5 Alaska inmates overdosed within 24 hours at Hiland prison, officials say

Published: Nov. 1, 2017 at 1:48 PM AKDT
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Five inmates overdosed on drugs this week at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center, according to the Department of Corrections.

None of the women died, although four were hospitalized and administered Narcan, an emergency treatment for opioid overdoses, said Corrections spokeswoman Megan Edge.

Edge said one woman overdosed on Monday. Four overdosed on Tuesday afternoon, including three women found within minutes of one another in a housing unit.

"Alaska is in the midst of a terrible opioid epidemic and our prisons are not immune to that," Corrections Commissioner Dean Williams said in a written statement. "Our staff sees the effects of this epidemic on a regular basis and I could not be prouder of the way they handled the series of overdoses at Hiland Mountain."

It was not immediately clear how the women accessed the drugs. Edge said an investigation is ongoing.

Williams has said stamping out access to illegal drugs is a priority for the prison system following charges against a guard who brought heroin and pot into Goose Creek prison and the arrest of a defense lawyer accused of smuggling drugs into the Anchorage jail.