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. JaneGault
    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.
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