Question of the Week
June 16, 2014
Why do Health Care Professionals and Law Enforcement officials frown upon Mr. Smiley?
The Nashville, TN media outlets recently reported the sale of "relaxation shots" at several smoke shops in the surrounding area. These "liquid shots" are sold under various names such as VivaZen, KXL Liquid Kratom, Mr. Smiley Kratom Shots, Mr.Smiley Eupohria Part Shots. Also, they are readily available via Internet sites.
WHAT IS IT?
Mitragya speciosa ( kratom, kranthom, kakuam) is a plant indigenous to southeast Asia countries of Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar (Burma).
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The leaves contain over twenty different alkaloids. Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, the two alkaloids mainly responsible for the effects of kratom, are selective and full agonists of the μ-subtype opioid receptor (MOR). The receptor agonist effect of kratom alkaloids is antagonized by the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone. In addition, 5-HT2a and postsynaptic α2-adrenergic receptors, as well as neuronal Ca2+ channels are also involved in the unique pharmacological and behavioral activity of mitragynine. (European Monitoring Centre for Drug and Drug Addiction, Kratom)
Mitragynine has been abused as a recreational drug around the world. Consumption produces both simulant effects in low doses and sedative effects in high doses.
WHY DO PEOPLE DRINK A "SHOT"?
Excerpt from a user:
"My upper back begins to loosen, I can feel my muscles relaxing and it's a relief. I lean my head against the couch and slip into a gaming marathon. I don't feel particularly energetic, but I'm not knocked off my feet either" (www.welovekratom.com)
IS IT LEGAL?
In the state of Tennessee the plant and active component hydroxymitragynine is a Schedule I Drug. TN CODE 39-17-452(a)(2) as of July 1, 2013. The drug is legal in most of the United States, but is on the DEA list of Drugs and Chemicals of Concern.
This question prepared by: Jeff Moore, RN, CSPI (Certified Specialist in Poison Information)