Local kratom users question official warnings about related deaths

Kratom is not (technically) an opioid or a synthetic substance. It’s a natural botanical native to tropical Southeast Asia that is part of the coffee family, according to the American Kratom Association.

Many users believe pharmaceutical companies and lobbyists want to prevent alternative remedies from cutting into their drug profits. Scott Sutton, who plays drums in Atlanta-based band Caulfield, said kratom saved his life from opioid addiction. “Kratom kills, that’s funny to me!” Sutton said. “If that was the case, I would probably be dead now — and a lot of other people that I know.” Sutton said he doesn’t believe Eisenstat’s report that states 11 people died in 2017 because of kratom. Of those 11, Eisenstat said nine people had other drugs in their system at the time of death. Jackson said he questions the idea that kratom killed these people because correlation doesn’t imply causation. “If I drop dead of a heart attack right now, I’m going to have two cups of coffee in my system,” he said. “Does that mean it killed me?” Some users have gone so far as to say the crackdown on kratom is a witch hunt designed to banish anything other than prescription medication, which GBI Director Vernon Keenan recently said is the leading cause of drug-related overdose deaths in Georgia. “They’re just pushing the Big Pharma agenda,” Sutton said. “They’re trying to take the plant from us and then make some kind of synthetic kratom and give it back to us through insurance and a prescription.”

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Local kratom users question official warnings about related deaths
Artwork Fair Use: Korthals, P.W. L

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