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2 inmates overdose in Jackson County Jail

FILE PHOTO: Jackson County Jail. Police are investigating how two inmates overdosed Monday morning at the jail.

Two Jackson County Jail inmates are in the hospital, and two police departments are investigating in the wake of an apparent opiate overdose behind bars.

An inmate began showing signs of a medical emergency at 11:25 a.m. Monday, according to a news release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

A corrections deputy responded with medical staff to treat the inmate, and then jail staff discovered similar signs of an opiate overdose in a second inmate.

Medford police, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office patrol and corrections deputies, Medford Fire Department and Mercy Flights paramedics administered five doses of the opiate antidote Narcan to the two patients.

When reached by phone about 1:15 p.m., Jackson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Aaron Lewis provided few details about the inmates, including their genders, because Medford police are in the midst of an investigation into the source of the drugs.

“It’s actually started already,” Lewis said of the investigation.

The patients’ condition at the hospital was unknown as of Monday afternoon, but police said both inmates were conscious and breathing at the time they were taken to a nearby hospital.

Investigators are working to determine the exact drug on which the inmates overdosed, and how the drugs got past corrections deputies into the jail.

Lewis expressed gratitude for the swift response by emergency crews, which he called a “pretty amazing reaction.”

The first call for assistance came in at 11:25 a.m., and within four minutes a Medford police officer was on scene.

“By 11:30 there was already multiple units,” Lewis said.

By 11:36, Mercy Flights paramedics were on scene, and there was no need for further assistance.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.