Imagine purchasing a drug over the counter. You've had it before and had no issues, but this time you woke up after overdosing, hooked up to an IV in the hospital.
Some people aren't as lucky as you were, like this 25-year-old man from Pennsylvania. He purchased Kratom over the counter. Kratom is an herbal drug made from Mitragyna speciosa, a plant that grows in South Asia in places like Thailand and Malaysia.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that Kratom affects the same brain receptors as opioids, and it opens users up to the same risks of abuse, addiction and dependency. SoCal Herbal Remedies, LLC, does not include warnings or dosage instructions on the packaging, but it does state not to give the product to children.
The family of the young man has petitioned officials to regulate or ban Kratom alongside other Schedule I drugs including LSD and heroin.
The young man in this case died in a single-car crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, but the Chester County Coroner's Office ruled that his heart had stopped, leading to his death as a result of an overdose. As he overdosed, he lost control of his vehicle. Specifically, the coroner reported that the young man had overdosed on mitragynine speciosa, suffering acute mitragynine intoxication.
The family also has a lawsuit filed against California-based SoCal Herbal Remedies. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages against the company.
This case goes to show that not everything you can purchase over the counter is going to be safe, and companies should be held liable if they're not going to make the dangers known to consumers.