Blog Du Jour

One Poppy Seed Bagel, Please—Hold the Heroin

A Father of four in Southampton is consuming opiates. A Grandmother in Montauk is also a user. Even a pregnant woman in Quogue is hooked. I estimate there are thousands upon thousands of East Enders who regularly consume opiates.

There has been much talk lately regarding the increased use of opiates. This was magnified by the recent death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Most people are aware that heroin, the highly addictive drug, is derived from the opium poppy. Oriental poppy pods contain morphine and codeine. The process of making hard drugs like heroin involves collecting and refining the milky latex from the plants, first into raw morphine and then into heroin.

What many don’t know is that the poppy seeds they routinely consume are from the same plant, so they also contain morphine. And that is where East Enders are getting hooked.

Joe Mandak, of the Associated Press recently reported of a first time mother who says she failed a drug test while she was in labor because she ate poppy seeds the day before. She is now suing a Pittsburgh hospital because they reported the results to a child welfare agency. And this isn’t the first time it has happened.

Another Pennsylvania woman settled a lawsuit with Jameson Hospital in New Castle, Pennsylvania last year, Mandak reports, noting that a county welfare worker seized the woman’s baby in 2010, when she tested positive for opiates after eating a poppy seed bagel.

Elaine Benes found learned this in the 1996 Seinfeld episode “The Shower Head.” She failed two drug tests due to her being such a poppy seed muffin maven.

Experts confirm that eating a couple bagels heavily coated with poppy seeds can result in a positive (unconfirmed positive) drug test for many hours after consumption.

What can be done? Just as bartenders are trained to stop serving patrons who are inebriated, we should have cashiers apply the same standard to poppy seed abusers.

Now I would be remiss in not stating that unconfirmed positive screening results must not be used for non-medical purposes (e.g. employment testing, legal testing, etc.). But that doesn’t mean they aren’t being considered behind the scenes.

Since DansPapers.com doesn’t require its bloggers to take routine drug tests, I’m headed to my local coffee shop now.

All this talk of poppy seed muffins is making me hungry…

Opium Poppy Seeds
Oriental poppy pods and seeds contain morphine, Photo: IngridHS/iStock/Thinkstock
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