Six Inmates Survive Drug Overdoses Inside Deschutes County Jail

On 12/31/22, at approximately 10:45 pm corrections deputies at the Deschutes County Jail were alerted to an emergent medical issue within facility. Bend Fire/Paramedics were immediately dispatched to the Adult Jail for a report of a possible opioid overdose involving two inmates.

Corrections deputies immediately began life saving measures, to include administering Narcan (a brand of Naloxone), performing CPR, and employing an AED.

During these life saving measures, it was determined two other inmates were experiencing medical complications similar to the first two and they were evaluated and treated. One inmate was administered Narcan.

In a coordinated effort between the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division, Corrections Division, and Bend Fire/Paramedics all four inmates were transported to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend for treatment.

Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses/reduces the effects of an opioid overdose. Narcan was administered in the form of a nasal spray during this incident. All patrol deputies carry Narcan, and it is strategically placed inside the adult jail to be readily available for its use on either inmates or corrections deputies in the event of an exposure.

On 01/01/23 at approximately 2:00 am, it was determined a fifth inmate was exhibiting signs and symptoms of a possible opioid overdose. That inmate was treated and ultimately transported to St. Charles Medical Center.

Due to the immediate action of the corrections deputies, and extensive training they receive in being able to identify the signs/symptoms of a possible opioid overdose and appropriately respond, all five inmates survived.

As a result of the preliminary investigation, it was determined an inmate was successful in secreting fentanyl laced pills on their person and introduced them into the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Adult Jail. The counterfeit pills were then distributed to other inmates that were housed in the same dormitory.

Searches were conducted and are currently ongoing throughout the facility, resulting in the seizure of approximately 50 counterfeit pills laced with suspected Fentanyl.

All inmates were treated and released from St. Charles Medical Center, returning to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Adult Jail.

One inmate was charged and lodged on additional charges related to the latest overdoses.

During 2022 there were a total of six incidents where Narcan was administered to inmates as a result of a suspected opioid overdose. In five of these incidents the inmates were administered Narcan, and eventually transported to St. Charles Medical Center, treated and returned to the Adult Jail. One incident did not require hospitalization.

Between December 31, 2022 and January 03, 2023 there have been six inmates who experienced suspected opioid overdoses, 4 of which were administered Narcan by Corrections Deputies, all six inmates survived.

In comparison, during 2021 there were four incidents where Narcan was administered to inmates as a result of suspected opioid overdose.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin. A 3-milligram dose of fentanyl—a few grains of the substance—is enough to kill an average adult male. The availability of illicit fentanyl in Oregon has caused a dramatic increase in overdose deaths throughout the state.

Provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that there were more than 107,000 fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2021, an increase of nearly 15% from the previous year. Synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) accounted for more than three-quarters of these deaths. Numbers from 2022 are not yet available.

Source: DCSO

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