Friday, September 25, 2009

Prisoners of Poppy Seed Tea

Recently, within a week of each other, The Coleman Institute received two calls from people who were concerned about addictions to poppy tea.

Jane, a middle school teacher from Georgia was consuming 5 cups of tea daily, made from the ground pods of dried poppy flowers. She purchased these from an internet site that sold them for ornamental purposes. The addiction was ruling and ruining her life. She and her husband of five years were ready to start planning to have children. What seemed at first to be an innocent relaxing brew had turned into a full blown addiction. Within 8 hours of her last cup of tea, Jane started having classic intolerable withdrawal symptoms.

Cary, a young man from Boston who had been treated unsuccessfully for intractable migraine headaches consumed 2 liters a day of a poppy seed decoction, made by agitating large quantities of the seeds in a solution of slightly acidified water. He purchased the seeds in bulk from several local grocery stores, alternating his visits to average going to each store about once every three months.

As a parent, I often share stories with my own children of what I see in a days’ work, with the thought, of course, that they might learn lessons vicariously and make better choices. I could not bring myself to share these stories with my children—the idea that these substances are relatively easy--and certainly legal—to obtain, had me a little--well--freaked out.

We extended both of these from the usual three day accelerated opiate detox to five days, because it was new to us and we were not sure what to expect. It was a good idea. These were tough detoxes, made tolerable by our program.

Jane and Cary are due to return for their 2nd naltrexone implants within the next week or so. Since working with them, I have heard several more stories of people enslaved by this addiction. If you have any questions, need help for yourself or a loved one, please call us. We’re here for you.

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