(KCEN) -- A dangerous new drug is gaining popularity right here in the U.S.
It's called kratom and it's legal, but doctors say it can generate dependency or addiction similar to hard drugs like heroin.
It comes in packs that read Floories, Kratom OPM and Medicine Man, and it's marketed as a natural alternative to pain medication.
The drug is derived from the leaf of a southeast Asian tree and it's becoming very popular in the United States.
It's sold as a powder to put in a beverage or a pill you can swallow.
If taken in low doses it is said to be a stimulant, but in high doses it allegedly can have a relaxing and pain relieving effect.
The problem according to the medical field is that similar to hard drugs like heroin, it can generate a dependency or addiction.
Kratom is legal in the United States and it's readily available online or at head shops but it has been placed on the DEA's list of drugs and chemicals of concern.