Are poppies the only naturally occurring source for opiates?
Historically, poppies have been thought to be the only naturally occurring source of opiates, specifically opium and derived products morphine and codeine. Recently kratom has become a popular designer drug of abuse. Kratom is indigenous to areas of Southeast Asia. Although the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) warns kratom has no legitimate medical use and a high potential for abuse, it is not scheduled under federal law and is legal in most states. The alkaloid mitragynine is responsible for kratom’s natural opiate activity, and so like the poppy, kratom is an opioid source in nature. At low doses kratom blocks reuptake of neuroamines, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, but as doses escalate, opiate agonist properties are also noted.