Is Kratom the Plant That Heals, or Kills? – Room for Debate – The New York Times

A kratom plant in Thailand. Agnes Dherbeys for The International Herald Tribune

As overdose deaths from opioid pain relievers soar, more people say a plant called kratom, grown largely in Thailand, and its derivatives, are alternatives to pain killers and can wean them off opiates. But others say it merely creates another form of addiction and danger.

In a highly unusual move last week, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration succumbed to criticism and reversed its decision to temporarily classify kratom’s chemical constituents in the same way as opiates. Several states, though, have already banned it.

But should kratom be legal?

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