Drug being sold over the counter will soon be illegal

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SACRAMENTO -- A drug being sold over the counter across the country will soon be illegal.

The DEA has changed Kratom to a schedule one substance. Countless smoke shops are getting ready to pull it from the shelves. The most common form of Kratom is pills filled with ground-up powder made from leaves found on trees that grow in southeast Asia.

But one Sacramento man said they're making a mistake, and that Kratom is a better alternative to prescription pain killers.

"It's just changed my life, I mean, the side effects aren't there, it doesn't make me drowsy, it's just wonderful, you know," said a Sacramento user who wished to remain anonymous, but tells FOX40 after having back surgery, his doctors prescribed him opiate pain pills.

"About five years ago I started taking it daily, became addicted to it, if I stopped taking it I would go through these horrible withdrawals," he said.

So six months ago, he switched to Kratom and said the difference was night and day.

"I'm just my normal self now, and I can function with my pain, and go about my life. I've been a teacher for the past 10 years. And you know I feel like I'm doing a much better job now because I'm not on that painkiller roller coaster I was before."

See photos of Kratom and how it's being used in Thailand:

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Kratom now a schedule 1 substance
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Kratom now a schedule 1 substance
MIAMI, FL - MAY 10: In this photo illustration, capsules of the herbal supplement Kratom are seen on May 10, 2016 in Miami, Florida. The herbal supplement is a psychoactive drug derived from the leaves of the kratom plant and it's been reported that people are using the supplement to get high and some states are banning the supplement. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 10: In this photo illustration, a bottle with Kratom liquid and bags of capsules with the herbal supplement Kratom inside are seen on May 10, 2016 in Miami, Florida. The herbal supplement is a psychoactive drug derived from the leaves of the kratom plant and it's been reported that people are using the supplement to get high and some states are banning the supplement. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 10: In this photo illustration, a bottle with Kratom liquid and bags of capsules with the herbal supplement Kratom inside are seen on May 10, 2016 in Miami, Florida. The herbal supplement is a psychoactive drug derived from the leaves of the kratom plant and it's been reported that people are using the supplement to get high and some states are banning the supplement. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 10: In this photo illustration, a liquid form of the herbal supplement Kratom is poured from a bottle on May 10, 2016 in Miami, Florida. The herbal supplement is a psychoactive drug derived from the leaves of the kratom plant and it's been reported that people are using the supplement to get high and some states are banning the supplement. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
NARWATHIWAT,THAILAND - SEPTEMBER 1: A 25 year old Thai Malay Muslim drug-user feels the effects after consuming 4x100, the popular cheap narcotic drink along with other friends on September 1, 2011in Narwathiwat, southern Thailand. Translated as ' sii khun roi,' 4 x 100 is a mix of the illegal kratom leaf, cough syrup and Coca-Cola with added ingredients like tranquilizers and marijuana. Many unemployed young ethnic Thai Malay Muslims are becoming more embedded in daily substance abuse and a culture of drugs as they turn to substances such as 4 x 100, marijuana and methamphetamines to cope with daily life. In southern Thailand for the last 6 years there has been almost daily violence happening over a wide region which has claimed more than 4,000 lives. The on-going, low grade insurgency and violence is between Muslim separatists, and the Thai security forces in a country that is over 95% buddhist. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
NARWATHIWAT,THAILAND - SEPTEMBER 1: Thai Malay Muslim drug users drink 4x100, the popular cheap narcotic drink, on September 1, 2011in Narwathiwat, southern Thailand. Translated as ' sii khun roi,' 4 x 100 is a mix of the illegal kratom leaf, cough syrup and Coca-Cola with added ingredients like tranquilizers and marijuana. Many unemployed young ethnic Thai Malay Muslims are becoming more embedded in daily substance abuse and a culture of drugs as they turn to substances such as 4 x 100, marijuana and methamphetamines to cope with daily life. In southern Thailand for the last 6 years there has been almost daily violence happening over a wide region which has claimed more than 4,000 lives. The on-going, low grade insurgency and violence is between Muslim separatists, and the Thai security forces in a country that is over 95% buddhist. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
NARWATHIWAT,THAILAND - SEPTEMBER 1: A Thai drug user mixes the popular cheap narcotic drink as it is cooked over a fire on September 1, 2011in Narwathiwat, southern Thailand. Translated as ' sii khun roi,' 4 x 100 is a mix of the illegal kratom leaf, cough syrup and Coca-Cola with added ingredients like tranquilizers and marijuana. Many unemployed young ethnic Thai Malay Muslims are becoming more embedded in daily substance abuse and a culture of drugs as they turn to substances such as 4 x 100, marijuana and methamphetamines to cope with daily life. In southern Thailand for the last 6 years there has been almost daily violence happening over a wide region which has claimed more than 4,000 lives. The on-going, low grade insurgency and violence is between Muslim separatists, and the Thai security forces in a country that is over 95% buddhist. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
NARWATHIWAT,THAILAND - SEPTEMBER 1: A Thai Malay Muslim drug user stirs in the cough syrup as part of a popular cheap narcotic drink called 4 x 100 on September 1, 2011in Narwathiwat, southern Thailand. Translated as ' sii khun roi,' 4 x 100 is a mix of the illegal kratom leaf, cough syrup and Coca-Cola with added ingredients like tranquilizers and marijuana. Many unemployed young ethnic Thai Malay Muslims are becoming more embedded in daily substance abuse and a culture of drugs as they turn to substances such as 4 x 100, marijuana and methamphetamines to cope with daily life. In southern Thailand for the last 6 years there has been almost daily violence happening over a wide region which has claimed more than 4,000 lives. The on-going, low grade insurgency and violence is between Muslim separatists, and the Thai security forces in a country that is over 95% buddhist. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
NARWATHIWAT,THAILAND - SEPTEMBER 1: A Thai Malay Muslim drug user breaks up the kratom leaf into a pan to form part of a popular cheap narcotic drink called 4 x 100 on September 1, 2011in Narwathiwat, southern Thailand. Translated as ' sii khun roi,' 4 x 100 is a mix of the illegal kratom leaf, cough syrup and Coca-Cola with added ingredients like tranquilizers and marijuana. Many unemployed young ethnic Thai Malay Muslims are becoming more embedded in daily substance abuse and a culture of drugs as they turn to substances such as 4 x 100, marijuana and methamphetamines to cope with daily life. In southern Thailand for the last 6 years there has been almost daily violence happening over a wide region which has claimed more than 4,000 lives. The on-going, low grade insurgency and violence is between Muslim separatists, and the Thai security forces in a country that is over 95% buddhist. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
NARWATHIWAT,THAILAND - SEPTEMBER 1: Thai Malay muslim drug users mix coke into the popular cheap narcotic drink on September 1, 2011in Narwathiwat, southern Thailand. Translated as ' sii khun roi,' 4 x 100 is a mix of the illegal kratom leaf, cough syrup and Coca-Cola with added ingredients like tranquilizers and marijuana. Many unemployed young ethnic Thai Malay Muslims are becoming more embedded in daily substance abuse and a culture of drugs as they turn to substances such as 4 x 100, marijuana and methamphetamines to cope with daily life. In southern Thailand for the last 6 years there has been almost daily violence happening over a wide region which has claimed more than 4,000 lives. The on-going, low grade insurgency and violence is between Muslim separatists, and the Thai security forces in a country that is over 95% buddhist. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
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But soon buying those pills will be a crime. The DEA announced it will make Kratom a schedule one drug giving stores that sell it until Sept. 30 to pull it off the shelves.

"You're not going to be able to buy it over the counter, and it's going to be illegal to possess it," said Jon Daily, the clinical director for Recovery Happens.

Daily said none of his clients have had issues with Kratom, but it reminds him of when the DEA pulled K2 Spice off the shelves.

Daily said that drug caused deaths, one happening recently in Roseville. He believes the DEA likely has good reason to ban Kratom as well.

"Just because it's an herb, doesn't mean it's necessarily safe," Daily said.

The FDA said Kratom can cause narcotic-like highs but aggressive withdrawals. The DEA claims in the past two years there have been 15 deaths linked to Kratom, and it has no medicinal use.

While many are stock pilling Kratom while they can, the Sacramento man who spoke to FOX40 said he won't because doesn't want to become a criminal.

"I don't want the DEA knocking on my door and arresting me and traumatizing my children. So no it's not worth it for that."

But he also doesn't want to return to the opiate pain pills and has little other choice.

"I really don't know what I'm going to do. My wife doesn't know what I'm going to do either, she's just as upset as I am."

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