Recently, as per a report from the CDC, an over-the-counter herbal drug- kratom has been linked to causing almost 100 deaths due to overdose. Kratom is a plant in Southeast Asia which grows naturally and it is sold out usually in powder capsules. As per a report released by CDC on Thursday, Kratom was responsible for causing 91 deaths from July 2016 to December 2017, due to overdose in the United States. More than 27,000 cases were examined for this.
The reports show that in seven cases of overdose, kratom was the sole substance that was tested positive in the toxicology reports and other substances did not show much effect. The other health officials said that when they observed the database of state overdose reports, 152 overdose deaths out of 27,338 in that time period had tested positive for kratom, though, it was not the cause of their death.
As per Associated Press, only 44 deaths in the nation were known to the officials previously. The usage of Kratom and its popularity has increased in the United States in recent years. The DEA and FDA had already warned about this issue in the past. Kratom is usually marketed as a dietary or herbal supplement. It is used in tea to ease fatigue, opioid withdrawals, cough, pain, diarrhea, etc. Kratom interacts with opioid receptors to ease the pain and develop pleasure, as per the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
There used to be a general feeling that since it is a natural substance, it won’t be harmful. However, now there is a need to recognize the risks associated with its use because it is killing people. In almost 80% of the deaths related to kratom, the patients had also used other drugs and in about 90% of the cases, the doctors had not treated the pain, as per the CDC reports. In most of the cases related to kratom overdose, another drug called fentanyl was also listed as one the causes of deaths.