International Journal of Forensic Science & Pathology (IJFP)    IJFP-2332-287X-03-701

Consideration for Drug Smuggling / Trafficking

Asieh Karimani, Afshari R*

Addiction Research Centre, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

*Corresponding Author

Reza Afshari,
Addiction Research Centre,
Imam Reza Hospital, Ibn-e-Sina Street,
Mashhad, 91735-348, Iran.
Tel: + 98 513 8598973
Fax: + 98 513 8420305
Article Type: Short Report

Received: April 27, 2015; Accepted: June 20, 2015; Published: July 01, 2015

Citation: Asieh Karimani, Afshari R (2015) Consideration for Drug Smuggling/Trafficking. Int J Forensic Sci Pathol. 3(7), 142-143. doi:

Copyright: Afshari R© 2015. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Illicit Drugs; Smuggling; Ethics.

Not only Iran has one of the highest opium consumption rates [3], but also its long common border with Afghanistan, the world’s largest illicit opium producer, has made this country a major part of many illicit drug transition routes. According to UNODC 43% of worldwide opium use is related to Iran [2].

In the past decades, various methods based on using human’s or even animal’s body as a container, have been formed and operated for drug smuggling and trafficking. Body packer, body stuffer, body pusher and body container are some of the terms that describe the individuals who are abused in different scenarios of this type of drug trafficking. Table 1 provides more details on definition of these terms [1].

Table 1. Different approaches of drug smuggling / trafficking.

Undoubtedly, these arrangements are not authorized ethically or legally. However, what we, as physicians, are mostly concerned about here is the large number of health risks in the process. Most obviously, the drug packs can be ruptured inside the body due to different reasons, and put the carrier’s life in danger. In this case, the medical treatment should be conservative and symptomatic, and the necessity of a surgery must be decided from a combination of clinical findings, progression of symptoms, existence of a powerful antidote such as naloxone, and available health infrastructures.

The mentioned medical risks can vary based on different factors of the situation. As an instance, in the case of body stuffing, since the packs are not safely and professionally prepared, there is a larger amount of risk.

One last important point to be indicated here is that body containers should be protected by authorities. They also need to receive the necessary help regarding their social and psychological heath, in addition to the provided physical care. Social workers can be really helpful in bringing these individuals back to a normal life.


  1. Afshari R, Monzavi SM (2012) Venomous animals and arthropods envenomation [in Persian]: Afshari’s Clinical Toxicology and Poisoning Emergency Care. (2nd edn), Mashhad University of Medical Sciences Publication, Mashhad, Iran. 221–241.
  2. Annual Report of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. World Drug Report. Retrieved December 14 2014 from
  3. Tashakori A, Afshari R (2010) Tramadol overdose as a cause of serotonin syndrome: a case series. Clin Toxicol 48(4): 337-341.

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