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Kratom comes from the plant Mitragyna speciosa, native to Southeast Asia.  Since the 19th century, people in this region have used the plant for its stimulant and opioid-like effects.  The leaves can be chewed, or made into tea, and the dried leaves can be smoked.

In the U.S., Kratom can be purchased online and in smoke shops and gas stations.

It is available in many forms including pills, capsules, powders, edibles, and drinks.

Kratom is potentially dangerous and addictive. The FDA has issued warnings about its use and effects.  It is not regulated by the FDA and can be adulterated with other substances, making it even more dangerous.

Ingestion of kratom

In lower doses, Kratom produces:

  • mild stimulant effects
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • agitation
  • anxiety

In larger doses, Kratom produces:

  • opioid-like effects
  • sedation (which can be severe)
  • trouble breathing
  • dizziness
  • confusion/hallucinations
  • seizures
  • liver damage

What to do in the case of a kratom exposure?

Children who ingest Kratom should be seen by their doctor, or in the Emergency Room, if they are having any symptoms.

Adults should seek medical attention if they experience altered mental status, excessive sedation, or difficulty breathing.


Call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or chat from this site for questions about an exposure to Kratom. 


Last Updated on 01/16/2024