In June 2021, Group A, then 19 years old, was found unconscious in a restroom at a subway station in Gyeonggi Province. He was rushed to the hospital but eventually died, and an autopsy by the National Institute of Scientific Investigation found the synthetic drug fentanyl in his body. The cause of death was determined to be acute fentanyl poisoning.

In September last year, Mr. B (19) was found lying face down in the living room of his home. A forensic autopsy revealed a lethal dose of MDMA (aka ecstasy)안전놀이터 in his blood along with synthetic cannabinoids.

The number of cases in which narcotics have been detected in dead bodies has been steadily increasing due to the surge in drug offenders. According to data submitted by the National Science Foundation to the office of Rep. Kim Woong of the National Assembly on June 6, there were 69 cases of narcotics detected in autopsied bodies last year. This is a 60.47 percent increase in one year from 43 cases in 2021.

The increase in drug detection cases in autopsies is a “serious sign of the drug epidemic,” according to experts. In the case of a man in his 50s who was found dead in Yongsan, Seoul, late last year, his autopsy revealed a large amount of intact drugs as well as plastic used for drug packaging. It was the first confirmed case of a Korean body packer, a person who swallows drugs and carries them inside his body.

The man’s cause of death was determined to be acute ecstasy poisoning, and no narcotics were detected in his hair. Police believe he was likely a courier smuggling drugs for domestic distribution rather than a drug user.

The types of drugs found in autopsies are also changing. Drugs that had never been detected in autopsies before three years ago have started to appear in recent years. Last year, heroin was detected in cadavers for the first time, and synthetic cannabis, which had never been detected until 2020, has been steadily increasing since 2021.

The toxicity and harmfulness of synthetic cannabis has not been assessed. This means the risk is high. The uneven nature of this new drug amplifies the potential for death in case of overexposure. The synthetic cannabinoids found in Group B blood were also substitutes for narcotics such as Adderall and Butinaca.

The increase in fentanyl detections is of particular concern. Fentanyl (7 cases), also known as the ‘zombie drug’, was detected more than any other drug except meth (49 cases). The new drug ketamine also increased from two cases in 2021 to four last year.

“Currently, the number one cause of death among teenagers in the U.S. is fentanyl poisoning,” said an official from NIS. “The influx of fentanyl into Korea is also increasing due to its easy accessibility compared to other drugs due to the supply of cheap Chinese raw materials, which can cause serious social problems.” “The increasing number of cases of detection of new drugs in autopsy cadavers is a very dangerous sign of the spread of drugs,” he added. “We plan to strengthen drug response functions such as detecting new drugs and monitoring the status of abuse by establishing a drug response division within NIS.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *