Pew Urges Improved Regulatory Framework for Controversial Dietary Supplement

Pew submitted comments in December 2016 to the Drug Enforcement Agency in response to its deliberations over whether to classify the dietary supplement kratom as a schedule 1 substance, a drug with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Many consumers use kratom to mitigate opioid withdrawal symptoms, despite a lack of evidence that it is safe and effective and instructions for how to use it. This is especially problematic because opioid dependence is a potentially deadly disease for which there are approved medical therapies. Pew suggests that the DEA and the Food and Drug Administration work together to ensure that consumers have safe and effective treatments and understand how to use them.