Hundreds of kratom advKratomocates descended on Washington, DC, earlier this week for a rally to protest the DEA’s likely ban of the plant substance that is used by thousands of patients to help combat chronic pain, addiction, depression and various other conditions.

Derived from the leaves of a tree native to Southeast Asia, kratom is commonly taken as an alternative to prescription opiods and is widely considered to be less addictive and dangerous. Last month, the DEA said it intended to classify kratom as a Schedule I substance, putting it in the same category as LSD, heroin and MDMA — the ban could go into effect as soon as September 30. The agency has cited 15 deaths caused by kratom over the past two years, but some health officials say that other drugs could have played a part in those deaths (according to NPR, 14 of those 15 people had other drugs or illegal substances in their systems).

Will you be affected if the DEA bans kratom? Let us know in our comments section below. Read more about the impending kratom ban here, here and here.