The move was presaged by a communication on kratom issued in early May. In making this formal, temporary placement on the list, DEA said it must consider the following:
“To find that placing a substance temporarily into schedule I of the CSA is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety, the Administrator is required to consider three of the eight factors set forth in section 201(c) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(c): the substance's history and current pattern of abuse; the scope, duration and significance of abuse; and what, if any, risk there is to the public health.”
Dan Fabricant, PhD, executive director of teh Natural Products Association, was known to be critical of the marketing of kratom as a dietary supplement during his time as the director of FDA’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs (now elevated to an ‘office’). Fabricant said the news of DEA’s scheduling of kratom is welcome, but question will be the pressure of the bite, not the loudness of the bark.
“Kratom has been a public health target for almost five years, and its surging growth in use and availability is an unfortunate but real example of the federal government’s unwillingness to use existing authorities to enforce the law. This is a necessary and welcome step, but unless it is followed with real enforcement and penalties for those who are selling it in coffee bars, on the internet, and elsewhere, it will be toothless,” Fabricant said.
“Kratom is not an herbal supplement: it is addictive, harmful, and worse, it may be contributing to America’s opiate epidemic. We are eager to work with the authorities and our members to help turn the tide against kratom,” he said.