Pennsylvania Parents Lose Son to Fatal Kratom Overdose

kratom overdose is possible

Kratom has been a hot-button topic for the last few years. As the opioid epidemic has trudged on, more and more addicts have been searching for “quick fixes” to their addictions with many of them finding solace in a novel, new herbal supplement that promised to take withdrawal symptoms away and give users a mild opioid-like buzz. Kratom first started popping up in gas stations and head shops around 2012 as a “natural and safe” alternative to traditional opioids. As some users saw the benefits of the substance, others saw it as something that will be just another failed solution in handling drug addiction. Thus, the dividing line was drawn and the new topic of heated debates was created.

Since then, you’ve got kratom supporters and kratom detractors. Supporters see it as a beneficial alternative to Big Pharma’s drugs while those not in favor of kratom see it as a replacement drug that’s not regulated in any way, shape, or form and definitely doesn’t actually handle a person’s addiction. Supporters of kratom say “at least it’s not heroin,” while those not in support of it claim rehabilitation is the only way to deal with addiction (which I completely agree with).

There’s been the argument that you can’t overdose on kratom and that the substance is relatively harmless, but recently a 25-year-old in Pennsylvania lost his life from what looks like a fatal overdose of the herb. Caleb Sturgis recently lost his battle with addiction with what the county coroner is saying was a “fatal kratom overdose.” Caleb’s family has launched a wrongful death suit against the maker of the specific kratom that ended their son’s life.

Aside from going after the distribution company, Caleb’s family is attacking the herb itself and are looking to get the substance banned. The family went on record and said, “Our family is grateful for the incredible show of support. We honor Caleb by doing everything we can—including this petition—to stop Kratom from killing other unsuspecting consumers, who like Caleb, thought it was a harmless herbal supplement.”

The Sturgis family wants kratom to become a Schedule I substance along with heroin and LSD.

Depression and addiction

There will be kratom supporters who read this article and become highly upset that someone dare attack a “natural and safe” substance that changed their life forever or got them off of opioids. Fine. But remember, years ago, Suboxone was the new “wonder drug” until users found out how absolutely horrific the withdrawal from it was.

The fact remains that any “quick fixes” usually have some severe consequences. There are no quick fixes in life, in general, that are worth it. If you take the easy way out, you’re most likely not going to get very far. If you’re struggling with drug use, don’t gravitate toward a replacement or a “silver bullet.” Get help, go to rehab, and figure out your issues. Remember, the mentality of a quick fix is what breeds addiction in the first place.



Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.