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Following “the roots” of kratom (mitragyna speciosa):theevolutionofanenhancerfromatraditionalusetoincreaseworkandproductivityinsouth-­eastAsiatoarecreationalpsychoactivedruginwesterncountries

Cinosi, Eduardo, Martinotti, Giovanni, Simonato, Pierluigi, Singh, Darshan, Demtrovics, Zsolt, Roman-Urrestarazu, Andres, Bersani, Francesco Saverio, Vicknasingam, Balasingam, Piazzon, Giulia, Jih-Heng, Li, Wen-Jing, Yu, Kapitány-­‐Fövény, Máté, Farkas, Judit, Di Giannantonio, Massimo and Corazza, Ornella (2015) Following “the roots” of kratom (mitragyna speciosa):theevolutionofanenhancerfromatraditionalusetoincreaseworkandproductivityinsouth-­eastAsiatoarecreationalpsychoactivedruginwesterncountries. BioMed Research International, 2015. ISSN 2314-6133

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Identification Number: 10.1155/2015/968786


The use of substances to enhance human abilities is a constant and cross-­‐cultural feature in the evolution of humanity. Although much has changed over time, the availability on the Internet, often supported by misleading marketing strategies, has made their use even more likely and risky. This paper will explore the case of Mitragyna speciosa Korth (kratom), a tropical tree used traditionally to combat fatigue and improve work productivity among farm populations in South East Asia, which has recently become popular as novel psychoactive substance in Western countries. Specifically, it: (i) reviews the state of the art on kratom pharmacology and identification; (ii) provides a comprehensive overview of kratom use cross-­‐culturally; iii) explores the subjective experiences of users; (iv) identifies potential risks and side-­‐effects related to its consumption. Finally, it concludes that the use of kratom is not negligible, especially for self-­‐medication, and more clinical, pharmacological and socio-­‐ anthropological studies are needed as well as a better international collaboration to tackle this marginally explored phenomenon.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors © CC BY 3.0
Divisions: LSE Health
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2015 09:48
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2024 23:12

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