Surgeons were able to remove a total of 27 bags of heroin from a Lynn man's stomach and intestines on Tuesday, officials have reported.
The patient is Miguel Rodriguez, a 51-year-old man, who the police said had just arrived from the Dominican Republic.
The surgery was performed at the North Shore Medical Center Salem Hospital on Tuesday.
History Of Illness
Captain of Salem police Conrad Prosniewski said Rodriguez experience illness while he has having dinner at Lynn. The man then went to the hospital with symptoms of drug overdose.
The medical staff took over his care, but when they saw that there were foreign materials in the patient's stomach, they called the police department.
The hospital purportedly removed slightly more than 163 grams of the suspected drug. Two of Salem police officers stayed in the hospital to monitor the situation.
"They were actually outside of the room, viewing as the doctor was removing them and putting them into a tray," says Prosniewski.
The police thinks that one of the bags got destroyed inside the body of Rodriguez, causing him to experience signs and symptoms of drug overdose.
Rodriguez was incriminated on Thursday, while still admitted at the hospital. He pleaded not guilty. A judge deemed his bail to cost $500,000 and also directed him to surrender his passport.
The total street value of the 27 bags of heroin collected from Rodriguez' body is approximately more than $16,000.
To reverse the overdose, Rodriguez was treated with antidote Narcan before heading into the surgery.
Rodriguez' situation was a close call as not everyone benefits from a Narcan therapy for drug overdose.
While Prosniewski said that Narcan is terrific, it is definitely not a cure. In fact, there was a time when authorities treated a person with Narcan six times, only to die afterwards.
Drug Problems In Salem
Rodriguez's case came in the midst of Salem and other North Shore locations facing several cases of heroin overdoses. Just this year, a total of 29 cases have already been reported in the city, of which 15 were recorded in March alone.
In 2015, three individuals died due to overdose.
Salem is not the only one. The Obama administration has even asked for a $1.1 billion funding to address the problems of heroin and other opioid drugs addiction in the entire country.