Madeleine Swortwood, an assistant professor in the Department of Forensic Science, began investigating the issue after being contacted by the father of a 21-year-old man who died after ingesting home-brewed poppy seed tea. It is one of many deaths and overdoses in morgues and emergency rooms that have been suspected from the home-brewed drug.
Swortwood and her student tested 22 samples of bulk poppy seeds purchased legally on the internet using four home-brewing methods found on drug users' forums. The study traced three main components of the drug -- including morphine, codeine, and thebaine -- and found these techniques could produce lethal levels of morphine based on moderate use. While thebaine is not an addictive component, it was included in testing because it is valuable in identifying the poppy seeds as the source of morphine in order to rule out heroin use. The results were published in The Journal of Forensic Science.
Bulk - Seeds - Others - Variation - Morphine
"Although some bulk poppy seeds can be more lethal than others due to the variation in morphine concentrations both between vendors and between harvest dates, it should be noted that...
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