Mississippi legislators have killed bills to make Kratom illegal in the state.
The largely unregulated herbal remedy is used for pain relief, according to advocates for the drug. They also say it is an alternative for opioids in relieving hard-to-treat pain and has been used to manage opioid withdrawal.
Doctors and law enforcement officers are among those who say Kratom is dangerous and addictive.
Several Mississippi counties and municipalities, mostly in the northeastern part of the state, have banned Kratom. Previous attempts to do so statewide have also not been successful.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency lists the substance among its “drugs of concern,” that may be harmful if abused.
Kratom comes from a tree in tropical Southeast Asia. At low doses, it can have stimulant effects, the DEA says, but high doses produce sedative effects.
“Several cases of psychosis resulting from use of kratom have been reported, where individuals addicted to kratom exhibited psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations, delusion, and confusion,” the agency says on a fact sheet.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved kratom for any medical purposes.