Body-packing, or the internal concealment of illicit drugs, has been described worldwide and is typically used to smuggle drugs across secure borders. Body-packers who swallow or insert packets of illicit drugs into body cavities are at risk for acute toxicity and gastrointestinal obstruction. We present a case of body-packing that exposed the challenging ethical and legal aspects of caring for such patients. We bring them to the forefront of discussion in light of the growing opioid epidemic, because there are no specific guidelines for handling these complex situations.
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Published online: April 11, 2018
Conflict of Interest: None.
Authorship: EV, TS, and KS collaborated in literature search, case description, and elaboration. BM collaborated in literature search and critical case review. PP collaborated with critical case review.
© 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.