8 sheriff's custody deputies, 2 police officers treated after fentanyl exposure at Main Jail

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Oct. 20—Eight custody deputies and two police officers were treated Wednesday after being exposed to fentanyl at the Santa Barbara County Main Jail, according to a spokeswoman.

The incident was reported shortly after 1 p.m. and involved eight Sheriff's Office custody deputies, and an individual who was in the process of getting booked into the Main Jail by two arresting officers with the Santa Barbara Police Department, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Raquel Zick.

The exposure occurred within the gated area outside of the facility at 4436 Calle Real in Santa Barbara, Zick added.

The deputies, officers and the individual did not appear to show symptoms of exposure but were treated as a precaution, according to Zick.

County Fire Department and American Medical Response personnel assisted in the incident.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that's used to treat pain and is "50 to 100 times more potent than morphine," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Drug Enforcement Agency says some illegal fentanyl is also manufactured in clandestine labs in Mexico and can be disguised as a "highly potent" form of heroin. It's manufactured in many forms, including powder and in pills.

Santa Barbara County reported 16 opioid-related deaths, 192 emergency room visits and 92 hospitalizations related to opioid overdoses in 2020, according to California Department of Public Health data.

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