Family of woman who died after taking Kratom awarded $11 million

Family of woman who died after taking Kratom awarded $11 million

The Tragic Case of Krystal Talavera: Unveiling the Dangers of Kratom


TUESDAY, Aug. 1, 2023 (HealthDay News) – The devastating story of Krystal Talavera, a mother of four who tragically collapsed and died while cooking breakfast, has not only shocked the nation but also shed light on the dangers associated with the use of kratom. In a recent wrongful death lawsuit, Talavera’s family was awarded $11 million, uncovering the grave implications of this opioid-like herb.

The lawsuit alleged that the distributor of the herb, Grow LLC, had falsely marketed kratom as an all-natural supplement, leading to Talavera’s untimely demise. “Never in a million years did she think that the kratom would kill her,” exclaimed Tamara Williams, a lawyer representing Talavera’s estate.

Talavera, a resident of Florida, passed away in June 2021 due to “acute mitragynine intoxication,” as stated by the Palm Beach County Coroner. Mitragynine, one of kratom’s primary chemical compounds, can cause severe side effects such as sedation, addiction, difficult breathing, and ultimately death, when consumed in high concentrations.

Kratom, despite lacking approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), remains widely available for purchase online and in convenience stores. Certain states have already banned its use, and the FDA has issued warnings regarding the risk of liver toxicity and seizures associated with its consumption.

Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician and cannabis specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, expressed concern about the lack of regulation surrounding kratom usage. He highlighted the desperation of individuals seeking relief from chronic pain and addiction, mentioning that many turn to kratom as a result.

It is important to note that the scientific evidence supporting the benefits of kratom is inconclusive. Additionally, the lack of regulation in the market allows for potential contamination of the product. In fact, in 2016, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration attempted to temporarily ban kratom.

Dr. C. Michael White from the University of Connecticut’s Department of Pharmacy Practice emphasized that there is no solid scientific evidence proving kratom’s efficacy in pain relief or treating substance use disorder better than conventional drugs.

“While some people may claim that kratom works wonders for their pain, it is crucial to avoid it if you suffer from chronic pain, as it can be highly addictive,” warned Dr. White. He further stated that there have been cases of individuals becoming so dependent on kratom that they required suboxone, typically used in heroin and oxycodone addiction treatment, to wean off it.

Dr. Grinspoon raised doubts about kratom being the sole cause of Talavera’s death, acknowledging that while horror stories like hers are rare, they do occur. Out of the approximately 1.7 million people aged 12 and above who used kratom in 2021, the majority did not experience life-threatening side effects or fatalities.

However, it is worth noting that about 80% of kratom-related deaths involved individuals with a history of substance misuse, as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This emphasizes the need for increased regulatory oversight and public discouragement of kratom’s sale until proper regulations are in place.

Talavera’s family, along with the American Kratom Association, advocates for stricter regulations to ensure consumer safety. Mac Haddow, a senior public policy fellow at the association, emphasized the FDA’s responsibility to implement manufacturing and marketing standards for kratom, as the absence of such standards has led to the marketing of dangerous products, exposing consumers to unacceptable risks.

This tragic case serves as a stark reminder that even seemingly harmless natural supplements can have devastating consequences. It is crucial for individuals to be aware of the potential dangers associated with kratom and exercise caution when considering its use.

More Information

The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides additional information on kratom.

Source: NBC News


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References: – [1] NBC News. (Link: