CDC Study Shows Kratom-Linked Overdose Deaths

By Shartist · Apr 12, 2019 · ·
  1. Shartist
    The botanical substance kratom may be emerging as a small but dangerous piece of the nation's ongoing drug crisis, a new analysis shows.

    Made from a plant native to Southeast Asia, kratom can be used as a stimulant in low doses, while at higher doses it can act as a depressant and painkiller. It's often sold at corner stores, smoke shops or online and has become increasingly popular in the U.S. in recent years, although federal agencies consider kratom a drug of concern and research on its effects is limited.

    Now, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests kratom can be deadly, especially when used with other drugs. An analysis published Thursday involving a sampling of U.S. states says there were 152 drug overdose deaths from July 2016 to June 2017 in which the person who died tested positive for kratom.

    Among those fatal overdoses, kratom was listed as a cause of death for 91 people, including seven who tested positive for no other substance, although researchers cautioned that "the presence of additional substances cannot be ruled out." For the majority of deaths, the ultrapotent opioid fentanyl and its analogues were the most commonly co-occurring drugs listed as a cause of death, followed by heroin and benzodiazepines.

    Researchers said the number of deaths in which people tested positive for kratom may be underestimated due to differences in toxicology testing.

    "The type and number of substances detected in kratom-involved deaths can inform overdose prevention strategies," researchers said. Some states and localitieshave banned kratom outright, while others – including Oregon and the town of Castle Rock in Colorado – have been considering regulations.

    Thursday's study involved data from 27 states, though only 11 reported deaths that occurred during the entire period of July 2016 to December 2017. About 80% of the deaths tied in some form to kratom were among people who had a history of substance misuse, CDC researchers said, and most people were not believed to be undergoing "medically supervised treatment for pain."

    Kratom is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and has not been approved for any medical use, but it's frequently seen as a safer drug alternative and has been used as a means of treating opioid withdrawal, anxiety and other conditions. The FDA has issued several advisories about kratom, warning that it has potential for abuse amid a nationwide drug epidemic that killed more than 70,000 peoplein 2017.

    "FDA is concerned that kratom, which affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine, appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse and dependence," the agency says.

    Meanwhile, nonfatal incidents involving kratom have soared in recent years. A separate study published in Februaryshowed that calls to poison control centers for kratom exposure increased about fiftyfold from 2011 to 2017, with the majority of calls made in 2016 and 2017.

    "More research is needed to define the human response to kratom," the February study says. "Individuals who choose to use kratom should be educated about its potential risks, including the dangers of using it in combination with other substances."

    Original Source

    Written by: Gaby Galvin, Apr 11, 2019, U.S. News

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  1. Shartist
  2. jazzyj9
    We’re there multiple drugs found in the deaths? I have a hard time believing that Kratom could kill since it doesn’t cause respiratory arrest being a partial mu receptor agonist.
      hboylen likes this.
  3. DaftMaverick
    Waiting for any proof that kratom, when used alone, could be responsible for any death ever.
      jazzyj9 likes this.
  4. JaneDeux
    This article is more balanced then the majority of articles on kratom I have read. The final paragraph really says it all, more research is needed and educate yourself before using.

    The potential for addiction is mentioned, which in my opinion, is something that should be noted in a responsible report. It saddens me to see the kratom fear campaign the FDA has initiated and the media has embraced. Kratom is the foundation of my pain management regimen. Every pain reliever I can think of poses some risk if not used properly.

    The FDA is seemingly determined to get this banned, sad but true.
      hboylen, Alfa and jazzyj9 like this.
  5. jazzyj9
    The American Kratom Association has thus far been able to block the ban. I’m optimistic that it won’t happen. It has helped my back pain and menstrual pain significantly. I’m intolerant to NSAIDS unfortunately due to stomach problems.
      JaneGault likes this.
    1. hboylen
      I havent found Keaton to be helpful but I think everyone should be allowed to make that decision for themselves. It is so obvious what is going on here with the government. It is my body, as long as I do t hurt anyone else, I should be able to do what I want. I have used ibuprofen so much that it is making me sick. We should have alternatives available.
  6. Shartist
    From the CDC report-
    Kratom was determined to be a cause of death (i.e., kratom-involved) by a medical examiner or coroner for 91 (59.9%) of the 152 kratom-positive decedents, including seven for whom kratom was the only substance to test positive on postmortem toxicology, although the presence of additional substances cannot be ruled out (4).

    The reference -
    4. Gershman K, Timm K, Frank M, et al. Deaths in Colorado attributed to kratom. N Engl J Med 2019;380:97–8.

    Link to that reference-

    I cannot pay to get this referenced study from the New England Journal of Medicine. Interesting though, the CDC article cites this as a reference to the 7 "kratom only" overdoses. Every other one was a multi drug overdose involving kratom. This is a study from just one state (Colorado). So the kratom only overdoses all happened in one state where "the presence of additional substances cannot be ruled out." Hmmm
      jazzyj9 likes this.
  7. ibanezrg82
    I've done a small amount of research since experimenting with this opioid, and so far, for me personally anyway, the bad outweighs the good. First of all, I think I might be allergic to the plant. I've tried different ways of consumption, and yes, the positive side effects are nice, I don't feel the need to take benzos while under the effects, it gives me a not high, but more like I'm on the perfect anti-depressant. Plus the thought of drinking while under the effects, or influence, let's call a spade a spade, let's just say the thought of drinking makes me sick, which is good. Because I'm psycho when I drink, with the PTSD and all.
    I think that anything that increases your heart rate as much as Kratom does is dangerous in it's own aspect. Plus, the stomach problems it causes for me the day(s) after, worst indigestion ever. I take a lot of medications for all of the wonderful symptoms as a result of my PTSD, maybe those are counteracting?
    But screw what I think personally. I'm pretty sure this drug is just a little above pot on the harmful scale for most people. Once again, the drug companies are losing money over something they can't control. If it is an alternative to people slamming heroin, good. Don't see ways to many threads here, so moderator, please feel free to move this message if I did something wrong.
  8. Nicomorphinist
    Did those seven kratom-only deaths result from depression of respiration or is allergy/anaphylaxis a possible cause? The point of looking into kratom is that the active ingredient which interacts with the mu opioid receptor is only a partial agonist and does not depress respiration, no?
  9. Shartist
    From "A Reply to CDC Report on Unintentional Drug Overdose Deaths with Kratom Detected (2019)" ;

    "The CDC report highlights a critical deficiency in postmortem toxicology testing protocols when they reported that there were 7 deaths where kratom “was the only substance to test positive on postmortem toxicology, although the presence of additional substances cannot be ruled out.” To illustrate why no one can responsibly conclude that there were 7 deaths where kratom was the only
    substance in the bloodstream, the CDC report cites the Gershman et al. commentary published in the New England Journal of Medicine that looked at 15 deaths that coroners in Colorado had determined included four deaths “reported to involve mitragynine only, and coroners attributed each to mitragynine only.(8)” When the investigators looked at those 4 deaths attributed to kratom
    toxicity alone, they performed a more comprehensive toxicology analysis with tandem mass spectrometry for the 3 cases for which residual blood was available.

    These investigators concluded that of all 15 kratom-related deaths, 14 deaths “clearly involved multiple drugs.” For the remaining case, residual blood was not available for confirmatory testing to determine if there were other substances involved in that death. That is the reason the CDC report correctly concludes that documentation of postmortem toxicology testing protocols is needed to clarify the extent to which kratom contributes to fatal overdoses and the extent to which
    other substances are unequivocally excluded."
  10. Nicomorphinist
    Jesus Christ! That is über irresponsible -- who trained these people? Hopefully, if I ever kicked the bucket whilst in the States one of these clowns is not the local coroner.

    Of course, irresponsibility and worse are nothing new when it comes to anything having to do with the mu opioid receptors. The mercenary, ignorant, and/cynical claim that cannabis can replace opioids, the propaganda about the "opioid crisis" which only benefits the rehab indu$try, the cops and bloodsucking lawyers and demon snake bureaucrats taking the (largely unwise) CDC Guidelines in vain to harass doctors, chemists, and patients . . .

    What is it? Sadism? Are they theorising that people take opioids because they make them feel good? Which is correct -- that is the only reason people consume anything including food. So is it just old-time jealousy? I'm not surprised to hear "drugs" mentioned in the same breath as sex and rock & roll. Dumb gullible blue noses who feel rotten all the time and cannot get laid because they weigh 300 kilos and smell like freakin garlic who want to make other people miserable like them have to be a big part of it . . .
  11. jazzyj9
    @Nicomorphinist I agree with some of what you say about the industry of addiction being a drive for the crack down on Kratom. But I must disagree that people consume things only because it feels good. People compulsively consume things that relieve a craving when they become addicted. That component of addiction cannot be overlooked. Having to consume things because of an addiction does not always feel good it can feel like being a slave to something.
  12. Nicomorphinist
    I cannot argue with that; I will split one hair for the sake of broader discussion: the transition from withdrawal symptoms to feeling normal feels good. People may feel awful later if they are trying to get clean and are relapsing.

    People may feel depressed and anxious and frustrated with relapse, no matter what it is, but I am thinking maybe they should not. Relapse is not a moral failure, it is the beginning of the next step in recovery. Everything is dialectical: the iron triangle of recovery from addiction is abstinence, relapse, the next, higher step of abstinence.

    Opioid addiction, the original process of which is not a moral failure either (drugs are not good or evil; they are tools) is a physical, relapsing illness, as are many chronic illnesses. Opioid addiction is also the juxtaposition of an acquired metabolic illness or disorder, withdrawal, physical dependence, and tolerance, and a phobia of withdrawal, and for iatrogenic habitués and the rare addict, perhaps tolerance as well. The destruction of addicts lives has much more to do with the illegality and resultant high prices of street opioids.

    Opioids by themselves do not have organic damage potential with the exception of cases where people misuse 4-phenylpiperidine synthetics like pethidine (neurotoxicity) and loperamide (extreme cardiotoxicity) and some of the phenylheptylamine open chain opioids like dextromethadone, the non-analgesic, QT interval-lengthening component of racaemic methadone. The main problem is constipation. Smart doctors now and most doctors as recently as the 1950s and in more sane places admit that they are middling to fantastic "psych meds" and when one considers the side effects and withdrawal symptoms of a lot of the current generation thereof, I defy anyone to tell me they are an improvement.

    I am inclined to think that the politically-incorrect figure of 1 true opioid addict per 150 compliant patients, constant since 1800 and probably the Palaeolithic, is closer to the mark than those cited in the propaganda about the "opioid crisis," which is allegedly so much worse now after almost a decade of declining access to opioids by chronic pain patients, other people in pain, hospitals and doctors. As well as all of the people dying from fentanyls and other ultra-potent general anaesthetics and caustic trash like benzamides disguised as pills or smack bought on the street from dealers after patients are cut off.

    The rehab indu$try is the real Industry of Death. Thousands dead, from musicians to the United States' most obvious at least Spinoza-calibre philosopher amongst other things (Prince) to the folks ground up by daily life who are faceless to politicians and bureaucrats and celebrities and journalists but not the people who care about them.

    No wonder they have a 98 per cent failure rate with opioid addiction. Pharmacologists, anthropologists, ethnologists, and biologists have found that all sorts of Primates, Carnivorans (dogs, cats, raccoons, bears), marsupials and others look for psychoactives. Absolute sobriety is an unnatural and in the long run unhealthy state for the human animal. People and animals always have looked for rotten fruit, fermented honey, iboga bushes, poppies, ayahuasca ingredients and belladonna and the like.

    The real opioid crisis is driven by under- and non-treatment of wounded and disabled veterans and those with PTSD in addition to the pain patients. The PTSD situation in Western and other War of Terrorism Coalition and other involved countries is a catastrophe by itself. In 2001 or 2003 or even 2011 I couldn't conceive of anything which could actually exacerbate it.

    I also think some of it is sadism rather than jealousy or something more involved like Puritanism. It may be fashionable in some quarters to be a misanthrope but perhaps they should look at the data again with the blinders off and rejoin the human race so to speak?

    This is my plea. Treat others as one would treat themselves. Or better.
      Employed Junkie and CJLtweak27 like this.
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