Doctors found marijuana in a man’s nose 18 years after he inserted it in his nostrils in an attempt to smuggle it into prison. Doctors have termed it as the first case of this nature.
The team reporting on the case in the British Medical Journal said that the man’s girlfriend brought him the drugs wrapped in a ballon while visiting him in prison. To evade being caught by the guards, he hid the drugs in his nostrils. However, in the process of hiding the drugs, he pushed them too far into the nasal cavity, making it impossible to dislodge.
The man believed that he ingested the drugs, so he never suspected the drug to be the cause of the chronic sinus infections, not even when he had symptoms of nasal obstructions years after the incident.
During the period of incarceration (18 years), the drugs developed into a rhinolith. A rhinolith is a mass of calcium and magnesium salts that form around an alien element in the nasal cavity.
The man went to the hospital after suffering from a sinus infection, and that is when the rhinolith was discovered, Westmead Hospital in Sydney (Australia) doctors said.
Since the 48-year-old man was complaining of headaches, the doctors did a CT of the brain and they discovered a rhinolith measuring 19x11mm in the man’s nasal cavity. The doctors then referred him to the Westmead ENT Department.
After following up with questions to determine the cause of the calcified lesion, the man admitted to having hidden drugs in his nose. He also said that he had been suffering from nasal obstruction and recurring sinus infection for several years.
The man was put under general anesthesia, and the rhinolith was removed. A study on the calcified lesion showed that it contained a rubber wrapping whose content was disintegrated vegetable material.
According to the report, the man remembered the incident that occurred in prison 18 years ago after being taken through a series of questions. The man had forgotten about the drugs and only remembered after the histopathology report. He was free of nasal discomfort three months after the calcified lesion was removed.
The researchers said that this is the first case where a man gets a marijuana-based rhinolith in prison. The researchers further said most cases of drug smuggling in prison take place through oral ingestion, and later retrieved through the gastrointestinal tract. It is rare to find an example of nasal smuggling, said the researchers.
Foreign objects in the body such as beads or seeds or bodily matter such as dislodged teeth or blood clots can be turned into rhinoliths when a mass of calcium and magnesium salt covers them.
Rhinoliths are very rare. According to the study, in every 10,000 ears, noses, or throats, one rhinolith is found in outpatient visits. Patients with rhinoliths complain of symptoms such as headaches, facial pain, nasal blockage, and nose discharge.
Industry wtachers believe that marijuana companies like Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQB: PLPRF) and Sugarmade Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) must be surprised at an inmate went to such great lengths to smuggle weed into jail.
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