Can You Overdose on Kratom?

The study also showed limited physical dependence, constipation, and respiratory depression. This may also be a reason why so many people have turned to kratom to break them away from their opioid addictions, helping them through their withdrawal process and eventually helping them quit the substance. When kratom is used during pregnancy, the baby may be born with symptoms of withdrawal that require treatment. The autopsy doesn’t make clear how the medical examiner determined Grove’s kratom use had brought about his death. If the number the FDA is now citing includes cases from Georgia, or even other similar deaths from elsewhere, it is almost certainly exaggerated.

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Bob Grove suspects his son may have begun taking kratom during that period. Drug court programs are abstinence-based, but typically don’t test for mitragynine. Kratom has been touted as a way to help ease people through opioid withdrawals, or even take the edge off if someone feels at risk of relapse. But when HuffPost examined GBI’s april is alcohol awareness month national institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism niaaa data, it became clear that the agency is relying on a loose interpretation of what it means for a death to be “related” to kratom. In fact, it appears to be counting every fatal drug overdose in which mitragynine is present as a so-called kratom-related death. Several reports have shown that Kratom misuse can lead to fatal overdoses.

Why Is Kratom Considered Risky or Controversial?

More recently, people around the world are using it to treat pain or manage opioid withdrawal symptoms. But kratom’s safety and effectiveness haven’t been well studied. People report using kratom for pain relief and to help cope with depression and anxiety. Kratom has side effects including nausea and digestive upset.

Risk of Mixing Drugs

Kratom is a tree native to Southeast Asia, where people have used its leaves for centuries to treat aches, pains, and other maladies. The leaves  contain several compounds that produce a caffeine-like stimulant effect when consumed in low doses, and act like a sedative in higher doses. A new report from the Food and Drug Administration says that the popular herbal substance kratom acts like a prescription-strength opioid.

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However, studies on the effects of kratom have identified many safety concerns and no clear benefits. If you read health news or visit vitamin stores, you may have heard about kratom, a supplement that is sold as an energy booster, mood enhancer, pain alcohol use disorder aud reliever and antidote for opioid withdrawal. However, the truth about kratom is more complicated, and the safety problems related to its use are concerning. At first glance, there appears to be more to Grove’s case than simple anti-drug hysteria.

When using kratom, it’s crucial to understand the potential risks of mixing it with other substances. Combining kratom with alcohol or other drugs can lead to dangerous interactions and increase the risk of overdose. The tremor national institute of neurological disorders and stroke FDA has issued a general warning against using kratom due to the potential for adverse effects including drug abuse and addiction. Some of this concern stems from the fact that kratom is an unregulated herbal remedy.

  1. It’s uncommon for kratom overdose to result in death unless it’s taken with other medications (particularly opiate painkillers or alcohol).
  2. However, doctors do not recommend their use in people with moderate to severe pain.
  3. Some studies in mice and rats suggest that kratom can be habit-forming, but overall the scientific research about kratom addiction is scarce, according to a paper published in 2014 in the journal Addiction Biology.
  4. For centuries, people in Southeast Asia have used its leaves for both increased energy and relaxation.

Remedies for relaxation include valerian, lemon balm, and lavender. A person who experiences pain or other symptoms as a result of a health condition should speak with their doctor. A healthcare professional may prescribe pain-relieving medication or drugs that address different symptoms.

Spiller is most concerned with getting more information on kratom out to the public — from those who use the drug regularly to doctors and federal agencies. The study found that the most common effects of the drug also included nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and confusion. Kratom is an herbal product made from the dried leaves of a Southeast Asian tree called Mitragyna speciosa. Traditionally, kratom leaves were chewed, brewed into tea, or used in cooking.

Some people have reported that kratom can help with self-treatment of opioid withdrawal symptoms. Experts need to look deeper into this to understand if it actually can help with withdrawal. You can find kratom leaves, powder, and capsules in some health food stores, vape shops, and online specialty stores. The most common uses of it are to relieve pain, depression, and opioid addiction. The two most active compounds found in kratom, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, work on opioid receptors, but with fewer side effects. While it was pointed out that kratom was involved in 91 deaths, they also admitted that kratom was involved in less than 1% of the more than 27,000 fatal overdoses that were documented.

So it is clear that kratom could be a contributing factor in cases where an individual has overdosed, as many other things could have been contributing factors as well. Let’s compare kratom to something that has become a true crisis in the world today, opiates. Users swear by kratom for mood enhancement and fatigue reduction, but safety issues and questions about its effectiveness abound. Reader funding is one of the key ways we support our newsroom. Would you consider making a donation to help fund our news during this critical time?