“We see it fairly frequently in our post mortem case work,” Ciliberto said.Between 1 percent and 3 percent of the cases contain some evidence of the substance but it is found mostly alongside other drugs. The facility performed the toxicology tests in the August accidental death of a New York police officer from Tupper Lake, a community about 110 miles north of Albany, who had been making the powdered kratom into a paste and eating it, Ciliberto said. Matthew Dana died of a hemorrhagic pulmonary edema, or blood in the lungs, which resulted from an overdose of mitragynine, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise reported.Kaylee Rayne Creamer, age four, and Allison Raylene Creamer, two, were killed in a car crash on Friday in Jennings County, Indiana while riding in the back seat of their aunt's car.'I was sitting in the house and heard the noise out front,' their father Timothy Creamer told WAVE3.
Several states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin, ban the substance; others have legislation to ban it pending.
It is also listed as a controlled substance — like heroin — in 16 countries, including Thailand and Malaysia, where it is grown, the FDA reports. Some customers use the product to help with opioid withdrawal or as a replacement for prescription opioids such as Oxy Contin and Percocet.
But back in 2016, the Journal of the American Chemical Society reported that kratom indeed works this way.
Last month, an FDA study found that 22 of the 25 of the most prevalent compounds in kratom do bind to opioid receptors, and so should be considered an opioid.
Users and businesses that sell and manufacture it say kratom (pronounced Kray-tuhm) helps to relieve pain, gives a mild boost like coffee (the tree is part of the coffee family) — and can even help ease the pain of opioid withdrawal. “There is no evidence to indicate that kratom is safe or effective for any medical use,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in February.
Food and Drug Administration says the product — not regulated as a drug because it is classified as a dietary supplement — is a dangerous, addictive substance that acts on the brain’s opioid receptors, and has been linked to 44 deaths.
“The FDA stands ready to evaluate evidence that could demonstrate a medicinal purpose for kratom.
However, to date, we have received no such submissions and are not aware of any evidence that would meet the agency’s standard for approval,” Gottlieb said.
Goodine is aware of the FDA’s position on kratom and thinks the agency is siding with “big Pharma” and against any product that might interfere with the sale of prescription drugs.
Kratom is sold online, in gas stations, and in smoke shops.