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Five jail inmates treated for possible drug overdose

April 18, 2019

KINGMAN — An investigation is underway after five inmates suffered medical emergencies following suspected drug overdoses at the Mohave County Adult Detention Center in Kingman on Tuesday.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Anita Mortensen said detention officers responded just before 7 p.m. to a medical emergency in a male housing unit within the jail.

“In a very short period of time, officers and jail nurses were providing emergency treatment to a total of five inmates whose condition and symptoms all appeared as a drug overdose,” Mortensen said. “All five inmates were treated with doses of Narcan, a drug commonly used to reverse the effects of an opioId overdose. One inmate required use of an automated external defibrillator and chest compressions were advised as jail staff administered CPR.”

Mortensen said all five men were taken to Kingman Regional Medical Center where one was admitted while the others were treated, discharged and returned to jail.

“The positive aspect of this is that jail staff very likely saved the lives of those five inmates,” said Capt. Don Bischoff of the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.

Mortensen said that testing failed to determine the specific type of drug ingested by the inmates but that synthetic opiates frequently go undetected and unidentified.

“Detention officers do intercept drugs and other contraband as attempts are made to introduce them to the facility. Inmates are always looking for different ways to circumvent the system,” said Sheriff Doug Schuster. “We are conducting a thorough investigation into this incident and we’ll pursue criminal charges if the evidence will support it. We’ll be reviewing our security policies and practices as well, to identify any gaps or areas we are lacking so we can make improvements as necessary.”