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Popularity of Kratom is Rising Across the US
According to an article published in the January 2nd, 2016, online-edition of the New York Times, use of the drug Kratom is growing in popularity and availability throughout the United States. The article reports that Kratom bars, where the drug is mixed in brews, have recently opened in Colorado, New York, North Carolina and other states. Powdered forms of the drug have also recently become available for purchase in head shops, gas-station convenience stores and on the internet (Kratom, an Addict's Alternative, Is Found to Be Addictive Itself).
In the article, the authors examine various perspectives regarding whether Kratom should be federally controlled. Advocates for the status-quo acknowledge Kratom's opiate effects and claim the drug helps manage addiction and withdrawal symptoms of stronger and more dangerous opiates such as prescription pain killers or heroin. 
Advocates for Kratom being scheduled as a controlled substance raise a number of arguments. They claim that Kratom has been linked to seizures and respiratory depression, has a high potential for addiction, and that recovering opiate addicts have been slipping back into opiate addiction after Kratom use. Banned by many states and from import into the US, Kratom, the article's author seems to suggest, is all but certain to be scheduled as a controlled substance.
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