Santa Barbara inmate dies from suspected opioid overdose

An inmate at the Santa Barbara Main Jail died from a suspected opioid overdose Thursday night, officials announced Friday.

At approximately 10:57 p.m., a custody deputy and a WellPath nurse were conducting welfare checks and noticed that one inmate, whose name has not been released, wasn’t responding.

After entering the inmate’s cell, county jail officials found the inmate unresponsive, not breathing, and with a “foamy purge” coming from his mouth, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Medical staff and county deputies performed life-saving measures, including administering three rounds of Narcan, performing CPR, and placing an automated external defibrillator on the inmate, officials said.

Paramedics were also called, but they could not revive him.

“Preliminary information indicates this death is likely the result of an opioid overdose,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

Given the recent death, Santa Barbara County officials want to remind the public about the dangers of fentanyl, a highly addictive and dangerous synthetic opioid.

In Los Angeles County, a November report showed that fentanyl-related deaths skyrocketed to 1,280%, from 109 in 2016 to 1,504 in 2021.

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