Hello, I am writing to emphatically thank you for setting up this informative, accurate, and necessary website. I would also like to offer my sincere condoloences about your son. I imagine my story could have sounded much like his.
When I was 19, my curiosity led me to read (according to a research paper) that poppy seeds may contain between 2 and 200 mg of morphine per kilo of seeds. I bought a pound and drank a crude tea from the whole thing. That night I was so sick I could barely stand, I vomited twice, and was so high that I could not keep my eyes open. One of my last sane thoughts that evening was to make strong coffee, and fast, because I was terrified that if I fell asleep I would not wake up. I drank 3 or 4 large cups of coffee, and was able to stay awake for another couple hours.
Despite this horrible experience, I began using poppy seed tea daily, and eventually my dosage increased to 4 pounds at a time, at least twice daily. I kept this a secret from my parents who thought I had become severely depressed about school, or relationships, etc. 18 months later, though, I knew I had no hope of stopping on my own and broke down to my parents who put me in rehab.
I wish I never doubted the terrible potency of this stuff. I wish I hadn't permanently altered the chemistry of my brain, so that despite my better judgement I CRAVE this poison. But I'll never have those things. I hope that my story and yours will save someone else's life.
Finally, I have also noticed that from batch to batch of poppy seed, the potency can vary AT LEAST 100-fold. Please be careful everyone. Addiction is hell, if you survive through it.
Another case of addiction to poppy seed tea:
I will say that poppy seeds can contain opium in widly varying potency, but some people do use it for recreational reasons others to help cope with pain. They like all opioids should be respected, there (mis)use can a have very bad outcome. and used with other depressants only increases to probability of lethal results. I myself almost died, was dead for a few minuite from a poly drug overdose as a teenager involving narcotics other depressants and alcohol so I am not speaking out of my hat, it is to late to help this one kid but for others who think that they can handle anything abstain if you can, if not don't fly to high, the ground is always a lot closer than it looks from up there, and ya don't hit softly most of the time. Please don't put your folks through what these people are going through. Again I am sorry for your lose, and I hope this sight save some people
As a parent of two teenagers, I am appalled at your loss. Please accept my deepest sympathy.
I have been a poppy-seed user for almost twelve years. It was first introduced to me by a friend who had been a heroin addict. He told me that this was a 'natural' opiate. When I asked if it was addictive, he said that he didn't believe anyone could take enough to get addicted - to him, as an ex-opiate addict, the effect was very mild.
I started using it on weekends. I found that it made me more talkative and friendly, and I didn't mind doing housework, either! In fact, I didn't mind very much at all while under the influence.
I have never made the concoction with hot water - only cold, and then drink it with cordial.
Soon I found that I was getting severe diarrhoea on Mondays and Tuesdays at work. I thought I may be developing Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It never occurred to me that it was connected to the poppy seeds, until the first time I detoxed. After four days of hell, I still had diarrhoea for several weeks afterwards.
I have now detoxed (at home) FIVE times. Each time I have needed many valium tablets to stop the muscle cramps, and sleeping pills to sleep through as much of it as possible. But I keep on going back, "just this once". As any junkie or alcoholic will tell you, there is no such thing as "once".
I developed periodontal disease through having a permanently dry mouth. I have now lost all my back teeth, and my dentist wants to pull them all out, but I am resisting that. In the past three years, I have spent well over $5,000 on dental treatment.
I am considering detox again, but obviously doing it at home is not effective - FIVE times! And each time I have gone back to them. Last time I detoxed, I managed to stay off them for nine months, during which time my gum disease went away and my teeth stopped hurting.
Many times I have searched the web for information on poppy seeds, but yours is the only site I have ever found that tells it like it is.
Thank you for being brave enough (and concerned enough) to post your son's tragic story on the web. Hopefully, you will prevent many people from going through what you did, and what I have gone through.
Long Time Poppy Seed Tea User:
I just stumbled across your site. It is linked on the Wikipedia page regarding opium poppy tea. First let me offer my most sincere and heartfelt condolences. I can not imagine your suffering. All I can say is how truly sorry I am. I would like to share some information on opiate addiction.
I never met my paternal grandfather. He died in 1937, the victim of heroin and opium addiction. He suffered a stage accident (he was a regionally famous vaudeville actor in the Midwest) and was prescribed narcotics for pain. It was his undoing and he dropped dead on a city street in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana in the summer of 1937. He had no identification and lay in the morgue for a week without being identified. Finally word got to my grandmother and she was able to spare him the indignity of ending up in the city's paupers' graveyard.
With a story like that in my family one would think that I would have kept my nose clean. Well, I didn't and it nearly destroyed my life. The first time I was exposed to narcotics was innocent enough. I was 14 and my step-mother took me to the dentist for an abscessed tooth. The dentist sent me home with a prescription for Tylenol-3. I LOVED it. I couldn't believe that something could make me feel THAT good! It was heaven, so I thought. I was hooked from that first day. That was 27 years ago.
For the next 27 years I used narcotics recreationally and managed to keep myself from becoming a full blown junkie. Then about 6 years ago I found out about poppy tea. It was the ease of getting a hold of it that was my undoing. I became a full blown junkie and remained that way until December of 2005. That was when I went to a doctor and told him my tale of woe. He prescribed me Methadone and I did well for about 4 months. He just didn't keep close enough tabs on me, you can NEVER trust a junkie. He thought that I was doing well.
What he didn't know was that I became a hard-core doctor shopper. It was like a full time job. Exhausting and expensive. Then (Thank God) on January 27th of this year my world came crashing down around me. In an instant. My husband has severe hip and leg problems associated with an accident from many years ago. Anyway, we were at the doctors office (one who I had "hit" numerous times) for routine care for my husbands leg. That doctor confronted me. He knew everything. I never questioned who found out what, or when. I didn't matter anymore. I had been caught and that was all there was to it. The doctor mentioned
calling the police, but didn't. To this day I live in fear of being charged. Doctor shopping is a felony in my state, with serious
penalties. I feel like I am living on borrowed time, with a near paranoid worry of the day that "they" tap me on the back to take me to answer for my crime. Just look at Rush Limbaugh.
I left his office and went straight into detox. I stayed for 9 days of hell. When I came home it got worse and worse. I couldn't understand why I wasn't getting better. My fear of arrest and prosecution is what most likely kept me clean through those months of hell from withdrawal. From February 5th until May 29th I suffered the most mind bending withdrawal symptoms that one can imagine. I read and read on the Internet to try to figure out what the heck was wrong with me. Almost all popular literature indicates a withdrawal period of no more than 2 weeks from opiates.
People who suffer withdrawal beyond the "normal" amount of time need to look up "post acute withdrawal syndrome". This usually happens to long term heavy users, which defines me pretty accurately. I won't go into its definition here except to say that long time users should look into it. Once I found out what was wrong with me I set about looking for a cure or treatment. There is one out there and it is called Suboxone, mentioned by a previous poster to your site. It is prohibitively expensive. Over $10 per pill, and you usually need between 2 and 4 a day for at least 3 months. Long time junkies like myself can look forward to 2 years of treatment.
Suboxone can only be prescribed by doctors with a special amendment and DEA number associated with their license to practice medicine. Due to the popularity of dumping patients into Methadone treatment not many doctors bother. In my state there are only 35 Suboxone doctors. By the Grace of God one of the 35 actually lives and practices in my tiny (10K population) town. I found out about him and saw him for the first time on the 29th of May. He saved my life.
It is now the middle of August and I am functioning normally and haven't touched a narcotic since that fateful day back in January. I am writing to let people know that there is hope. Ask for help. Don't do what I did. I waited for months after leaving detox, and suffered every minute. Some people may say that I am a success story because I abstained for all those months before finding the Suboxone doctor. Perhaps. The urge to use was gone for me, probably as a result of fear of prosecution, but the suffering got worse and worse. It was physical and mental and absolutely the WORST time of my life.
I am NOT advocating skipping a period in treatment. Just because I did it doesn't mean others should. I just got lucky. Please, get help. Go to treatment, find a Suboxone doctor, save your life. I speak from many years of experience as an addict. Take it from me, addiction leads to one of two places with no exceptions. They are prison or death, take your pick. I wish all of you well and God Speed.
The manufacturer of Suboxone is Reckitt Benckiser. This drug is prohibitively expensive. But go to their Site. Fill out the form for
financial assistance, find a Suboxone doctor in your area and fill out the anonymous form that will be sent to the doctor of your choice encouraging him or her to become a Suboxone provider. The doctor will not see your name. The will only know that there is a patient in their practice who needs Suboxone. It is important to get those physician letters out there. We can get more Suboxone doctors on board if we work together. I have had the letter sent to every doctor I received narcotics from. Kind of ironic, huh?
I hope that this information helps some of your readers. Thank you for hearing my story, and again, my deepest sympathies for your unbelievable loss.
Personal Experience and Treatment:
I found your website and identified a lot with the stories of poppy seed tea addiction. I have been using and abusing both poppy pod tea and poppy seed tea for two or three years now. I am at the moment on a 6 month long physical addiction to poppy seed tea stint.
I hate the stuff, And love the stuff. I hate the withdrawl , but love the relaxation and sociability it can produce in me. I use about 6 pounds per day, sometimes less, sometimes more. Bought in bulk the price varies from 2.30 to 2.50 a pound around here. That gets pretty expensive.
When I began I only needed about 2-3 pounds, then I needed larger and larger dosages. The bitterness test is true. Also I have noticed there is a connection between potency and color, usually the more potent tea having a yellow thick opaque color. The potency varies greatly I have noticed between batches of seed, time of year and so on.
I would urge anyone interested in messing with this stuff to not do so, half the time I ache all over or am intoxicated and disconnected. I am tired of this, but have not figured out what to do yet. This is definitely not fun anymore. I am tired, I just want to be able to stop, and stay stopped. That's the hardest part, not starting again.
Andrew age 27
I took a look at your site when I was considering the use of opium tea. I've been using opiates on and off for almost half a year now, out of necessity to battle the pain of a systemic mold infection. By far the worst health problem I've ever faced. After reading the report that lead to the death of your son, as well as checking up on the varying potency of it, I have decided against starting use. I won't lament on how tight a grip doctors have on opiates even if a person actually needs them, as I did. Seven separate Emergency Room visits proved that. Nor will I comment on the positively black, tainted energy that opium and its derivatives emanate. We all know what opium and its sisters do to the world.
What I can display are my most sincere thanks. I was reluctant to start the use of such a horrid substance, and with good reason. After seeing into all the gray areas that come with this toxin and distilling it in liquid, I would much rather fight the predictable pains of withdrawal from pharmaceutical grade opiates than tempt the curse of addiction. I'm not much older than your son, and although his use was in a very high dosage, the void between his overdose and my casual use threatens to close in a matter of weeks. Or dare I say it, days. Some friends of mine are heroin survivors and they both can confirm that there is nothing worse than being an addict. Every aspect of your life revolves around the next hit. I've faced and conquered many demons in my life thus far, but I won't willingly invite the devil into my body. Not if I can avoid it.
And thanks to your site, as well as your son's paper of despair, I will avoid that curse. With any good fortune, I will personally thank your son in the afterlife.
First of all let me express my deepest sympathy for your loss. He was taken at far too young of an age. I have used poppy seed tea extensively. I am an opiate addict so i first used poppy seed tea to help with my withdrawal symptoms.
I used prescription opiates for 2 years straight, and when my hook ups wents to prison i was stuck with a horrible addiction. That was when i started using poppy seeds to get high. I started out using a 1/2 pound of them to get an effect and now im up to over 1 1/2 lbs per dose. I just want to reinforce the fact that poppy seed tea is a very addictive substance and shouldnt be taken lightly. With prolonged use you can develope as bad of an addiction as a heroin addict. I am currently trying to stop using opiates but it is almost impossible. Thank god i have a girlfriend who loves me enough to stick with me even though i have lied to her countless times about my usage.
Since most of the other emails on this site have info about how to tell the strength of the tea, i will add my two cents. I have found color to be one of the best ways to tell the potency. The darker it is, the stronger it is. If you let it sit for 10 minutes or so you can see some stuff start to gather at the bottom of the container, the more of this there is, and the darker it is, the stronger the tea. If the tea is a sort of light urine color, it isnt very strong.
Anyways, to anyone who is reading this please be careful when usng opiates. Take it from me, they can and will ruin your life. It can get to the point where you will steal from and hurt those who love you the most. To all of the addicts suffering out there i pray you find the strength to stay sober. As for me...please add me to your prayers, i will need all the help i can get to stay clean. Thank you.
More on Addiction and Tea Strength Signs:
Thank you for sharing your story with others! No parent should ever have to go through what you have had to go through. My sincere condolences for your loss. Working for an criminal defense attorney I see lots of addiction victims. I've never really understood their pain until I read your son's paper. He was a very talented writer and I hope that his voice of experiance helps others avoid the same trap. My prayers are with you.
Please add this to your journal without email addy. Cold turkey detox of any drug is dangerous. My blood pressure was in the 200s top and 150 bottom. Their is a miracle drug out called Suboxone and it works, When you start to suboxone make sure you have not taken any tea, you should be in full withdrawl before you take it otherwise it will put you in far more intense withdrawl symptoms, but let me reiterate, detox medically not stupidly
Thank you for this web site. If it can save one persons life it is worth it. My husband told me about it. He is in jail now for using it. He has been using it for over a year and a half. It is one evil drug.... It changed him . He now knows how sick he was and it made him sick when he didn't have it. This evil stuff messed up our marriage and our family. There are many web sites out there encourging people to use it. These people are so messed up they don't know what its doing to them. All we can do is to pray and hope someone will find your web site and show it to them, so they can stop and get help before it kills them or kills their family. I'm so sorry about your son, but you are doing an amazing thing to help people so they will be informed. I'm sure your son is proud of you. Thank you again.....
I read you story and I very sorry to hear about your son.Its got to be hard, I can't and don't know how you feel and not going to tell you I know, because I don't.
But I read a lot "PST" as it called, and well frankly its mostly negative. I just want you to know, I don't use PST, and if I ever did it would be to help my pain, if i ran out of my medications and for any reason I could not get pains meds from a *** of doctor with my disease!!!.
I got hit with a horrible illness at 21 and it completely ruined my life!!! "COMPLETELY!!" I can't work, and have no girlfriend, my chances of ever marring and having my own family, well let just say they are not that freak'en good!!
I use pain meds(opiates, for pain) And let me tell you, I don't know who these people are the act like the stuff is just "easy to
get"????????????????, because the "big bad DEA" made it soooo damm hard now, that even somebody like "me!!" who been fighting a disease for almost 11 years has a hard fighting doctors o what I need!!!!!! Which is flat out "NUTS" with all my history and all my documentation!!
I am very sorry for you son.
But man people need learn to use "self control", I am talking about people I read on you e-mail board, I am talking you directly, and I am sure not blaming you for anything, you didn't know, its not your fault your son died and you can't blame your self, he was young, he didn't understand what he was doing fully. its not anybodies fault. And going around "banning" things does no good at all just turn thing upside down!!! I believe "education is the answer" ,not more negative stuff about plants and the medications in which they make. I am sick of hearing about how poppies are "SO BAD!!" and stuff like the "DEMON" and all these words that I hear about this plant the drugs it make within the plants. I believe God knew there would not physical pain, So he give us the poppies to help with that!! "NOT FOR GETTING HIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I been through withdraw what is feel like a million times!!, "its sucks", and yes its hard as hell, but come on man!! Use a little
"SELF CONTROL" I have more of this now that I am older, I am 31, and I live in pain, with a rare disease. I am work hard to beat it with natural stuff, not just drugs!! But I must still take my pain meds anyway until am ready to come off, when even that be???
In fact I am in withdraw right right trying to lower my dose of pain meds! It is hard, but come on man, you can't blame the drug!!! It is what it is man, take for what it is!
But I believe the day will come, and I will be off hopefully??
I hope and pray. and I pray for yo to be able to get over this tragic thing in your life too. It must have killed you both, I can't know how
it effected you?
But what you must understand, is plant were put here on this earth for us to use, by "GOD!!!" And "God make no mistakes", "not with one plant he put here", "NOT ONE!!!!" "Not marijuana", "not coca", not nothing other with natural medications in them. "Its man who man them bad!!" "It's man who destroyed what their true purpose was for!"
I just want you keep this in your thoughts with all this negative about "plant's" and the drugs "these plant's" may or may not make.
I am very sorry for your loss. If I had run across your website 6 months ago, I wouldn't be writing this to you, for the addiction cycle would not have started. My wife and I started using the "tea" as an alternative to pain pills, but when we tried to stop, we bacame very ill. In the process, I was touting the benefits of the tea to everyone I knew. Now, every store in the Vancouver/Portland Oregon area are consistently sold out of bulk poppy seeds, and the distibutors are scrambling to keep the shelves stocked. We use two pound of seeds each on a daily basis. I ended up in the hospital for two days from "fainting". After finally finding a doctor that would listen to us about our addiction without laughing at us, we found hope. One of the major side effects of opiate use is constipation. Due to the "straining" on the toilet, I caused a nerve to rupture near my colon which now causes me to immediately pass out for ten seconds, and depending on where I am or what I am doing at that moment, it can be very painful when I come around. To top all of this off, the tea has caused severe mood swings in myself and my wife. Depression is a close cousin to the addiction. We started on Suboxone today, and for the first time in months, we feel hope.
I am very sorry that you lost your son to this vile drink. I also very much appreciate the fact that you created this site and posting the responses that people have offered.
Before a few months ago, opiates were only a source of pleasure. I went through prescriptions, both il- and legitimately acquired, and many other natural sources of opiates, but Ill spare you the details of my own story. Suffice to say that, Im not who or where I wanted to be at twenty years old. I did my research before I made my decisions, I even came across your website once or twice. I unknowingly sold my soul to morphine, now I only know pain. I try to quit. I make it through a few days, and I give in. Its a long road. Ive hurt my parents and siblings too many times. I dont want to do it anymore.
Part of addiction and repetition is the horror of tolerance. One pound used to suffice, and then it takes one and a half, and then two, and then three, and so the nightmare and the cost continues to grow, on and on This leads to people, me included, to try and potentiate their experiences. To create the feeling they used to know. There are many ways to do this:
Take more of the drugs that youre tolerant to (costs a lot more money),
Take breaks between using (go through the painful withdrawal), or
Take other drugs (enzyme inhibitors) with your opiates.
Theres a lot of skepticism on web forums as to whether or not these potentiators actually do work. There is no real professional information on the subject. There are many of these potentiators,
There are more, too. They can change the opiate experience by a lot. Ive used these as well. In theory, they can dramatically increase the bioavailability of opiates, leading to a potential overdose.
I just thought this kind of information could be useful for people thinking of doing this kind of thing. Its potentially dangerous. Im not trying to convince people to not do these drugs. I believe it is a choice, one that everybody has the right to make. It is also important to realize, all drugs, including opiates, have consequences. Youll feel great, like a god, but, after its all said and done and the last molecule leaves the receptor in your brain, you will feel ten times worse than you did before.
I want to feel normal again.
I wish there were words I could write to take away your pain. I wrote this in hopes that it will help even one less family from experiencing the loss that you have incurred.Please read the article above and perhaps have a link to it on your website. People don't know what they are getting into until it's too late. Whether the tea is made from seeds or the highly potent pods, the substance is PHYSICALLY ADDICTING. When most people hear the word addicting, they may not be clear between the difference between physical and psychological addiction. Physical addiction entails severely painful withdrawal symptoms when the substance is stopped. It's pure hell I'll tell you, with extreme muscle/bone pain, profuse sweating, difficulty staying warm despite the perspiration, and the worst flu-like symptoms imaginable.I am posting this not to tell anyone where to get "legal" opium but to STAY AWAY! DON'T DO IT! Don't say "I won't get addicted" or "I can handle it". You've been warned. It's kind of like crack---you do it once and you're hooked! You're always chasing that first "high", and it's not even that pleasant of a "buzz" (not to mention it tastes awful). Not only will poppy tea cause physical dependence, IT CAN KILL YOU! Potency varies widely from batch to batch, and the possibility of overdose is always present! Some people have to learn the hard way, and it's so sad. Believe me I know. If you are looking for help detoxing from poppy pod tea, there is help! If you are very disciplined, you can do it on your own. Slowly, gradually reduce your intake by 1/2 to 1 pod per day every week. Make a batch of tea (several doses to keep the same potency) and measure it out into equal doses. You will be able to go 24 to 28 hours between doses before "sickness" sets in. If you'll do this very gradually, your withdrawal symptoms will be less severe. Don't slip and take more than your "set aside" daily dose, or you'll have to start over. When you decide to quit completely, attempt to have several days where you have no obligations. The withdrawal symptoms are still going to present 24+ hours after your last dose because YOU HAVE PERMANENTLY ALTERED YOUR BRAIN'S CHEMISTRY! Make sure you have food, gatorade, immodium, phenergan/zofran/etc, Advil, Aleve, heating pads (for the AWFUL leg cramps). Ultram helps a little more than OTC meds and can be acquired without a previous prescription online. Be careful with this medication--it acts like an opioid and can be physically addictive too. Some sites have mentioned the use of clonidine to help with withdrawals, but be extremely cautious with this medication, as it can cause low blood pressure and even death. I was fortunate enough to have a prescription for Valium and Ambien to help me through the process. WITHDRAWALS CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS! Please be careful! You will need to monitor your blood pressure (buy auto cuff/wrist BP machine at drug store <$40). If your heart rate is above 100 or BP>160/100, I would advise visiting your local ER. I am not a doctor! Use extreme caution if you attempt a self-detox! I used for less than 3 months and can only pray that my body resumes producing its normal levels of chemicals/endorphins. If you're in over your head, follow the link below for a new treatment option or contact a compassionate physician to help you through this process . DRUGS DESTROY LIVES! <http://www.suboxone.com/patients/resources/find_a_doctor.aspx>, go ahead a sign up for financial assistance (very expensive medication), and locate a doctor in your area. My experience with addiction over the years is this--->You have to really WANT to quit before you'll ever be successful! Good luck, and I pray GOD's Blessings and Mercy upon you.Anonymous (I'm so ashamed that I was STUPID enough to try poppy tea even once)