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5 MCSO inmates taken to hospital after suspected overdoses

Five inmates were treated and are now back in custody, according to officials.

PHOENIX — The drug crisis inside Maricopa County jails continues.

A spokesperson for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said on Saturday morning five inmates at the Towers Jail located in Phoenix were rushed to the hospital for suspected overdoses.

All inmates were given Narcan before being transported.

The Phoenix Fire Department said they were also called to the jail and helped medically evaluate two of the inmates. However, the fire department did not assist in the transportation of the inmates.

At this time, MCSO has not revealed what drugs were used by the inmates but did report that all five are now back at the Towers Jail.

In early April a similar situation unfolded.

Seven inmates at the Estrella Jail suffered drug overdoses and were taken to the hospital. MCSO said deputies found methamphetamine and fentanyl pills in the area where those inmates were found in an altered mental state.

Drug seizures and overdoses continue to climb at the county jail. 

“This is the problem that we see in our county every day,” said Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone at a press briefing in April.

The Sheriff's Office is training more deputies to administer Narcan to inmates. In 2022 he said 172 individuals received a dose of Narcan with 96 so far this year. Sheriff Penzone anticipates the number in 2023 will grow larger than in 2022.

Fentanyl seizures are also expected to reach record highs in 2023. In 2022 there were 3,162 pills found in county jails with 2,060 fentanyl pills found this year.

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