Drug smuggling by internal bodily concealment

The Medical Journal of Australia
J W Dunne


The smuggling of illicit drugs, either swallowed or inserted into the rectum or vagina, is gaining in popularity, particularly in view of the difficulty of its detection and the potentially large financial gains. Such contraband includes heroin (especially in Western Australia), cocaine, and marijuana and its derivatives. This practice is not without complications--drug intoxication, which may be fatal, and intestinal obstruction by foreign bodies have been reported. We review the cases of "body packing" reported in the literature and those detected in Western Australia over the past two years, and describe three cases of the ingestion of heroin-filled condoms, with resultant complications.


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