Why would cocaine be injected into someone's abdomen?

I have a elderly family memember that has told the story of the time they had such severe abdominal pain of unknown origin they went to the ER in Hawaii(somewhere in the 1960s) and they had cocaine injected into their abdomen by the hospital staff. :dubious:

I asked them if they meant lidocaine, but no they insisted it was cocaine and the staff joked about it.

Probably subcutaneous morphine.

Perhaps someone made a joke along the lines of, “Would you like some cocaine with your morphine?”

Or perhaps in the mind of your relative the two drugs of abuse have gotten switched around somehow.

Injections that are literally “intraabdominal” are not used to relieve abdominal pain. I am not aware of any such use in the past, either.

There is always a possibility something was being done or said for a placebo effect, but in an isolated visit this does not seem likely. Generally, an isolated visit for abdominal pain is taken seriously.

Cocaine does have an anesthetic effect and is still occasionally medicinally used for procedures on the mucous membrane linings of the mouth and throat. It also constricts blood vessels which can reduce bleeding in such procedures. I once had a cocaine injection in the Emergency Room as the doctor was patching bits of my lip and cheek back together after a bike crash.

I have no idea if cocaine was ever used for any sort of abdominal injections.