A James Madison University Student Died At His Frat House After Drinking Homemade “Poppy Tea”

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Really sad news for James Madison University. They’ve lost junior and FIJI fraternity member Steven Austin Underhill in a bizarre and tragic way.

According to Daily Mail, “Police say they are trying to determine whether the student’s death was caused by a drug called ‘poppy tea,’ which has been described as an intoxicating solution made from common household products, including poppy seeds.”

Poppy seed tea, consumed for its narcotic effect, has killed before. Parents of a 17-year-old boy who died from drinking the concoction shared his story on a website discouraging others from trying it.

“Poppy seed tea contains different opiates in various concentrations. Typically morphine and codeine are the main ones. Morphine is recognized as one of the most addictive substances known to man and is, for this reason, also one of the most tightly controlled,” they write.

The 21 year old was found unresponsive Sunday at the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity house in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The junior was majoring in engineering with a minor in math.

Andrew Oakes, a senior biology major at Randolph-Macon College and childhood friend of Austin’s, took to Facebook to describe him as having “such an infectious personality that people who knew him loved him and people who didn’t know him that well still admired him because of the energy he always brought to a room.”

In the aftermath of this tragedy, Fiji brothers have started a GoFundMe page to help Austin’s family with funeral expenses. At the time of writing this, they are less than $800 away from their $5,000 goal.

Our thoughts are with Austin’s family and the JMU community for their awful loss.

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