Some of the Feedback Emails We Have Received
Greetings.  I debated writing this to you for some time, but in the end decided that it's worth the risk.

Firstly, I'd like to express my deepest sympathies for the loss of your son.  It really is an incredible tragedy.  It's been a couple of years, but he is no doubt still alive in your memory.

I'm not going to tell you my view on the drug war, or what I believe the government should or shouldn't do.  I'm sure you get enough of that.  I'm also not going to tell you that your son is foolish or in any way responsible for his own death.  He is not.  What I will share with you is my experience with this substance, in hopes that I can add something worthwhile to your cause.

I think it's a great thing that you're doing.  I'd bet my reputation that you've already saved countless people from serious injury or worse.  I also appreciate that you aren't screaming from the rooftops that poppy seeds should be utlawed.  I respect that deeply, and I honestly don't know if I could refrain from doing that if I were in your shoes.

If I had visited your site before I started my habit, would I have given up on my wish to try PST?  No, definitely not.  But I would have realized the power of this substance and started with near microscopic doses just to be safe.  Thank god I did that anyway, and I think of myself as a living testimony to the potential good in this substance (not just poppy tea, but opiods in general).  I'm also thankful to erowid for promoting your site, as their influence on today's "drug-savvy" youth is immense.

So what can I contribute?  Well, first, I can't even imagine using 3 lbs at a time.  I don't weigh my dosages, but I know that a 5 lb bag lasts just about 2 months (I'm a daily user).  My suspicion is that your son was using extremely weak seeds, and then received a much more potent batch.  This you already know or suspect I'm sure.

I see that someone already informed you of the "bitterness test".  Another way that I can tell is by smell.  With strong seeds there will be a strong, musty smell.  I'd liken it most to an old movie theater.  It's also slightly nutty in character.  In my experience, color is also important.  The most common variety sold are a mix of blue/purple/black sold together.  In my experience, the deeper these colors are, the more potent the seeds.  As the person who sent you the bitterness test said, it may not be terribly accurate, but it's better than guessing.  My main piece of advice that I would give potential users that I didn't see on your site is to start as small as possible.  Work your way up.  Slowly.  It's better to not feel a high than to wind up dead and not feel anything at all.  It's also much safer than relying on some test that could have a hundred variables and exceptions.  **There is no rule of thumb to determine potency.**

On somewhat of a side note, I've heard that if the seeds clump together when submerged in water, then they are viable.  I have found this to be the most unreliable of all methods and wouldn't put any faith in it at all.

Once again, I apologize for your loss, and I hope that I have made some contribution, no matter how small.  No mother (or father) should have to go through that.  I'm 20 years old.  I'm the same age as your son would be, and believe me, the synchronicity isn't lost on me.

Take Care.
On bitternes, smell and color...
  My name is Ben, I first started using poppyseed tea as a pain killer and it worked worked well for me and got me back to work. I have been taking it for about 1 year and then the market I brought it from ran out and I became so sick it wasnt funny. I am now addicted to it and have been on it for 4 years and have no idea how I will ever get off it. Now I cant work as my life revolves around making sure I have enough to not have the horrid withdrawals that come with running out! Please anyone thinking of trying it, Be so very carefull! if you dont die you WILL become addicted and it is no joke. The pain is un-believeable and lasts weeks and weeks and weeks. I hope I come off before it kills me. I feel for you and your dear son, may he rest in peace!

34 yr old father of Three

He later added in a second email to us:

There are two new drugs available called "subotex" & "subroxon" that help  so much with the horrible withdrawal of opiate addiction. Often it is the fear of  withdrawal that stops people from attempting to come off this wicked drug. These knew drugs are  helpful and hopefully will help alot of people.

Another reader later made the following correction to the email above:

To clarify, the drugs are Soboxone and Subutex. Suboxone contains buprenorphine and Naloxone (a pure opiate antagonist added to curtail abuse via shooting up), and the other is just buprenorphine. This is an opiate agonists that binds strongly to the opiate receptors, keeping one from getting high on other opiates, but giving no "buzz" themselves. They are really great meds for those that can afford to get in to see a doc that prescribes it. Too expensive for the uninsured.
I myself am currently addicted to poppy seed tea, as are a few of my friends. I began this misadventure by believing that it was an innocuous substance, and was quickly proven wrong. Aside from the blatantly obvious risk of death, as told by this young man's parents, the hell of addiction is not something one can even fathom until they are in it. It's a self induced prison, And I just hop that even one person will think twice about giving it a try.
Thanks. Keep up the good fight. I am currently on day 3 of a self-detox, and hopefully will be rid of this demon forever soon. It never, EVER goes away - just sits dormant, waiting for you to slip up.


Let me first express my condolences for the death of your son. I also hasten to add that you are doing a wonderful thing by helping to educate the world about the truth of poppy seed tea.

I am also an addict of four years, and am seeking rehabilitation.

I simply wanted to add my theory that poppy seed tea takes a very long time to leave the body. I was tested for work once 4 days after my last sip of tea, and my levels were over 1000ng/ml! This may be the reason withdrawal from this substance is so difficult. Users of methadone have similar problems due to the long half-life of the drug. Some report withdrawal symptoms over a month after the last dosage. Whether these symptoms are psychological or not is irrelevant, I think.

Please maintain and extend your site. Your son's death, as tragic as it was, may yet save many lives by your efforts.


First of all I wish to express my deepest sympathy about your son and say you have done a great thing by putting up this site to inform people of the risks
involved in experimentation with poppy seed tea.

In my (3 years of daily) experience the bitternesstest is pretty accurate but I have found that an even better indication of potency is the colour the seeds
turn the water. The more potent seeds will turn the water a deep brown colour (when shaken up without any other additives with a ratio of about 250g of seeds to
1l of water). The weaker "treated" seeds will just make the water kind of murky without any brown colouration.

This may sound crude but in my experience it is pretty accurate.

I still only use about 100-200g max at a time. A dose of 400g or more of "normal" seeds would make me pretty ill, so as you have probably figured, your son must have started on the "treated" ones.
More on bitterness and also color...

I took the risk to write this simply because it is important that everyone involved in poppy tea and similar substances understand the power of these things. I actually don't use poppy tea, but as a chronic pain sufferer, I am familiar with opiates and opioids. I have been prescribed 120 pills of 10 mg/each hydrocodone from my MD a month for nearly three years now. These are twice the strength of the regular Vicodin usually doled out 20 at a time in ER outpatient. The first time I ran out, I had SHOCKING unexpected results. We had just moved and I wrote it all off to "post-traumatic stress" or something. But something was VERY wrong. This was pure HELL. It came on slowly with aches, chills, sneezing and depression and went full blown within 24 hours. I am severely depressed already, but this was tenfold the agony.

I had been very ill in childhood on numerous occasions with bronchitis, strep throat and flu. I would welcome any of those maladies in their worst form over what I felt during what turned out to be a sudden and savage cold-turkey when I ran out of my meds. Every molecule in my bones and flesh ached, but not only that, it ached for the pills with a craving that was unbearable. I felt as if my brain were being dragged behind a car on a dirt road. My skin became pallid and cold and my eyes hurt in the light. My stomach cramped constantly and I had "the runs" so seriously that I felt as if I were expelling hydrocloric acid. I sneezed ferociously every hour. My nose ran like a faucet. I couldn't move and I couldn't stand still. I couldn't even watch television. I kept getting up every five minutes looking to find some in the back of a drawer or for sale on the internet, but then I would grow weary, punch the wall and try to lie down again. Everything smelled real bad. Food was out of the question. Chills would rack my body in an 80 degree room. Despair set in. I was doomed. It got a little better after almost ten days, and even better after another ten, but I eventually went back and got more anyway, and repeated the proccess all over again.
I isolated. I would not pick up the phone to talk to anyone. I'm an extrovert and social hobnobber by nature, but this horrendous feeling made me a different person all together. I had read about "junk sickness" in Burroughs and seen it in movies, but it did the actual suffering no justice. It was "cool" literature with unfortunate characters, none of whom were me. There is always the feeling that :I can control it. ' You cant. Not a chance. Years ago I went from drinking a pint of hard liquor and at least a six pak a night with a full pack of Luckies a day: Now drinking at no more than three days a week, and never enough to be impaired behind the wheel. This was easy and I do it to this day, I cut my smoking from two packs a day to FIVE cigarettes a day. I figured I could moderate anything!

I succeeded in moderating my intake of cigarettes and alcohol and have neen successfully moderating for over 12 years. Then along came the demon. I used my pills as prescribed at first, only to save a few for a rec. buzz later on. How quickly it became a raging firestrorm. You just wake up one morning with the sickness, and it's the full monkey on the back. Then comes the confusion, anger and shame...DEEP shame and a little panic to boot. You feel alone and isolated. Anything at all that ever gave you the least bit of joy evaporates before your eyes.

You build a tolerace to the point that it takes ten times as much as what you once took to feel normal. You try to dole it out and hide emergency supplies, but you always remember where they are too soon.

My suggestion: Don't. It is not worth it. The pleasure can be intense, but for each peak, the valley below gets darker  and deeper. Before you know it, life as you know it is over. Knowing all this, I still get excited like a child on Christmas when I get a script for this garbage.

Humans are complicated.

Addiction to Opiates...
My condolences to you for the loss of your son. Thank you for putting the story and information on the net to help others. I almost got myself into trouble and lived my own poppy seed story, although it thankfully was very very shortly lived. The reason for this was lack of information and knowledge about what seemingly innocent poppy seeds can do to a person. Really, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. What an eye opener your story was for me, and I cut myself off of poppy seeds before they could do any damage.
I have always been a health nut - don't drink, smoke, do drugs, etc... basically a straight edge. I was looking for something natural to get some effect other than caffeine. I remembered references to poppy seeds and how they were somehow connected to getting a high or showing up on drug tests, but in trace amounts. My favorite bagels have always been poppy seed. One of my favorite foods on this planet, was the Hungarian poppy seed rolls my Russian relatives would make for Christmas parties. I do believe there was a connection to the trace opiates in these foods that caused me to crave them so much. For most people this would likely be of little consequence since most people have their vices in other chemicals like alcohol or caffeine or niccoteine. For me, with no real exposure to mood altering substances, I was likely very sensitive to the effects of "plain old poppy seeds".
So, I went to the local grocery store and found the poppy seeds. A quarter pound of poppy in the spice isle seeds for 99 cents. I bought one container, soaked half of the the seeds in water for a few hours to soften them for chewing, and then added some honey for flavor. For the next day or so I could tell something was happening - I felt pretty good. So I thought, hey this works! I went back to the store and bought two more containers and soaked them. This time I ate a whole container worth of poppy seeds, all 4 ounces or so. Feeling good!
Then I thought I'd better find out exactly what the chemical was in poppy seeds that was making me feel good, just to be safe. Anything off the spice rack at the grocery store must be safe, right?
Then I read up on the internet.
Morphine? Codeine? Opiates? I found out about what was making me feel good. Thankfully I had some knowledge of the slippery slope such chemicals incite in a human. Downward spiral, tolerances, having to pay back a high with a low at some point in the future. Downward spiral. Addiction. Death even.
I threw away the rest of my poppy seeds before it really affected me. In all I consumed maybe 2 whole containers. I am astounded that I was able to get a "high" off of something so cheap and widely available. If I hadn't read the information on the internet I would lilkely be buzzed right now, eating more and more poppy seeds for breakfast, maybe even making poppy seed tea. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I certainly don't want to give people, especially young kids, ideas of how to get high. However, I don't understand why poppy seed abuse is not more widely warned and criticized about. I'm not for making poppy seeds illegal, that's a whole nother complex issue. But then again, I wouldn't have considered messing with something that was illegal. If the poppy plant is banned why not ban the seeds too? How do kids get the message that poppy seeds are potentially dangerous without also giving them the idea to experiment with them? Maybe poppy seeds should be grouped together with illegal drugs. I am old enough to know from experience that some things in life that are good in the short term are really debts to be paid at some point in the future. Have a good buzz today, but at some point in the future there will be an equal but opposite low. I do believe that truth is the best default for life situations. After all, had I known the truth about poppy seeds, I wouldn't had messed with them.
Now I know, and I'll be staying away from poppy seeds.
- Anonymous
Addiction to Opiates...
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My Healthy 23 Year Old Son almost died from this Poppy Seed tea last Wednesday, October 8, 2008. First, please let me tell you that I did not know what this tea was and have never seen it in his room. He hid it very well from all of us, as well as a cleaning lady. We can go back from charge card and debit card receipts and tell that he has been purchasing the poppy seeds from as far back as almost 7 months. With that, please read this and know that if you are on this tea or thinking about starting this tea it nearly killed my son. My son is was a healthy young man, looking forward to becoming a medical student and going forward with his life. His grandfather died and this was so difficult on him, that he turned to something to mask the pain of his grandfather leaving his life. He started this tea and for a few months, I knew something was wrong with him, but he kept reassuring me that everything was fine, just struggling with school, job and the loss of his grandfather.
Last Wednesday, after being sick for a couple of days, with what we thought was the flu it was actually that the affects of this tea was having on his body was starting to provide complications that he didn't understand. His body was slowly dehydrating because he wasn't drinking plenty of other things and keeping his body hydrated. By 7:00 Wednesday night, he was having a migraine (he never had one before) and he thought his heart was beating more than it should. I put him in my car and within minutes he was having a grand mal seizure in my car. After getting the car pulled over, the paramedics arrived and put him the back and drove off to the hospital. Half way to the hospital, he had a 2nd seizure. Upon arriving at the hospital, they put him in the ER Room and he was ok for about an hour, then had a 3rd full blown grand mal seizure. The doctors couldn't find anything in his system to say what was causing the seizures.
After getting him into ICU and going home to take a shower and return to the hospital I went into his room and tore it apart. I found the poppy seeds that you can buy from a hospital along with all of the other ingredients that several websites tell you to get to make this deadly tea. When I arrived back, the drs were waiting to tell me I was lucky he didn't die. He was within minutes of dying. I sat down, took a deep breath and started reading about this deadly tea. I cannot believe it's still on the internet with what ingredients to use and everything.
I appreciate you posting this website and allowing me to email everything this story. The sad ending to this, 5 days later, is that my son has lost his memory for the last 18 months. He doesn't understand anything and he now cannot drive for 3 months. What this means, is that my son's future is put on hold because of a tea! This needs to be removed any health food stores. People don't need this kind of tea.
Thank you,
RJ's Mom
Close call
My brother in law was found dead Saturday afternoon by his 2 young sons. He was in his bed and they just thought he was sleeping in. My sister had recently moved out because he had started drinking heavily again. The two boys age 9 and 11 are his boys. Their mother died several years back in a car accident. Now their father is gone too.  No one could figure out what killed him. There was no alcohol in the house. No sign of other drugs or drug use. The only thing they found was a large quantity of poppy seeds, a blender, some juice and a shirt that he was using to (presumably) strain the seeds. We have to wait for the official autopsy report which can take 60-90 days, but we all know what it will say.   I can't believe that the only other reported death from this I have found was your son. There are links to this website on many, many other sites about poppy seed tea. Even on the pro-drug use forums. Your story is serving as a valuable tool for those who are curious. I wish my brother in law would have read your story before trying to experiment on his own.  I will update you when we have the official report.  Thank you so much for this site.
Another Death:
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