232 substances ruled out in sergeant’s death; only kratom present

TUPPER LAKE — Franklin County Coroner Shawn Stuart has shared a list of drugs tested for in toxicology screening on village police Sgt. Matthew Dana, which informed Stuart’s report that said a kratom overdose caused Dana’s death.

The list encompasses 233 drugs, chemicals and other substances, including cocaine, alprazolam (Xanax) and O-Desmethyltramadol, a drug which, when mixed with kratom, killed nine Swedish men in 2010.

Stuart, of Tupper Lake, added that anabolic steroids were tested for as well, and the tests came back negative.


While the test came back negative for 232 of the substances tested for, it returned positive for mitragynine, the active chemical in kratom. The test detected 3,500 nanograms per milliliter of mitragynine in Dana’s blood, nearly six times as much as any other blood test from an alleged kratom overdose.

National Medical Services Labs, an accredited, privately owned laboratory in Pennsylvania, administered the postmortem blood test.

State police continue to investigate Dana’s death, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to investigate kratom.

Kratom, a legal Southeast Asian plant, is in the coffee family and produces opioid-like effects, which has earned it a controversial reputation. Despite that, thousands of bodybuilders, pain sufferers and heroin users in recovery use the plant every day and rely on its legality.

The American Kratom Association recently issued a press release implicating Stuart in what it refers to as a “shadow campaign” with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency to libel the plant’s reputation. Stuart says the claim is absurd.

The AKA has always taken the position that it is impossible to overdose on kratom, and kratom users nationwide mobilized to push back against Stuart’s report on Dana’s death, issued in September.

Both the AKA and the Enterprise have requested copies of the coroner’s report on Dana but were denied by Franklin County. Coroners’ reports are exempt from New York’s Freedom of Information Law, except for requests by family members or others whose interest in obtaining them is deemed significant.