Mohave County Sheriff's Office Photo by Charles Black

Opioid In Jail Overdose May Be Synthetic (Update)

Photo by Charles Black

KINGMAN — The Mohave County Adult Detention Facility may be dealing with a synthetic type of opioid that causes a serious health issue and may be thousands of times more potent than morphine, said Mohave County Sheriff Doug Shuster.

The Mohave County Adult Detention Facility is continuing its investigation involving the alleged drug overdoses. Staff responded to five possible drug overdoses in an all-male housing unit of the facility about 7 p.m. April 16. The inmates were given doses of Narcan, a drug commonly used to reverse the effects of an opioid drug overdose, and transferred to Kingman Regional Medical Center.

Four inmates were later discharged back to the adult detention facility. The fifth inmate was admitted to KRMC and later discharged to the facility. During the investigation, police said they received a tip that more of the substance may be in the housing unit.

“Our number one objective in this investigation is the safety of our jail staff and inmates,” said Schuster. “We are methodically continuing our investigation and are working collaboratively with our local public safety partners and public health officials. We want the public to know that there is no medical emergency involving any staff or inmates. We are simply being overly cautious and methodical to prevent that.”

In an effort to promote safety and maintain the integrity of the criminal investigation, Schuster has suspended all normal jail operations, including visitation and court functions. Inmates in the affected housing unit were searched, showered and given a fresh set of jail clothing. They were then placed in a different housing area within the detention facility.