OMAHA, Neb. — The Nebraska Regional Poison Center in Omaha has issued a warning on the dangers of using or abusing Kratom:
• Kratom use and abuse is very dangerous and addiction has been documented.
• Kratom is a tropical tree (Mitagyna speciose) native to Southeast Asia. The leaves contain various compounds that can cause poisoning when smoked or ingested.
• Kratom is used as a stimulant at low doses and as a sedative at high doses. It has also been used for pain management, but there is no legitimate medical use for Kratom in the US.
• Kratom is an unregulated herbal supplement. The FDA does not regulate, monitor the safety or purity of Kratom. It may be laced with other drugs if purchased at stores, gas stations or off the internet.
• People use Kratom as a pill, capsule, paste, chew the leaves or brew the dried or powdered leaves as tea. Sometimes the leaves are smoked or eaten in food.
• The leaves contain compounds that can cause mind-altering effects; the use or abuse of Kratom has been linked to 36 deaths in the U.S., and serious side effects including hallucinations, seizures, liver damage, itching, stomach upset and withdrawal symptoms.
• Withdrawal symptoms have included; hostility, aggression, jerky movement of arms and legs, confusion and hallucinations.
• If you haven’t tried Kratom don’t start now. You don’t really know what you are getting, and you could become very ill from using or abusing Kratom.
The Nebraska Regional Poison Center is available to take your call 24/7/365 at 1-800-222-1222. You will speak with a registered nurse or pharmacist immediately.