Kratom: Safe Supplement or Dangerous Drug?

Playing Kratom: Safe Supplement or Dangerous Drug?

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Is kratom a safe supplement that can help you free yourself from prescription pain pills or is it a dangerous drug?

Many claim that the supplement is a cure for chronic pain, anxiety, and PTSD. The drug, which is widely used in parts of Asia for many years, is now more readily available in the U.S. in smoke shops and online. Some use the supplement to replace opioids and for heroin addiction. Initially, kratom was banned by federal drug regulators after a reported rise in hospitalizations connected to the supplement, which drew protests and outrage from kratom proponents. The ban was lifted by the DEA and is now legal in the majority of the country.

But is kratom – which none of The Doctors has previously heard of – actually safe?

We have assembled a panel of people for and against the merits of the supplement with documentary filmmaker Chris Bell, American Kratom Association founder Susan Ash, surgeon Dr. Murray Holcomb, who are all proponents of the supplement. We also welcome kratom opponents, Daniel Fabricant from the Natural Product Association, addiction specialist Paul Auchterlonie and addiction specialist Ken Seeley from A&E’s “Intervention.”

More on Kratom: Understanding the Controversy

While many of the proponents of kratom have had positive experiences, Chris’ chronic pain was relieved and Dr. Holcomb believes it helped his son with his depression and anxiety, both addiction specialists on the panel say they have seen many patients use kratom to get high and later had to detox from the supplement. They also worry how it’s readily available and not regulated by the FDA.

The Doctors also note that there is no dosage amount currently listed for the supplement, which could pose a serious risk. They also question the claims the supplement is making regarding the treatment of pain and mental health issues.

More on Kratom: What You Should Know Before Taking

While both sides of the argument have strong views about kratom, ultimately all sides of the supplement debate and The Doctors are for further studies and findings regarding the controversial substance. The Doctors stress that kratom can potentially be dangerous and should not be taken by children.

Is there a path forward for both sides when it comes to kratom? Watch the video below for more on the passionate kratom debate and find out what the proponents and opponents of the supplement would like to see happen in the future.