Morning Rounds: Dangers of poppy seed tea

Posted at 10:56 AM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 10:56:48-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Poppy seed tea is available online, but medical experts warn of its dangerous and addictive properties.

"The results are dangerous and sometimes deadly," warned News 3 medical expert Dr. Ryan Light.  "Teens can quickly send these dangerous trends to other teens."

Dr. Light said the tea is made from poppy pods, stems, and seeds.

"The poppy plant is used to make opioids. Teas made from the poppy plants contain opioids," he explained.  "The highest opioid concentration is in the pods, but poppy seeds can produce a similar high."

Dr. Light said poppy seed tea varies in the concentration of opioids, and that makes it impossible to know the dose of opiod in each serving.

"Poor control of opioid levels leads to an increased risk of a drug overdose," he stressed.

Additionally, poppy seed tea can result in a positive drug test because it contains opioids.

"Awareness is the most important step in understanding the dangers," Dr. Light said to parents.  "If your teen is using poppy seed tea, discuss the dangers.  Teen drug use is often difficult for parents to address. Extra help is available through a primary care provider, counselor, or local drug treatment center. Don't hesitate to get help from those with experience."