CANADIAN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – The Canadian County Sheriff says correctional officers using Narcan saved multiple inmates during a recent overdose.

“It’s like a whole community in and of itself in there,” said Canadian County Sheriff Chris West.

Sheriff West said four inmates overdosed on something on May 18.

“Four of our residents were found to be unconscious, or clearly they were on drugs,” said West.

Right now, Sheriff West said it’s unclear if it was fentanyl or some other opioid. Either way, the Narcan worked. The inmates were then taken to a Yukon hospital and later released.

Sheriff West said, like many jails across the country and state, drugs are getting on the inside through a variety of ways. That includes “weekenders” or inmates who spend weekends in jail, and “trustees” who are well-behaved inmates who are trusted to do chores around the facility.

“They’re trusted to go to the trash cans and bring stuff, visitors have brought it in and stashed it in bathrooms and later trustees can pick it up,” said Sheriff West. “And of course, body cavities.”

Last year, the sheriff bought a $150,000 full-body scanner. However, human error doesn’t catch everything.

Just like jails across the country, Canadian County is dealing with high employee turnover. Forty positions are now open.

“So you’re having to retrain people a lot,” said the sheriff.

However, Sheriff West said the root of the problem is inmates with mental health issues who are self-medicating with street drugs. It creates a vicious cycle while being locked up.

“We as a society have turned our backs on these people and we’re going to spend the money on this one way or another. Unfortunately, a lot of them end up in jails,” said Sheriff West.

The sheriff said the Canadian County Jail pays extra for psychological care, but it’s not enough.

“I really wish we would build mental health facilities and treat these people as patients rather than prisoners,” he said.