Monday, February 14, 2011

Q&A: Depression Dilemma--Stick with Subutex or Treat with Tea?


I am on subutex at the moment. It does a DECENT job of my depression. Just decent. I got on them because of a poppy tea habit of a few years. 

I have to to say that in those two years, two years filled with confidence, a great sense of well being, no dark clouds, confidence, I made some of my lifes BEST decisions. I started a business that I NEVER EVER WOULD HAVE STARTED without me being of poppy tea. NEVER. ………EVER. But, cause I saw life as a POSITIVE, I went for it, and now, for the first time in my life, I make more than I need….MUCH more. My marriage also got better during this time, at least the part where my wife would constantly complain about me being depressed, down, negative, not a “fun” person.

But, for some reason, I wanted to quit. Can’t really remember why. I know getting the poppies was a pain. Seeds all over the place. Not being able to travel…..I do know one negative was that I got sleepy driving and got into an accident. THAT in itself was the biggest thing for quitting.

Now, Im blue, a downer, a dark cloud following me. Somedays, I just sit there and actually talk to myself. “I have NO REASON to be depressed. None. My marriage is sort of saved, I THROW MONEY away…….Im healthy. My family is healthy…..WHY AM I SO DEPRESSED??

I am really thinking about getting back on tea. And having the subutex for travel, etc.
Any thoughts??

PS. Other buzzes, drinking, coke, etc…does NOTHING for me. I can take em or leave em. A tea buzz is different. Its almost NOT a buzz at all..,… me. I don’t like the “nods”, so my buzzes tend to be on the mild side, i guess.



Mary understands your predicament very well, Nck.  A little too well in a lot of ways, but that’s neither here nor there.

The bottom line is this:  Without a degree in psychology and personal knowledge of your situation,  I'm in no position to suggest one treatment over another.  What I can do is help you weigh the pros and cons of poppy tea vs. the path you’re currently on to give you a clearer idea of what you want to do. 

Because of the serious nature of depression, treatment should be sustainable in terms of cost, effectiveness, and accessibility.  The first factor—cost—depends heavily on your dose and frequency of use.  Has your pod habit ever become unaffordable due to ever-increasing doses?  If so, you’ll likely find poppy tea an increasingly ineffective and costly habit--one that cannot continue on an upward trajectory forever.
Secondly, consider your sources for poppy tea.  How reliable are they?  The “gray area” legal status of pods makes them subject to random targeting by the law enforcement, which could restrict future access in the event of a crackdown.  Price is subject to the whims of vendors and growers, while unforeseeable events like lack of internet access could impede your ability to obtain your medicine.  What steps could you take to ensure steady access to poppies?  And what are your backup options if access becomes restricted in spite of your efforts?      

Finally, how manageable was your poppy tea use in the past?  (It counts to be honest with yourself here).  Opiates are a highly addictive class of drugs—the more you use, the less effective they become until eventually they don’t work for your depression at all and you're taking them just to prevent sickness.  If you’re serious about using tea to help manage depression, Mary suggests taking a measured dose of tea at the same time each day and not using at any other time for any other reason.  You wouldn’t double drop Prozac to deal with a hard day; the same should go for pods...right? 

In terms of long-term health risks, poppy tea is no more dangerous than other opiates and may be even less harmful due to its unique mix of naturally occurring alkaloids that act as a safety net against overdose (to a degree).  Standard depression and anxiety meds like SSRIs can also cause side effects and long-term health issues, making them unsuitable for many patients.  The biggest risks of poppy use are tolerance and addiction, which can make depression symptoms 100x worse.  As long as you bear this in mind and remain honest with yourself about your patterns of use, poppy tea can remain a viable option in your arsenal against depression.

Your Precocious Pal in Poppy Prose,

Mary Microgram


  1. Hi Mary..
    I wrote this a little under a year ago.....I never read your answer before. Its the ONLY answer I've ever gotten to this question WITHOUT the same ole "drugs are bad for you, so its not the answer".

    I take drugs for anxiety, for high blood pressure, for low testosterone...but THIS is the only bad one because the government says so.....

    You know, Im still on subutex, I get down to a couple ml...get REEEEEAAAL DEPRESSED and go back up to a max of 12. It helps...but barely so.... I looooooooooooooooong for the confidence I felt on tea (oh, its a FALSE confidence!!!!) Yeah, its false... thats why I went from working 100 hours a week to BARELY squeak by paying my family bills to making close to 400K a year!!!! And I will FOREVER stand by the understanding that WITHOUT THIS POPPY SEED TEA, I would have NEVER EVER gone through with the risk of this business.

    I understand the dangers, the inconvieniences, the finger pointing, I understand it all....but, I am forever tempted to simply skip a day of subutex, go into withdrawel and start the tea again. I would continue to recieve subutex from my doc, stockpile them. I could switch between seeds (which I hear are being harvestd from pods high in thebaine, because thats the drug used in oxycontin. Unfortunately, thebaine does nothing but keep you up at night) and pods through the mail. If my supplies dry up...well, back to subutex.

    Depression is bad. It really sucks. And the worst part of it is that I understand there are sooooo many people with worst problems than mine, it makes me feel like a complete coward.

    Thanks again for your solid, thoughtful reply...Its really appreciated.


    1. Nck, I can relate a lot to what you're going through. Currently I'm trying to decide whether to keep taking poppy seeds or trying to quit entirely (don't have the option for subutex right now).

      After over 5 years of self medicating with opiates for depression (had tried over a dozen antidepressants with no success) I staring taking subutex. It worked great for awhile but then gradually it seemed to do very little to nothing.

      After loosing my insurance this year I couldn't afford subutex anymore so I ended up going to treatment. After I came home I managed to stay clean for several months but then got so depressed I starting using poppy seed tea (PST). I had used it previously with some success but depending on the quality of the seeds it can be very hit or miss.

      PST seemed to metabolize very slowly, in fact with decent seeds (I buy from I only need about 2 cups a day, sometimes even every other day.

      Personally I'd be fine taking this regularly, at least for now, as it greatly improves my mood and energy. Unlike most opiates my tolerance seems to have leveled off as I've been able to stay at a dose of about 2 cups/day for over 2 months now.

      I hope this helps a little, hang in there man, I wish you the best!

  2. Great blog! I too found PST to be the ultimate relief from pain and depression. Dependence and addiction should never be used interchangably! That being said I am addicted to and dependent on water to function happily, though I'm not going to stop drinking that simply because I'm dependent on it. Good grief the TRUTH is that the only socially and legally responsible cure for anything is the most economically stimulating and most easily controlled one. Wrong! I'm not a means to an end! I'm human.

    I never post on blogs, mostly just read them, though thinking my ability to receive benefit from PST was long gone, I have come to realize that I was wrong -- it was the seeds I was getting. Although they were not bunk, there was definitely a ceiling effect regardless of the amount. I know the "scientist" around here will "prove" me wrong, but that's what was happening for ME.

    The point of my ramble is a thank you for the source ( These seeds have been consistantly great or extremely great, no ceiling, never "washed". I have officially ditched another substance which I will leave nameless, though can guarantee you 95% of people would trade me for seeds, for PST again. It's funny the background of this blog is of the universe, becuase PST reminds me of the universe and that I am part of it in a confident, kind and social way. I hope these guys stay in business, because PST is definitely the best "cure" for me. There are stronger highs out there sure, but with PST I am euphoric in a "can still take care of buisness and with a smile on my face and inside my heart kind of way".

    I owe you a few of the best weeks I have had in years Nck, thanks for the tip and thanks to the owner of this forum for allowing source comments or none of it would have been possible! Please call on me if you ever need a favor; your new friend if you will return the deed, Jessica Kizs

  3. Jessica
    Im glad you feel good through info of my experience.....I think.

    In a way, Im envious of the fact that you are feeling that great confident feeling I know to well and miss very much. I never bought seeds from the mentioned source, simple grocery store seeds did the trick 90% of the time.....though that 10% NOT could be scary. Seeds were ALWAYS better than the other popular way of making tea, IMHO.

    I tell you life on Subutex is what it is. Im not happy, Im not devestatingly sad, Im just blah. The one thing I remember on tea was that I used to respond to people and events like I did as a kid....I'd get excited! Happy! I'd laugh! Life was fun. Im glad you got the guts to really look at it for what it is...whats the diff in taking subutex or PST? Really? Nothing, expect that PST works a ton better for mood and PROBABLY isn't as toxic to your body.

    I keep hemming and hawing about starting tea again, but I don't think my wife would understand....and I really don't blame her because she is straight as an arrow and this stuff scares the pants off of her. So I got that to think about.
    In closing, I just want to say, that while Subutex can keep you from getting sick, and can be used to wean off....I am DEATHLY afraid of withdrawing and especially the PAWS....but while Im on it, things that used to THRILL me no longer seem to interest me. Cooking, which ALWAYS was my real PASSION, is now hum drum. Im interested.....but not THAT interested....really, all my pleasures have ceased. Im not miserable, but not happy either.

    So, again, I hope you still are happy with your choice....I KNOW it could be a good one, as long as its availablity is there.


  4. I also drink poppy tea everyday as a treatment for my ptsd. I can't take anti depressants due to side effects and get very little benzos from my dr.
    I just wanted to say to Nck something my mother said to me. (she is also ill with ptsd and depression). She said "It's just one pill, and who cares if you have to take one a day to feel normal for the rest of your life". I feel the same way about seed. It's not harming my life in any negative aspect and in fact makes it much easier for me to raise my children and work etc. I guess what I am trying to say is, would you rather be happy? Or in the right?
    Thanks for the great posts!

  5. I agree with Anonymous. I would much rather be able to function and live well than be morally or ethically right as viewed by certain people. If I were Nick's wife, I may not like the tea therapy but I would like the results. I don't understand how someone would rather see someone they love feel miserable rather than accept their (non-harmful to others) way of dealing with it. I have family members who judge me harshly and I am under a dr's care. The medicine I take is only my prescriptions and I am on the lowest dose imaginable. It makes me unhappy to be judged at all by my family, but worse for doing what my dr deems medically necessary. Regardless, I won't stop what I am doing to make them happy. I need to live a productive and worthwhile life and that's what I am doing. I refuse to struggle through a life of just existing in order for my family to be "happy" with my choice. I understand what Nick is going through to a degree, but there has to be some kind of compromise in order for him to have a productive, happy life. I wish his wife would read his posts, maybe then she would open herself to the struggle he has been dealing with and understand his preferred choices.