A 14-year-old boy from Nakhon Ratchasima province is in treatment at a hospital after he reportedly fell ill and vomited blood due to consuming water mixed with kratom leaves.
The parents of the unidentified boy, who is an eighth grader, said he is undergoing detoxification treatment at the Dan Khun Thot district hospital. They said the doctor administered a saline solution before detoxifying his body of kratom.
The child’s mother, 31, said that she noticed that her son had been regularly buying and drinking kratom mixtures but didn’t know where he had bought them from and that she had scolded him for it. She said that after drinking kratom regularly, he had experienced trembling, fatigue, and slower brain development. Although he used to excel in sports, she said he could no longer play because he easily became tired.
“I saw my child drinking kratom water and scolded him, but he continued to secretly drink it,” she told reporters. “After drinking it for a while, I noticed abnormal symptoms such as trembling. As someone who used to study well and quickly, he started studying slowly.”
Meanwhile, the doctor at Dan Khun Thot Hospital said that the boy was the second case in which they’d had to treat a young person suffering side effects from kratom. Previously, a 17-year-old male patient had also sought treatment after suffering even worse symptoms.
Kratom is a leaf found across Southeast Asia. While not psychoactive, it has a stimulant effect in lower doses. It can relieve pain and create a feeling of euphoria akin to a “body high.” In higher doses, it can make users drowsy.
Kratom became legal in Thailand in 2021 and more recent legislation has allowed for its use in products such as drinks, candies, and more.
It should be stressed that Kratom is absolutely an addictive substance. While it has numerous therapeutic benefits, its alkaloid contents effect the same dopamine and serotonin receptors as opiates, and regular use can lead to dependence – and very difficult withdrawal symptoms.
Some people experience side effects from drinking kratom leaf mixed with water including headaches, feeling of nausea, dizziness, lack of concentration, and in severe cases, vomiting blood.
The addictive substance found in Kratom leaves is Mitragynine, which is a type of alkaloid that acts as a central nervous system depressant (CNS depressant), similar to other drugs in the same group such as psilocybin, LSD, and methamphetamine.
While the new regulations have expanded kratom’s commercial possibilities, a number of controls remain in place. Cultivators looking to import and export the plant must obtain a license from the Office of Narcotics Control Board. The justice and public health ministries have also banned the sale of Kratom leaves to minors and pregnant women. Those caught doing so can be fined up to THB30,000 (US$860).