Beck & Beck Attorneys at Law September 2019

September 2019

(314)961-5678 |

Kratom Overdoses and Lawsuits

America is going through an opioid epidemic. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people in the United States die every day after overdosing on opioids. The addiction occurs when people take opioids as a prescription pain reliever or use other forms. In the wake of this epidemic, a new substance has started to arise, adding to the number of fatalities among U.S. citizens. Kratom is a drug that is said to have several uses, including pain relief, mood boosting, and supplemental energy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that the use of kratom has increased, particularly in the U.S., for herbal or dietary supplements. Kratom has also been used by people who are trying to wean themselves off addiction to opioids. While it might seem like kratom has a slew of positive benefits, new studies have been published that link the drug with around 100 overdose deaths across the nation. Kratom has been proven to have addictive, dependent, and abusive properties. Between 2011 and 2017, there were an estimated 1,807 calls to the national poison control center involving overexposure to kratom. The substance also has a number of concerning side effects, including:

The CDC states that since 2012, the FDA has taken action against kratom, and in November of 2017, they issued a public health advisory that highly discourages consumption of the substance. The Drug Enforcement Administration has also turned its attention to kratom and labeled it as a“drug of concern”to the public. Kratom is not an FDA- approved substance. As the concern rises, many laws have been put in place to reduce the number of people using kratom. Many states have made the drug illegal or have put severe restrictions on who may

use it. However, there are still 37 states where kratom is legal.

The county executive of St. Charles, Steve Ehlmann, is trying to submit an ordinance which will ban kratom. According to an article published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in May,“The proposed ban wouldmake the possession or sale of kratom a misdemeanor in St. Charles County punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and as long as one year in the county jail.”Ehlmann hopes that doing so will reduce the amount of people using kratom and therefore reduce overdoses. If you or a loved one has been injured due to kratom or an opioid addiction prescription, I encourage you to call my office to discuss your potential case.

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-Paul Beck | 1

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