Why is Kratom So Controversial?

A plant used as an herbal remedy in Asia for hundreds of years, kratom is rapidly becoming the subject of controversy and conflicting opinions in the United States. Some people swear by the natural supplement’s ability to treat pain, anxiety, and even addiction. Others are concerned about its potential for abuse and negative health effects — including death.

Even governmental bodies don’t quite know what to do with it. Kratom is illegal in some states, legally regulated in others, and unregulated in others. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) temporarily banned the substance in 2016, but then reversed course a few months later. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate kratom, it has specifically warned Americans not to use it.

What Are the Uses of Kratom?

Kratom is a tropical tree in the coffee family that grows in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Its leaves contain compounds that interact with opioid receptors in the brain, resulting in pain relief and other physical and psychological effects. In small doses, kratom can act as a stimulant, increasing energy and sociability. In larger doses, it can act as a sedative and cause euphoria.

Because of these properties, kratom has become popular among some individuals as an alternative to opioids and other drugs. It is used to self-treat mood disorders, chronic pain, fatigue, cough, and diarrhea. Advocates argue that kratom should remain legal and available to those who need it. They point to the plant’s potential as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments — including opioid withdrawal — and to the lack of effective alternatives for some people.

What Are the Dangers of Kratom?

Opponents argue that kratom should be banned or strictly regulated due to its potential for abuse and harm. Precisely because of its opioid-like effects, they say the herb can cause addiction and similar withdrawal symptoms to opiates. In addition, the lack of regulation and oversight in the industry has caused concern about the purity and safety of kratom products. Recent years have seen multiple reports of kratom-related injuries and fatalities, with several kratom wrongful death lawsuits making the news in 2023.

Medical professionals and government regulators often cite the lack of scientific evidence supporting kratom’s safety and effectiveness. In fact, the Mayo Clinic says that kratom studies have yielded many safety concerns without any clear benefits. Ultimately, the legality and usefulness of kratom remain contentious issues that will likely continue into the foreseeable future.

Can I File a Kratom Lawsuit?

Multiple lawsuits in the US have been filed against kratom manufacturers and distributors for failing to warn consumers about the product’s potential health risks. Families across the country are dealing with the supplement’s harmful effects, including addiction, seizures, liver damage, and even death. If you or a loved one has been hurt by kratom, an experienced personal injury attorney can help evaluate your options.

The skilled Boston lawyers at Altman & Altman LLP can help you seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, temporary or permanent disability, and the wrongful death of a family member. And because we work on a contingency basis, we won’t charge you anything unless we collect for you. Contact us today for a free consultation on your kratom injury case.

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