The drug opioid addicts use to to wean themselves off narcotics may become illegal

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Kratom, the drug opioid addicts use to to wean themselves off hardcore narcotics, could become illegal Friday.

The Drug Enforcement Administration plans to move kratom to its Schedule I drug list — making it illegal to possess and sell. Online dealers are reportedly scrambling to sell their stocks, and users are rushing to buy it before the designation is official.

SEE MORE: The FDA Wants To Create An App That Could Save Opioid Users' Lives

Drugs in the Schedule I category have no accepted medical use and are considered to be extremely addictive with a high frequency of abuse. Heroin, LSD and ecstasy are all on the list.

Kratom originated in Southeast Asia, where it's brewed into drinks or chewed. People tout it as a way to treat depression, anxiety and addiction.

16 PHOTOS
Kratom in Southeast Asia
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Kratom in Southeast Asia
NARWATHIWAT,THAILAND - SEPTEMBER 1: A Thai drug user cooks the 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 25 year old Thai Malay Muslim drug user (R) sits with other friends consuming 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: 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: 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 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 cook the popular cheap narcotic drink 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: Thai Malay muslim drug users stir the popular cheap narcotic drink mixture 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 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 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 shows an illegal pill called 'mano one' which will be added to the 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)
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: 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: A Thai drug user adds the powder from an illegal pill called 'mano one' to the popular cheap narcotic drink, 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 25 year old Thai Malay Muslim drug user (R) sits with other friends feeling the effects after consuming 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)
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Over the past few years, as the opioid epidemic took over the U.S., kratom began appearing.

The decision to move kratom to the Schedule I list was announced months ago, but according to Forbes, Friday isn't necessarily when the move will take effect. It's just the earliest the DEA can issue an order for it.

SEE MORE: Canada Tries Out Heroin Prescriptions

The new designation hasn't been met with much enthusiasm.

This week, more than 50 U.S. representatives penned a letter to the DEA denouncing its "hasty" decision, and one researcher from the University of Mississippi said the designation is "a disservice to science."

More on Kratom

11 PHOTOS
Kratom now a schedule 1 substance
See Gallery
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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The ban has also inspired marches at the White House and petitions with more than 130,000 signatures.

Despite the protests and opposition from scientists, the DEA has not shown signs of reversing its decision.

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