Kratom is safe for consumers: DEA Got It Wrong Once; Let’s Not Repeat Mistake

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The recent media reports on the accidental and unexplained death in New York of Tupper Lake police Sgt. Matthew Dana, who suffered a hemorrhagic pulmonary edema (blood in the lungs) that caused this fatality, has sparked a national controversy.

The American Kratom Association (AKA) certainly extends condolences to the Officer Dana’s family, and we recognize the sensitivity of the controversy that has emerged on whether kratom is properly characterized as the cause of his death.

There are two important considerations every reasonable person should make before leaping to any unfounded conclusion that the use of kratom by a consumer necessarily led to a fatality.

First, respected scientists have concluded that health care professionals often incorrectly use the term “overdose” as a cause of death when many substance-related overdose deaths involve combinations of substances such as alcohol, sedatives, and opioids and it is not often clear which substance should be listed as the primary cause of death (Gudin et al., Rudd et al., 2016; Ossiander, 2014).

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