The Food and Drug Administration calls it a dangerous opioid, but kratom advocates call their pill of choice a life-saving supplement.
Kratom is a psychoactive drug derived from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa, a plant in the coffee family that is native to Southeast Asia. Research suggests the drug taps into some of the same brain receptors as opioids do, spurring the FDA to classify it as one this February.
But unlike most opioids, which are either illegal or must be prescribed by a doctor, kratom is widely available online. It was even sold for a time out of an Arizona vending machine.