Two sheriff’s deputies at the Canyon County jail in Caldwell were exposed to “suspected” fentanyl on Friday afternoon while booking an inmate, according to a news release.
The two deputies were searching the incoming inmate at the Dale Haile Detention Center when they discovered the drug. Fentanyl, a powerful opioid used to treat pain, is highly addictive and can be deadly if abused.
“After seizing the substance, the two deputies began experiencing symptoms related to suspected fentanyl exposure,” according to the release Saturday from the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office. “Both were transported to a local hospital for treatment and have since been released.”
A hazmat team from the Caldwell Fire Department worked late on Friday night to decontaminate the jail, authorities said.
“It is the responsibility of our leaders in Washington, D.C., and our state and local leaders to address this horrific overabundance of dangerous illegal drugs that is plaguing our society,” said Sheriff Kieran Donahue in the release. “The DEA and CDC both reference illegally made synthetic opioids, such as Fentanyl, significantly contribute to the high number of overdose deaths in the United States.”
Fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, can be obtained legally with a doctor’s prescription, but many cases of overdose and death related to the drug are linked to illegally made fentanyl, according to the CDC.