FDA: Herbal supplement may have opioid effect - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

FDA: Herbal supplement may have opioid effect

The FDA has a new warning for a popular herbal supplement used to treat pain. (Source: CNN) The FDA has a new warning for a popular herbal supplement used to treat pain. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - The Food and Drug Administration has issued a new warning about the popular herbal supplement Kratom.

Kratom may have the same effect on the body as opioids, according to the FDA.

Kratom has been used around the world for centuries to help people manage pain and opium withdrawal.

The FDA’s research reports Kratom has been linked to 44 deaths. However, critics said the research is flawed, noting some of the victims were mixing it with other drugs.

But a handful of scientists who work with the plant believe the herb is beneficial.

"We definitely believe that this could be a solution to, or part of the solution to, the opioid crisis that we're currently in," Christopher R. McCurdy said.

According to the CDC, on average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

In 2016, opioids were responsible for more than 42,000 deaths.

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