Several people hospitalized after being exposed to smuggled narcotics in the Josephine County Jail

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Two people survived apparent fentanyl overdoses while behind bars in the Josephine County Jail.

On the evening of February 2, deputies said two inmates appeared to have overdosed on narcotics. Medical staff gave the pair several doses of Narcan, including CPR.

“Due to the swift action of Sheriff’s Deputies and medical staff both individuals regained consciousness within minutes and were transported to Three Rivers Medical Center.” The Sheriff’s office said in a release.

Shortly after the incident, two other inmates appeared to be under the influence of narcotics. As a precaution, Narcan was administered and they were taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Later that night, two deputies investigating the case were examined at the hospital because of the fentanyl exposure. All six individuals were transported to Three Rivers Medical Center and quickly released in good health.

The sheriff’s office said after a preliminary investigation, they believe an inmate smuggled the narcotics into the jail by “hiding them in their person.” Once they were lodged in jail, that person shared the drugs with other inmates.

RELATED: Fentanyl now ‘most illicit drug of choice’ in Rogue Valley, MPD says

“Unfortunately there are people that come to jail with drugs hidden within their body,” Undersheriff Travis Snyder, Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, told NBC5 Thursday. “We do have processes to try and reveal that but it’s not 100%. ” 

The case remains under investigation. More details will be released as it becomes available.

With fentanyl becoming more and more common in the Rogue Valley, it’s never been more important to have Narcan kits available. If you live in Jackson, Josephine, or Klamath County, you can visit http://www.maxsmission.org for a free lifesaving naloxone kit.

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