NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — There have been five apparent overdoses at the Nashville Downtown Detention Center on James Robertson Parkway in the past four days involving inmates. Four of those calls happened Monday, April 4.
All of the inmates have been treated and released from the hospital.
The overdoses are cause for concern for jail administrators, and it is why jail staff continues training to look for signs of drug overdoses.
According to officials with the Nashville Fire Department, on Monday, EMS crews are called to the facility multiple times for four apparent inmate overdoses.
“Every person processed throughout our system goes through the DDC, which is on 2nd Avenue,” said Jonathon Adams, Deputy Chief of Staff for the DCSO.
According to investigators, one inmate overdosed in the processing area of the facility while being checked into the new jail.
Jail staff reportedly used Narcan on that inmate before EMS arrived.
Also on Monday, jail officials confirmed to News 2 that three other inmates, all housed in the same pod in the new jail, all overdosed on something.
Again, jail staff revived the trio with Narcan prior to the arrival of EMS.
On Monday, all four inmates were taken to Metro General Hospital and are reportedly fine.
Jail staff admitted four overdose calls in one day is unusual.
“Absolutely, any incident like that, when it happens multiple times in a day is unusual and unfortunate,” Adams said.
News 2 has also confirmed that another inmate, being processed into the jail this past Friday, April 1, was also transported by EMS for some type of substance issue.
That’s five inmates transported in four days from the downtown detention facility.
“The number of incidents of this occurring in our facility is equivalent to what is occurring in the community, so it is going to happen. And as much as we try to get out there and ID these signs and look for this behavior and prevent this type of thing from happening, it is is going to happen,” Adams said. “But I would say the fact that we are not seeing deaths associated with this is a testament to the great job our staff is doing every day.”
Because drugs and overdoses are so prevalent in today’s society, jail staff routinely undergo training to combat the problem — which was happening Tuesday when News 2 went to get answers.
“Our staff is trained on a regular basis, in fact doing it today in this building,” Adams said. “We have instructors from the state on how to recognize the signs and behavior associated with opioid overdoses and stimulant overdoses and how to combat things like compassion fatigue, where folks are surrounded by this for 12 hours a day and how to stay vigilant and look every day for the signs and behavior associated with overdose.”
How and when the inmates ingested the drugs is not yet known.