Title: Unintentional Fatal Intoxications with Mitragynine and O-Desmethyltramadol from the Herbal Blend Krypton
Citation: Kronstrand, R., Roman, M., Thelander, G., & Eriksson, A. (2011). Unintentional Fatal Intoxications with Mitragynine and O-Desmethyltramadol from the Herbal Blend Krypton. In Journal of Analytical Toxology, vol 35. Retrieved from http://jat.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/4/242.long
Summary: This article talks about case studies on the effects of a drug called Kratom. I had not heard of this drug until recently, and to be honest it scares me. Preliminary research says that on the one hand the drug is a safer alternative to opiates; on the other kratom can lead to relapse on heroin and it is also addictive.
This particular article talked about 9 cases of fatal kratom use. All was observed in previous drug users and usually related to breathing difficulties similar to when you cannot breath after using heroin and pass away. Luckily, narcan can help with a kratom overdose similar to how it helps with a heroin overdose.
The article mentions that at low doses kratom has a stimulant effect and at higher doses has a similar effect to heroin. The “loud” version of kratom is called krypton and has an added receptor to help increase the buzz. The article ultimately concluded that the addition of that receptor contributed to deaths from the substance.
Limitations: This article only has 9 case studies, so there is not experimental or control group. The studies could have been handpicked to show certain results. In addition, most of the cases were male and were prior drug users. This could be a trend worth noting, or it could be selection of the study in order to show increased harmful effects.
Usefulness in practice: This article definitely hammered home some of the effects of kratom. I feel sick thinking about how clients could be using this substance without it showing up in testing all the while experiencing the bad effects. I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for this substance with opioid using clients.