West Virginia has been one of the hardest hit regions during the deadly opiate epidemic. It was recently discovered by the Charleston Gazette-Mail that West Virginia pharmacies were shipped hundreds of millions of opioids by drug wholesalers within a six-year period. As a result, West Virginia legislature is wanting to take action.
All of the top four counties in the United States for prescription opioid drug overdose deaths happen to be in southern West Virginia. According to the investigation in the Gazette-Mail 780 million opiate pills were shipped to West Virginia pharmacies in the last six years. That's a whopping 400 pills for every person.
It is obvious with numbers like that there are issues to be addressed, however, lawmakers in the state may have jumped the gun when they added active constituents of kratom (mitragynine and 7-hydroxy-mitragynine) to their state's Schedule 1. The bill, sponsored by Senators Trump, Takubo, $ucker, Weld, Palumbo, Plymale, Prezioso, Unger, Woelfel, Cline, Baldwin, and Maroney.After being sent to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources then to the Committee on the Judiciary. Members of the kratom advocacy group, the National Kratom Coalition, will be working on finding more about how the bill was introduced and by whom as well as reaching out to the committee members.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">BREAKING<br><br>West Virginia proposes House Bill 2526 to ban <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/kratom?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#kratom</a> <a href="https://t.co/XxAF4D195q">pic.twitter.com/XxAF4D195q</a></p>— Botanical Education (@BotanicalEdu) <a href="https://twitter.com/BotanicalEdu/status/833741161625907200?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 20, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Kratom is a South East Asian plant related to the coffee plant that has been used as an indigenous folk medicine for hundreds of years. Recently its use has spread worldwide and an estimated 5 million people use it worldwide to deal with chronic pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD and other conditions that research suggests it may be beneficial. Kratom faced a potential ban when the DEA attempted to emergency schedule it over a year ago. After bipartisan support from both houses of Congress was garnered and experts and advocates spoke out the ban was defeated. Kratom is currently still under fire from the FDA, but once again, bipartisan support from Congress and experts and advocates are in place to preserve the use of this plant for those whose quality of life is improved by supplementing it.