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National Expert: No Cases Show Deaths Solely From Coffee-Like Herb Kratom, Which Should Be Handled No Differently Than Other Substances

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ATLANTA and WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new review by the American Kratom Association (AKA) of the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database maintained by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows that, from 2011-2017, not a single death has been attributed solely to kratom anywhere in the United States, including Georgia. One of the nation’s leading experts on addiction today urged FDA and state officials, including those in Georgia, to tone down their overheated rhetoric about the non-opiate botanical kratom. The AKA urged responsible parties to focus on how to regulate kratom in a way that would benefit the three million consumers of the product, avoiding the drastic step of a ban that could backfire and push more people into the deadly opioid epidemic.

Dave Herman, chair of the board, American Kratom Association said: “Our message today is very simple. Kratom is a safe botanical that does not kill people. If the Government bans kratom, more people will die. Kratom is an alternative to opioids, not a gateway to opioid abuse. The American Kratom Association supports appropriate FDA regulations to ensure product quality and safety for consumers.”

Addiction expert Dr. Jack Henningfield, vice president of Research, Health Policy, and Abuse Liability at PinneyAssociates, said: “Recently there have been reports of kratom-associated deaths in the media. It is important to understand, and the FDA’s own data confirms this, that there has not been a single verified report of an acute poisoning death that we can say with certainty was caused by kratom use. Most of the kratom-associated deaths occurred in people who had various pre-existing illnesses and/or were taking multiple substances with known serious health risks that may have been significant contributors to or causes of the reported deaths. The contribution of kratom, if any, to these deaths, is not known.”

Dr. Henningfield added: “We need every asset to dig our way out of the deep hole that is the opioid crisis. We need to find a path for kratom to continue to realize its benefits to help keep kratom available as a path away from opioids, and to not replace the legal marketplace with the black market that will surely emerge in the vacuum of a lawful market. It makes no sense to take kratom out of the equation and risk avoidable opioid epidemic deaths.”

The American Kratom Association reviewed the

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