OROVILLE, Calif. (KTXL / AP) – Butte County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man suspected of smuggling fentanyl into the county jail, resulting in multiple overdoses.
Sheriff officials say the 35-year-old was accused of hiding the drugs in his anal cavity when he reported to authorities on a pending property crime arrest warrant.
The man was taken to jail on Wednesday. On Thursday, four inmates in a residential unit of the medium security prison were hospitalized after an opioid overdose.
District prison officials said they learned of three inmates early Thursday morning who appeared to have overdosed.
Authorities said there had been two more overdoses after the three early Thursdays: one later in the day and one on Friday.
Correctional facility staff said they administered naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote, after they found the inmates.
Only one of the inmates remains in the hospital. The others are back in prison.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.
“The illegally used fentanyl, most commonly linked to recent overdose, is made in laboratories. This synthetic fentanyl is illegally sold as a powder, dropped on blotting paper, put in eye drops and nasal sprays, or made into pills that look like other prescription opioids, ”according to the NIDA website.
NIDA officials said illegal fentanyl was particularly dangerous because people often did not know that fentanyl was mixed with other drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and MDMA.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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