Conklin: Kratom must be added to list of controlled substances in Pa.

STATE COLLEGE, April 12 – Citing disturbing health concerns in Pennsylvania and nationally, state Rep. Scott Conklin today announced he will introduce a bill that would add kratom to the list of the state’s controlled substances.

Conklin, D-Centre, said the active ingredient in kratom – mitragynine – is an addictive substance that acts on the brain’s opioid receptors and is marketed in stores across the country as an herbal supplement to treat a variety of medical conditions, despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration that it is very dangerous, medically unproven and can be deadly if over ingested.

“Deaths due to this substance are on the rise nationally, because those addicted to opioids are using it to either increase the effects of those drugs, or people are using it as a treatment for withdrawal,” Conklin said. “There is no reliable evidence to support kratom’s use to treat opioid addiction or for any other health conditions, including depression, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Based on the information provided, it’s time to put this substance on the Schedule 1 list within the state’s Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Pennsylvania has the fourth highest rate of overdose deaths in the United States, all the more reason steps should be taken now regarding kratom, Conklin added.

Conkin was joined at the news conference announcing his pending legislation by Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna, who had previously reached out to Conklin regarding his concerns and his office’s experiences with kratom.