By: Greg Baxley, Marketing Coordinator
DEA Issue Notice of Intent
On August 30, 2016 the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a notice of intent to schedule the opioids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which are the main active constituents of the plant Kratom, into the schedule l category. The agency stated this action is based on findings that the drug poses an imminent hazard to public safety. This is all due to its high potential for abuse and no known medical benefit. While advocates argue that the substance is used for pain relief, there are many known side effects, including excessive sweating, respiratory depression, constipation, nausea, seizures and even death. Kratom exhibits both narcotic and stimulant-like effects. The withdrawal symptoms of the drug include hostility and aggression, similar to that of steroid withdrawal.
Kratom Use Catapulted by Online Sales
The makeup of Kratom comes from the leaves of the Mitragyna Speciosa, a tree that originated in Southeast Asia. The drug is mainly sold online in the form of ground leaf, capsule and liquid, and is often marketed for non-consumptive use. It’s very similar to that of the synthetic cannabinoid, Spice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study in July confirming 660 poison control calls, from 2010 to 2015, all regarding Kratom intoxication.
Illegal Sales Threaten Merchant Acquirers
The DEA added Kratom to the their Drugs of Concern list in 2013. This drug has also been on G2’s radar for just as long. The final order by the DEA will impose administrative, civil and criminal sanctions and regulatory controls applicable to schedule I controlled substances. The Controlled Substances Act strictly forbids manufacturing, distributing, possessing, importing and exporting of Kratom, synthetic or otherwise.
To learn more about the rising impact of illegal drug and pharmaceutical sales in the merchant acquiring space, check out:
- Illegal Drugs and Pharma: The Kingpins of New Risk
- Threats Grow with Rising Online Drug Sales Report.