Meet the Experts: Dr. Jack Henningfield, Ph.D.Madi Furlong
Jack E. Henningfield is one of the world’s leading experts on addiction, and the behavioral, cognitive, and central nervous system (CNS) effects of drugs. He counsels clients on assessment of the abuse liability of new CNS-acting drugs and formulations, evaluation of potential application of the Controlled Substances Act to new products, assessment of the tamper resistance of novel formulations, and development of risk management approaches.
Jack frequently liaises with the Food and Drug Administration on issues concerning drug scheduling and addiction, and has presented frequently to FDA Advisory Committees. He has contributed to numerous comments to the FDA on topics including prescribing opioids for chronic pain, development and regulation of abuse-deterrent opioid formulations, and regulation of nicotine delivery systems.
These days, Dr. Henningfield’s passion project is Kratom. In 2018, the first ever Kratom Leadership Summit was held featuring Dr. Jack Henningfield as the keynote speaker. This leading addiction researcher told attendees that the FDA and those fighting to ban Kratom are misguided in their understanding of the plant’s effects and its purported opioid-like qualities. Dr. Henningfield stated, “Kratom is no more addictive than a cup of coffee–and the available data shows as much.”
Dr. Henningfield discussed at length the four scientific surveys conducted on Kratom and Kratom users. Citing these surveys as well as his own peer-reviewed research, he said that the FDA and other Kratom opponents mislead the public and lawmakers when they compare Kratom to traditional opioids. “To compare the slight possibility of mild addiction, on par with caffeine, to the devastating and deadly addictions found in real opioids is to drive a lot of the fear and misunderstanding prevalent in the media.”
Luckily for us, Dr. Henningfield is one of Kratom’s greatest allies.