2-year-old died after eating kratom, coroner says, fueling a push to ban the herbal extract

Around 1 a.m. on April 17, 2021, Laci Kanada finished taking a bath and found her two-year-old daughter had stopped breathing, police reports say.

She rushed her to the bathroom and let the water run over body, trying to wake her, and attempted CPR, but it was too late: Elizabeth Kanada-Martin was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the reports say.

A coroner’s report says the girl died from poisoning after ingesting combined drugs: “An extraordinarily high, lethal level” of tianeptine, an antidepressant drug that acts like an opioid — and the herbal extract kratom. Described in the report as a “psychoactive botanical substance,” the coroner wrote that kratom “affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine.”

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