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Poppy Seed Tea Leads to OUD

Poppy Seed Tea

Poppy Seed Tea Leads to OUD

Everyone knows eating a poppy seed bagel can trigger a positive urinalysis test, but whoever heard of poppy seed tea creating an actual opioid habit? We hadn’t. The poppy seed product people probably hadn’t either. Then again, when a company is selling a product that’s just a rinse away from addiction, they’re quite likely to know all about it.

It’s a cinch the unwashed set knows all about it as well, otherwise these “dirty seeds” wouldn’t even be on the market – and we wouldn’t have a poppy seed tea drinker in need of detox.

Yep, it seems there are two strands of poppy seeds. There are the bagel-topping type that have been thoroughly cleaned for consumption (and which are perfectly legal). Then there are those made available via more nefarious sources, which haven’t gotten bathed to meet FDA standards. It’s those dirty seeds that often contain enough opium byproduct to cause a buzz – and create a habit.

That’s just what happened here. We got the story from Andrea Michelson at Insider, who in turn got it from Dr. Glenn R. Kauppila and Dr. Kellene V. Eagen via the American Journal of Case Reports. When the good doctors aren’t publishing case studies, they’re holding respective court at The Mayo Clinic and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. So yes, they know of what they study. Both also happen to be extra-well-versed in the subject of addiction. So when someone is seeking substance abuse help, they know just what to do then too.

Poppy Seed Tea Addict: A Case Report

Drs. Kauppila and Eagen’s Case Report Abstract reads like a summary pulled straight from an Urban Myth. Yet this is no myth. The man did get physically addicted to poppy seed tea. DSM-V criteria even said as much. Furthermore, the poppy seed tea drinker’s addiction required actual Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). That’s right, when all was said and undone, the patient was “successfully induced and maintained on a buprenorphine/naloxone product.”

To be fair, the man’s poppy seed tea addiction didn’t spring entirely out of the blue. The 65-year-old patient already had a history of drinking and was now also smoking pot. In fact, it was the pot-smoking that got him into this mess. See, for years the man had been prescribed extra-strength opioids to treat his chronic pain. These days, though, there is no more status quo. Docs must follow strict new guidelines, including the monitoring of a patient’s drug use. So when this patient tested positive for cannabis, his provider was forced to revoke his opioid prescription.

It didn’t matter that the patient was suffering chronic pain “secondary to degenerative joint disease in his shoulders and degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine.” Nor did it matter that the word chronic didn’t even begin to define his pain.

A Crisis Overcorrection

We don’t blame the poppy seed tea drinker’s doctor for discontinuing his patient’s prescription though. Heck, these days an errant comma can get a doctor’s license revoked. We jest, of course. But only just. Pain pill prescriptions now come with so many restrictions that many physicians hesitate to even put pen to paper. Pharmacists are equally unenthused when those ‘scripts cross their counters. In fact, the entire pain management field is currently under an upending amount of scrutiny and duress.

Want proof? Read chronic pain sufferer Rebecca Stanfel’s recent HuffPost piece. No, not just because Stanfel dives deep into the difficulties doctors now face in providing opioids. (Though there is that.) But because her first-person essay reveals the terrible toll these difficulties are taking on the patients.

It’s a crisis caused by a crisis. And though the over-correction does show some signs of abating, way too many doctors are still being driven away from the pain management practice, and way too many patients continue to suffer from treatable chronic pain.

Poppy Seed Tea & Me

Patients like our 65-year-old man. The Case Report shows our man was not only stricken with chronic pain-causing maladies, but he also had type 2 diabetes, hypertension, depression, and PTSD. Consequently, he can hardly be faulted for adding cannabis to the equation. Heck, the pot probably at least helped to reduce his anxiety. That alone would make all those maladies a little easier to bear.

The man can’t be faulted for seeking out poppy seed tea either. If anything, he gets an “A” for ingenuity. Remember, the guy was cut off from his pain medication. Where was he going to go, the streets? Hitting the streets is risky business, no matter how experienced the addict. If you don’t get robbed or ripped-off, there’s ever-present fentanyl to contend with, not to mention the police. And you don’t need to have lived 65 years to be averse to stick-ups, overdoses and paddy wagons.

And no, you don’t need to be in pain to seek out a remedy either. (The world is full of folks drinking poppy seed tea for fun). You do however need a level head to realize when the remedy becomes worse than the malady. Our patient’s Alcohol Use Disorder had been “in remission” for 17 years and he didn’t seem to have an OUD at all. In fact, when the man was cut off from his pain meds he “did not meet criteria for prescription opioid use disorder when using prescribed opioids daily.”

In other words, he knew the difference between needs. Chronic pain apparently feels differently than addiction discomfort. The man had no problems with treating his pain – he just didn’t want to be an addict.

Use Your Level Head

How about you? Do you know the difference between needs? Are you tired of justifying addiction? Well then, do something about it. Use your level head. Please. Call Healing Properties. Show the world you’ve got what it takes to handle whatever’s necessary. Better yet, show yourself. Make your mirror image one that engenders true self-respect. And walk the walk of the man who deserves all the rewards the world has to offer.

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