Poppies, Opium, Morphine, Codeine and Heroin: A Short Technical Primer

Why the poppy crop suits a developing economy like Afghanistan's.

Ross Dickson
Published: Wednesday, 09/26/2007 12:00 am EDT

If you ate a poppy seed bagel today, chances are you now have detectable levels of morphine in your body. The amount of morphine in poppy seeds is miniscule, only about 300 mg/kg, but a spate of false positives in the land of zero tolerance has caused the thresholds in urine screening tests to be increased to 2,000 ng/ml from a typical 300 ng/ml level.

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