A 39-year-old man died of multi-organ failure complicating mixed drug toxicity that included methadone, oxazepam, oxycodone and nitrazepam. His past medical history involved alcohol and poly-substance abuse with chronic self-harm and suicidal ideation. There had been multiple hospital admissions for drug overdoses. At autopsy the most unusual finding was of two packages of 10 tablets each, wrapped in thin plastic film within the rectum. The insertion of drugs into body orifices and cavities has been termed body pushing to distinguish it from body packing where illicit drugs are wrapped and swallowed for transport and smuggling, and body stuffing where small amounts of loosely wrapped or unwrapped drugs are swallowed to conceal evidence from police. This case demonstrates that body pushing may not always involve illicit drugs or attempted concealment from police or customs officials. It appears that the drugs had been hidden to ensure an additional supply during the time of residence in hospital. The extent to which body pushing is currently being used by patients to smuggle drugs into secure medical facilities is yet to be determined.
"Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology" – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 15, 2017
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