A 19-year-old man who drank poppy pod tea -- brewed from the plant from which opium is derived -- was found dead in a Boulder home Tuesday morning, according to police.
The man, whose identity has not been released, was found by his older brother not breathing around 6 a.m. Tuesday at a home in the 4300 block of Hanover Avenue, police said.
Witnesses told police the brothers had consumed poppy pod tea somewhere in Boulder around midnight Monday and then came to the house on Hanover Avenue to visit friends. They fell asleep around 4 a.m., police said.
Two hours later, the younger brother was found not breathing. His older brother called 911 and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
This morning's death is the second suspected poppy tea fatality in Boulder in just five months. On Feb. 22, Alex McGuiggan, 20, was found dead inside his residence on Moorhead Avenue. The coroner’s office later determined that he had ingested fatal quantities of opium from poppy tea that had been brewed at his home.
The Boulder County Coroner's Office has yet to determine an official cause of death.
Police said poppy pods can be purchased over the Internet, but they are not necessarily safe and in some cases, can be fatal. Depending on how they are used, they may also be illegal.
"Poppy pod tea is an opiate. People take the poppy pods and boil them in water to make a drink,” Detective Jeanette Cunning, of the Boulder County Drug Task Force, said Tuesday. "It's not an extremely well known drug and people don't really know the effects of it yet."
No arrests have been made in the case, and the investigation is continuing.
By John Aguilar
July 21, 2009