skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 65556 Find in a Library
Title: POST-MORTEM INVESTIGATIONS OF FATAL CASES OF NARCOTIC ADDICTION
Journal: FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL  Volume:15  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1980)  Pages:31-39
Author(s): D GERLACH
Corporate Author: Elsevier Sequoia Sa
Switzerland
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Elsevier Sequoia Sa
1001 Lausanne 1, Switzerland
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Switzerland
Annotation: RESULTS OF A SURVEY OF POST MORTEM INVESTIGATIONS OF 208 NARCOTIC DRUB ABUSERS, CONDUCTED AT THE UNIVERSITIES IN HEIDELBERG AND IN MUENSTER, ARE DESCRIBED.
Abstract: THE CAUSES OF DEATH FOR THE 208 FATALITIES VARIED AND WERE DIRECTLY, INDIRECTLY, OR NOT RELATED TO DRUG USE. HISTOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS WERE MADE OF THESE BODIES, AND DENTAL EXAMINATIONS WERE MADE OF 196 NARCOTIC ADDICTS AND 200 ALCOHOLICS WHO WERE MEDICALLY EXAMINED AND/OR HOSPITALIZED FOR WITHDRAWAL TREATMENT. IT WAS FOUND THAT ORGANIC LESIONS IN THE BODIES WERE INDUCED BOTH BY THE MODE OF APPLICATION AND DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY BY THE TOXIC EFFECT OF THE NARCOTIC SUBSTANCES. ORAL ADMINISTRATION OF NARCOTICS WAS FREQUENT, BUT RESULTING LESIONS IN THE MUCOUS LINING AND WALL OF THE DIGESTIVE TRACT WERE RARE. INTRAVENOUS ADMINISTRATION OFTEN ENTAILED COMPLICATIONS. EMBOLIC OCCLUSIONS BY SOLID EMBOLI WERE SEEN IN THE CAPILLARIES OF THE LUNGS AND SOME VESSELS. OTHER COMPLICATIONS WERE INFECTIOUS LESIONS OF THE SKIN AND MUSCULAR TISSUE RELATED TO INTRAVENOUS INJECTION. THE HABIT OF SNIFFING COCAINE, HEROIN, HASHISH, AND OTHER NARCOTICS CAUSED IRRITATION AT THE NOSTRILS AND THE SEPTUM OF THE NOSE. WHILE EXAMINATION OF NARCOTIC ADDICTS HAS REPEATEDLY REVEALED NUMEROUS INDIRECT INJURIES AS A SEQUEL TO THE MODE OF LIVING (RISK-TAKING BEHAVIOR, TENDENCY TOWARD SUICIDE, TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS OR FALLS DUE TO AN INTOXICATED STATE) THESE EXAMINATIONS ALSO SHOW DIRECT INJURIES. FAILURE OF THE CENTRAL REGULATION MECHANISM OR CARDIORESPIRATORY PROBLEMS WERE THE MOST COMMON DIRECT INJURIES OCCURING FROM DRUG USE. OTHERS WERE OEDEMA OF THE LUNGS AND BRAIN; FAILURE OF CERTAIN VITAL ORGANS DUE TO CELLULAR DEGENERATION; LIVER DAMAGE, INCLUDING CHOLESTASIS, HEPATITIS AND DRUG HEPATOPATHY, LIVER-CELL DEGENERATION, MESENCHYMAL REACTIONS, FOREIGN-BODY REACTIONS; AND KIDNEY DAMAGE SUCH AS VACUOLAR CELL DEGENERATION AND SWELLING OF THE KIDNEYS. BRAIN LESIONS WERE CONFINED TO CELLULAR DAMAGE WITHOUT NECROTIC DEGENERATION OF LARGER AREAS, AND THE HEART AND VASCULAR SYSTEMS SHOW MAINLY INFLAMMATORY REACTIONS DUE TO DRUG REACTIONS. WITH PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL COLLAPSE, THE DRUG ADDICT ALSO SUFFERS FROM DENTAL CARIES, FROM PROFOUND INFLAMMATORY PERIODONTOPATHY, AND FROM FRACTURES AND FISSURES AS A RESULT OF GNASHING THE TEETH. (LWM)
Index Term(s): Autopsy; Dental analysis; Drug abuse; Drug effects; Drug testing; Forensic medicine; Tissue analysis; Toxic reactions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65556

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.