed the 25 most common chemical compounds in kratom and concluded that they behave like those found in opioids including morphine.

    Kratom remains legal under federal law. But FDA inspectors have been seizing and destroying shipments at international mail facilities for months.

    The FDA has submitted its review to the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is considering whether to place kratom in the same category of illegal drugs as heroin and LSD. The agency was poised to take that step in the summer of 2016, but delayed a decision after a flood of public complaints, including a letter signed by 62 members of Congress and a protest at the White House by kratom supporters.

    There is no timeframe for the DEA's final decision.

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    [NATL] Iowa Man Gets "Jackpot Treatment" for $1 Lotto Ticket Win

    An Iowa man got the "Jackpot treatment" after winning $1 off a scratch-off lotto ticket. Tyler Heep decided to cash in the winning ticket at the Iowa Lottery Headquarters and was presented with a big check for his win. Heep spent his winnings on a gallon of gas.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)