In the United States, calls to poison control centers about the drug have jumped dramatically. About 32 percent of those cases ended up being admitted to the hospital, with more than half resulting in serious medical outcomes, including 11 deaths.
According to new research published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, between 2011 and 2017, 1,807 kratom exposures were reported to poison control centers. Two-thirds occurred between 2016-2017 alone.
In 2011, only 13 exposures were reported, compared with 682 in 2017 — jumping from about one call per month to two calls per day.
All in all, a more than 50-fold increase.
“It has gotten more popular I guess you would say. When we started there were tens of cases and now there are hundreds of cases per year,” said Rick Spiller, MS, DABAT, FAACT, a co-author of the research, and director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.