North

2 inmates at Yellowknife's jail overdose on opioid drug

Two inmates at the North Slave Correctional Centre overdosed on an opioid drug earlier this month. Both men recovered and officials at the jail say changes have been made to the way it screens for drugs.

Guards at North Slave Correctional Centre found 2 men in medical distress on Nov. 12

Two inmates at the North Slave Correctional Centre overdosed on an opioid drug earlier this month. Both recovered. (Northwest Territories Department of Justice)

Two inmates at Yellowknife's jail overdosed on an opioid drug earlier this month.

On the evening of Nov. 12, corrections officers at the North Slave Correctional Centre noticed an inmate was in medical distress.

He was taken to the jail's health centre and later transferred to Stanton Territorial Hospital, where doctors determined he had overdosed on some kind of opioid drug.

Opioids are a category of drugs that includes Fentanyl, OxyContin, codeine and morphine. It's not clear which drug was involved. 

Officers at the jail immediately began a search of cells and found another man showing the same symptoms.

Parker Kennedy, the N.W.T.'s director of corrections, says changes have been made to the way the jail screens for drugs. (CBC)

"We identified a second person that was in distress," said Parker Kennedy, the director of corrections with the justice department. "However he was treated in the facility and was not escorted to the Stanton hospital."

Kennedy said the jail went into lockdown.

"Part of that is making sure everybody is safe and doing a cell by cell search and making sure, if there is other contraband, it can be identified."

Both men recovered from the overdoses.

Kennedy says there's been a review of the incidents and changes have been made to the way the jail screens for drugs. He wouldn't give specifics, citing security reasons.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now