NEW YORK (AP) – US health authorities have stated that overdose deaths related to the herbal supplement kratom were more common than previously reported.
A government report released Thursday indicates that kratom was the cause of 91 overdose deaths in 27 states. Officials previously said that they knew 44 nationally.
Most of those who died also took heroin, fentanyl or other drugs. But kratom was the only substance detected in seven of the deaths.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported figures after reviewing death certificates and toxicology reports for a period of 18 months.
The kratom comes from a plant native to Southeast Asia. It is sold as capsules and powders, claiming that it helps to relieve pain, anxiety and addiction.
Officials say it causes euphoric effects like the opioid drugs at the root of the country's current overdose epidemic.