Everyday 91 people die from the opioid epidemic, according to the CDC, but some claim there’s a natural remedy that could be the cure. 

The American Kratom Association refuses to back down from what it views as positives despite the DEA’s concern over whether kratom should be illegal. 

Kratom is a tropical tree from Southeast Asia. It was banned in Arkansas last year. 

According to the American Kratom Association, consumption of the leaves produces pain relieving and positive effects.

Some doctors say there are negative side affects. One woman we spoke with tonight says it changed her life and with more education it could change others. 

Catherine Nieves Volunteers with the American Kratom Association. She said, “I was suffering from addiction at the time. And one of the miraculous things about this plant is it immediately halts any withdrawal symptoms.”

Nieves suffered from knee pain and was addicted to opioids until she was introduced to kratom. 

Now Nieves works with the American Kratom Association to bring awareness to the positive benefits of the plant, which include the ability to get clean from an opioid addiction. 

Nieves said, “It absolutely has incredible potential for having a major effect on, if not solving the opioid epidemic.”

The DEA considered banning the use of kratom in 2016 but Nieves and others help put a stop to that ban in several states. 

“There has never been a single documented case of Kratom by itself causing a fatality,” said Nieves. 

According to the DEA’s website, kratom is listed as a “drug of concern” and some doctors claim it simply isn’t safe. 

Dr. Tammy Tucker is a Family Practice Physician. She said the plant can cause multiple symptoms like, vomiting, dizziness, all the way to seizures, coma and potentially even death.

The American Kratom Association filed a Freedom of Information Act requesting any communication between the DEA and lawmakers be released.
Kratom proponents hope to change the conversation and show the benefits of kratom through research.

Nieves said, “I think once more studies come out showing all of this information I think it will just prove how  wonderful and benign and how many uses that this herbal supplement can have.”