Anything can be abused if you discover addictively active ingredients that can cause feelings of euphoria. Something like poppy seeds may be harmless but being brewed in tea can give you the effects that opiates can give you. It is important to be educated on the effects of poppy seed tea to prevent developing a deadly addiction.

Assistant Professor Madeleine Swortwood was contacted by a 21 year-old man that his father died after ingesting homemade poppy seed tea. After looking at 22 samples of bulk poppy seeds purchased legally online, Swortwood discovered morphine, codeine, and thebaine which can produce lethal levels of morphine taken at a moderate dose. Even though opioid poppy and poppy straws are considered controlled substances, poppy seeds are not illegal. This can give teens simple access to the tea since it is not illegal to obtain. Although it has happened before where poppy seeds have caused others to fail urine tests as it can test you positive for morphine, poppy seeds are used in baking such as poppy seed buns and have no threat to consumers. The high concentration of morphine in unwashed poppy seeds and extracted through teas pose a danger of overdose and death.

Poppy plants are used to produce opiates like morphine, opium, heroin, and codeine which can be great pain relievers. They stimulate receptors in the brain and cause a hormonal release which leads to a rush of pleasure and hours feeling content, relaxed, or high. You can also experience symptoms like drowsiness, constipation, loss of breath, respiratory arrest, and death. The tea is made from poppy pods, pods and stems, and/or seeds. Dried pods or straw would be grounded in powder and steeped in water to extract the opioids from the poppy.

It is impossible to tell the concentration of the active drugs in the crop of poppy pods or the poppy seeds so it is also impossible to control the tea to avoid overdose. One batch can be 120 times stronger than the other. How one person metabolizes a poppy seed is not how someone else will metabolize the same seed. It is important that you are aware of the dangers of brewing this tea with poppy seeds. If you realize that you or your children are growing an addiction to poppy seed tea, get help from a pediatrician, counselor, or local treatment center before it is too late.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.