SPOKANE CO., Wash. - Spokane County Detention services staff used Narcan to save the lives of three inmates after they had taken an unknown powdery substance smuggled into the jail.
According to a release from Spokane County, two female inmates were found unconscious around 11:00 p.m. Thursday. Detention services staff administered Narcan to the women and they regained consciousness. Narcan is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. The two inmates were then taken to the hospital for further treatment. They were later discharged and returned to the custody of Detention Services.
A third inmate was found displaying the same symptoms around 6:30 a.m. Friday. The inmate had been moved from the same dormitory after the other inmates were found unconscious, according to the county. County officials said she was given CPR and administered Narcan before she was taken to the hospital. As of Friday afternoon, she remained in the ICU.
“I’m extremely proud of the actions of our staff. They saved these women’s lives. While we aim to avoid these incidents from ever happening in the first place, it is reassuring to know that when these situations occur, we’re prepared,” said Interim Detention Services Director Mike Sparber.
A specialized K9 unit searched the facility following the incidents, Sparber said "some things came up during that process." An investigation is currently underway.
Sparber said, "There's a serious opioid issue in our community right now and the folks that come to jail tend to be those high utilizers."
Mail and other items given to inmates is screened for contraband, but Sparber said some inmates smuggle drugs inside their bodies.
"Where we experience the ability to get drugs into the facility usually is in when they've secreted inside of their body. So we don't have a good detection device or an x-ray to detect those type of things."
Any person or inmate who helps smuggle contraband into jail could face felony charges.
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