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4 inmates hospitalized after possible overdoses at Phoenix jail

Phoenix — The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Four inmates at Watkins Prison in Phoenix have been taken to hospital for suspected overdoses, it said Friday afternoon.

The MCSO announced that all four inmates were breathing spontaneously when they left the facility near 27th Street and Lower Buckeye Road.

This is the latest example of an ongoing drug crisis inside Maricopa County Jail.

In April, five inmates were hospitalized for suspected overdoses at Towers Prison in Phoenix.

Earlier, in Estrella prison, seven inmates suffered drug overdoses and were taken to hospital. Officers found methamphetamine and fentanyl pills in the area where the mentally disturbed inmate was found, the MCSO said.

Drug seizures and overdoses continue to increase in county jails.

“This is an issue we see in our county every day,” Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said at a news conference in April.

The sheriff’s office is training more sheriffs to administer Narkan to inmates. Penzone said 172 people had received Narcan in 2022. He expects that number to grow even more in 2023 than in 2022.

Fentanyl seizures are also expected to hit a record high in 2023. In 2022, 3,162 pills were found in county jails, and 2,060 fentanyl pills were found this year.

This is a developing story. Check 12News for the latest information.

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