There has been a lot of talk about the benefits of tea lately. But now there is a new trend that has teens consuming a poppy tea-like drink that can have deadly consequences.
Cory Young's story comes from Texas, but his moms says, don't think it isn't happening all across the country, teens finding a unique way to get a high from poppy seeds.
"My dearest Cory, as your mom, from the time I first held you in my arms, I always tried to let you know a few things. And now that you are gone, they are racing through my mind."
Francis Young wrote those words to her son in a letter she read at her son's funeral. She says Cory was a teenager who thought he knew everything.
Cory Young died at his home on July 28, 2009. An autopsy lists his cause of death as morphine intoxication. But police found no signs of morphine.
"They found the bottle of tea and they found poppy seeds and poppy pods. At the time police removed it, they weren't sure what it was," according to Francis.
Francis Young is speaking out so that other parents will be aware of how otherwise harmless ingredients can take a fatal turn.
Poppy pods can be bought in hobby stores or on-line for crafting projects and poppy seeds are available at the grocery store. They're easy to find, and they come in a handful of different brands.
Cory himself actually wrote about making the drink. He even warned about taking preventative measures so you don't die or overdose.
His mom says, "I want parents to know what it can do to kids. I want parents to be aware that this isn't just an herbal supplement."
Cory Young's life was taken after one cup of the lethal drink.
His mother is now left to pour out her grief in a letter based on a popular children's book.
She writes, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always...As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."
It's a sad story, but luckily there are some things you can do as a parent.
Experts say be vigilant, pay attention to what your kids are up to.
Try to keep them busy with positive activities, so they have less time to get in trouble.
And be honest with your kids, talk to them about the dangers associated with risky behaviors.
And here's a big one, make sure that you know what some of the dangerous trends and temptations are for kids.
I did talk with a tea enthusiast who hopes this doesn't give tea a bad name. She stresses that true tea itself is safe, and is not what killed this teen, it's what was added to the tea.
November 12, 2009