Salmonella Outbreak Possibly Connected to Opioid Substitute
Salmonella Outbreak Possibly Connected to Opioid Substitute
The CDC linked an outbreak of Salmonella infections to kratom an herbal supplement that is used as an opioid substitute.
21 February, 2018, 03:59
The CDC, which urges consumers to not use kratom in any form because of the possibility of salmonella contamination, said the infections started in October and have affected 20 states. Despite the fact that no passings have been accounted for, 11 individuals have been hospitalized. The Food and Drug Administration has issued increasingly urgent warnings about the herb, saying it acts like an opioid drug and advising people to stay away from it. Evidence suggests that the source of the outbreak is possibly kratom, which is a plant that is used as a substitute to opioids.
Missouri has no reported cases. Gottlieb compared the substance mixes of kratom to opioids.
If you've had food poisoning, you know what Salmonella feels like. Most of the people sickened have reported consuming kratom in pills, powder or tea, according to the CDC, which didn't name any specific brands or suppliers.
Safety checks of kratom products - which Amazon sells for around $20 - are tricky because the substance falls into a legal and regulatory gray area in the US. A member of the coffee family, kratom grows natively in Southeast Asia where its leaves are well-known for their psychoactive effects. Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration classified kratom as a unsafe opioid, prompting backlash from some scientists studying its medicinal uses and proponent of Kratom who claim the plant can relieve pain, combat fatigue and improve mood.
"Cases of mixing kratom, other opioids, and other types of medication are extremely troubling because the activity of kratom at opioid receptors indicates there may be similar risks of combining kratom with certain drugs, just as there are with FDA-approved opioids", Gottlieb said. In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration tried to classify kratom in the same category as heroin but backed off after an intense public backlash.
So with the two agencies hamstrung, kratom remains in a federal limbo, although it has been banned in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
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