Prison Drug Smuggling: The Visiting Room | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Prison Drug Smuggling: The Visiting Room

People visiting loved ones in prison are a major source of drugs inside. Here's how it works.

Image: 

Balloons are used to pass drugs
mouth-to-mouth. Photo via

By Seth Ferranti

06/13/12

| Share

Over two million people are currently locked up in the US, and many of them are right now scheming ways to smuggle drugs into prison, ensuring they remain widely-available inside. And the most tried-and-tested method of getting drugs in is through the visiting room. "When I get that VI [visitation] and I'm out on that dance floor, I'm trying to cop," one prisoner tells The Fix. "All the homies are." Although the formats vary, all prisons allow some kind of contact visits, and prisoners take advantage to obtain drugs from marijuana to meth—and just about anything else you can think of. Prior to a visit, a prisoner's girl will put several grams of pot or heroin into a balloon or condom. Before her man arrives in the visiting room, she'll put the balloons in her mouth—and then transfer them from her mouth to the prisoner's mouth when they kiss. The prisoner swallows the balloons, only to throw them up or retrieve them after defecation later.

"When my girl comes to visit, I always try to get her to bring some balloons," another prisoner says. "Not too many, just a couple she can slide in my mouth when we kiss. I like to smoke me some weed—but if I get some heroin, I'm selling that." Due to the widespread use of this technique, many prisons have rules in place to limit kissing, hugging and touching. Authorities also employ measures including strip searches, dry cell detention, surveillance cameras, patrolling guards and random pat searches with drug detection devices. But despite these efforts, the drug flow hasn't stopped, and there's always another approach to try. "If I don't swallow the balloons when she kisses me, she can put them in the hot dog she buys me from the vending machine," the second prisoner says. "Or she can hand me the balloon and I can stash it in my boot or underwear." Prisoners are also known to hide duct-taped or plastic-wrapped ounces of marijuana or heroin in their anal cavity—any extremes to get the drugs they want.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Normies React to the 12 Steps

"I think admitting to having a problem in general is the right first step, but to admit powerlessness is unhealthy. .. I think admitting powerlessness is more harmful because it doesn't help. Admitting that you want and need help is more useful after admittance."

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv