Local reaction to DEA announcement on Kratom - Tucson News Now

Local reaction to DEA announcement on Kratom

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Drug Enforcement Agency announced Kratom will be considered a Schedule 1 drug starting September 30. 

The DEA is banning the substance, calling it an "imminent hazard to public safety."  

The DEA said Kratom is a Schedule 1 controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act due to its high potential for abuse, no current accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S. and lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. 

Kratom is currently legal, and is used by some individuals with long term pain, or to help people who have stopped using opioids. 

Anna Caffarel is the owner of Tucson Kratom. She said during the the past six years, she has seen many customers use Kratom for long-term pain and even use it to overcome opioid addiction. 

"I work with a lot of people who are in recovery from opiates and when I heard about Kratom I was amazed," Caffarel said. "So many people  were able to basically able to leave their addiction, heroine, OxyCodone I mean, you could just walk away from it.

Joby De La Rosa said he was able to kick his opioid addiction by using Kratom. 

"People don't have to worry about me overdosing anymore. There's not fear from my friends or my family or my loved ones at all," De La Rosa said. 

The DEA said Kratom can be abused for its ability to produce opioid-like effects. 

The American Association of Poison Control centers identified two exposures Kratom between 2000 and 2005.  Between 2010 and 2015, the number of calls related to Kratom exposures was 660. 

Locally, Arizona Poison Control said they have received seven calls related to Kratom since January 2015. 

The DEA reported they are aware of 15 deaths related to Kratom between 2014 and 2016. 

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