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December 11, 1967

Colonic Fecal Impaction in A Young Drug Addict

Author Affiliations

Mobile, Ala

JAMA. 1967;202(11):1056. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130240098026

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To the Editor:—  With the increasing problem of drug usage in this country among young people, there is the possibility that multiple areas of the body may be involved detrimentally. The following case report demonstrates an atypical complication in a young male drug addict not heretofore seen at our hospital.

Report of a Case:—  A 24-year-old white man was seen at Providence Hospital, Mobile, Ala, in July 1964 complaining of nausea, vomiting, and upper abdominal pain of 2 1/2 weeks' duration. A recent study at another hospital revealed "duodenitis" on an x-ray examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Obstipation had been present one week prior to admission. An examination of the kidney, ureter, and bladder on admission demonstrated "incomplete large-bowel obstruction," and a roentgenogram taken after a barium enema the following day revealed complete obstruction at the splenic flexure (Figure). The roentgenographic report at the time of barium enema examination