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My Continuing Process of Resisting
Poppies - Opium
Citation:   Changspa. "My Continuing Process of Resisting: An Experience with Poppies - Opium (exp87063)". Oct 9, 2016.

2 cups oral Poppies - Opium (tea)
  20 mg oral Pharms - Escitalopram (daily)
  75 mg oral Pharms - Lamotrigine (daily)
Getting off Poppy Tea

After a three-year habit of poppy tea, I finally decided to stop. Like everybody else I had the usual reasons to start but I also had Lyme Disease that went undiagnosed for 8 months and quickly discovered that narcotics allowed me to continue to work and function at a pretty high level. When there were no more scripts forthcoming I switched to the tea. An acquired taste because it will make me gag at first, and then after a few weeks my positive associations almost make it taste good (well, not quite...).

I first realized the extent of my addiction about 8 months into it when we went on a trip and I didn't have anything with me. It was not a fun trip. At night I was thrashing around so wildly that I thought my husband was going to have to take me to the hospital. He never knew about the habit. After a day or two of that I just felt extremely weak and cold, even though we were in Florida. I felt I could barely move. As soon as I got home I ripped open a waiting parcel and made the fastest cuppa you can imagine!!

So my addiction continued and finally this past winter I went to see a therapist because I really felt that I needed to stop. He had never heard of a poppy tea habit in 30 years of working with addicts! I seemed to convince both of us that it was not that big a deal. So more time passed, and then on July 4 when we were on a family vacation (yes, I had my tea with me!) my husband injured his foot in the lake and had to have surgery. Being the stoic guy he is he took one of his percocet and I took the rest of that bottle and another. I felt nothing. Now I didn't take them all at once, but I'd space them about three at a time throughout the day. I even started to feel withdrawal, possibly because poppy tea contains so many other substances.

At that point I decided (and the rising price of poppies was another factor) that I needed to stop. My husband and I went to the Philadelphia Folk Fest on Saturday and I had my last tea that morning after a 5 mile run (yes, I ran throughout this time). We had a great time at the festival but had a long drive home. I kept dozing off and when we got home around midnight I was so tired, took care of the farm animals and then fell into bed, expecting to go to sleep immediately.

No sirree!!! I started thrashing and thrashing. Fortunately I have klonopin on-hand and took .5, then another .5, then another, and finally fell asleep, but I still thrashed, according to my husband. The next day I felt weak and confused and not hungry, though not nauseous. I told everyone I picked something up at the festival! So the last dose was Saturday, and the next couple of days were kind of an uncomfortable blur, though I journaled throughout, as is my habit anyway. I made some hideous tea from passionflower, ashwaganda, yerba mateŽand kratom. The only better feeling I felt was that there was no more of it to drink! Though there might have been a mild placebo effect. The next day I chewed a huge wad of salvia and felt absolutely nothing. I kept hydrating with green tea and water and juice and eating well.

One of the most annoying effects is that I have insomnia, not unexpected of course. All my life I was an insomniac and then when I got hooked on poppies I slept so well--it was wonderful. Of course less wonderful was dozing off while reading or sewing or doing something that one normally stays awake to do (thankfully not driving, I had enough sense for that, though there were times I had to pull over). [Erowid Note: Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!] But what is very cool is that I am having lucid dreams every night and dreams that I remember. I haven't been able to remember many dreams in the past few years.

Right now my issues are a heavy, headachey feeling worsening towards the end of the day, some dysphoria, a disinterest in my work as an artist (no inspiration), and a heavy fatigued feeling that gets worse as the day goes on. And bad sleep, of course. Strangely enough I have been riding my horses a lot more and there seems to be a real healing power in that. I also feel less anxious, which seems odd, though more bored, probably because I can't get into my work. At least it's not winter--I think that would be much harder, sitting inside listlessly, just aching to order more poppies!

I should say that I have taken 20 mg lexapro and 75 mg lamictal (mood stabilizer) for years, throughout this period. My therapist thinks an increase in lamictal might be in order, given that I probably have Seasonal Affective Disorder as well.

I don't feel a strong craving for poppies at this point
I don't feel a strong craving for poppies at this point
(I did the first few days, just because I knew they would get rid of the sick feeling) and have had some stressful moments in the past week where I would have reached for the tea but did not think about it. I write a lot about my experiences and hanging with animals seems to be great therapy.

I think the main thing for me in resisting the Seduction of the Poppy is going to be the difficulties in the road ahead, when my mom dies, if I feel that my life lacks meaning, whatever unforeseen stress or disaster that life can bring, and does to many people so much less fortunate than we are who post on here...

Anyway, I hope that this has been a help to someone, and hope to keep on my continuing process of resisting the Poppy.

[Reported Dose: '2 cups of tea/day made from 6-7 large pods']

Exp Year: 2010ExpID: 87063
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: 49
Published: Oct 9, 2016Views: 7,135
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Poppies - Opium (43) : Alone (16), Addiction & Habituation (10), Retrospective / Summary (11)

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