Seven inmates from the Snohomish County Jail were transported to the hospital with signs of opioid overdose on Wednesday evening. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office released a statement reporting that a corrections deputy witnessed the first inmate with signs of overdose, and while staff were treating the inmate, others began overdosing.
Five of the inmates have been released from the hospital and returned to the jail, and the other two are expected to do the same.
A criminal investigation is underway by the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, and the detectives have identified an inmate who is suspected of smuggling fentanyl into the jail. As of this morning, a 37 year old inmate from Arlington has been charged with possession of a controlled substance inside a correctional facility. The inmate was not one of the 7 who overdosed Wednesday evening, and the investigation is ongoing.
Fentanyl overdose deaths are on track to surpass the record rates of last year. The Sheriff’s Office says that due to the rise in fentanyl usage, all Corrections Deputies now carry Narcan on duty.
A spokesperson of the Sheriff’s Office says there has not been an incident like this at the jail before, but that overdoses in prisons and jails across the nation are becoming a more common occurrence.