Kratom abuse as an emerging issue of addiction, overdose toxicities and deaths: a review

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Sohag, Egypt


Introduction: Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a native tree of coffee plant family in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Chewing kratom leaves have long been used as traditional medicine to relieve chronic pain and opioid withdrawal. Aim: This review illustrates how kratom abuse is an alarming phenomenon due to related addiction, overdose toxicities and deaths. Review: Researched studies demonstrated that kratom have both depressant and stimulant actions according to the dose. In the last few years, kratom has been introduced in Europe and United states, as unregulated safe natural herbal products substitute of opioid products especially by online drug markets in addition to exposure of drug abusers through contaminated products. In Egypt and the middle east, clinical toxicologists must be educated about kratom and its adverse clinical manifestations as a potential problem. Conclusion: Research about kratom safety is still lacking.
Received in original form: 6 October 2021 Accepted in a final form: 30 April 2022