FOX Files: Three inmates recovering from overdoses at Justice Center

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ST. LOUIS – Three inmates overdosed Friday at about 8 a.m. at the Justice Center.

The city says it’s investigating what’s suspected to be drug overdoses and they’re now searching an area the three detainees shared.

Visitations have been suspended since March, which leaves fewer ways for drugs to get in.

“I don’t understand how they’re getting in, I can’t get in to visit, no one can get in to visit, only the lawyers or attorneys,” Christie Maufus and inmate’s wife said.

Kevin Cavins, 33, died Nov. 8 after three days in custody at the justice center.

A police report shows Cavins, who was in detox, said he vomited in the bathroom and a correctional officer provided Cavins with cleaning supplies to clean the restroom.

An hour later, a lieutenant noticed Cavins was not breathing and announced a ‘Code 3.’

“I won’t make any assumptions on here but we know in the past we’ve seen correctional officers involved in drug trafficking, you’ve seen other things happen very similarly, people get very tricky with the mail system; where there’s a will there’s a way,” Drug Recovery Specialist Chad Sabora said. “We are not going to ever stop the flow of drugs into the jail or prison system it’s not an option our options are to get these individuals treatment sooner.”

Sabora co-founded a Maryland Heights urgent center for mental health help called Sana Lake Recovery Center hoping to reach more people.

A lot of people are under the impression that if you are physically dependent on a substance like opioids, fentanyl, or heroin that you have to go to an inpatient detox hospital, you don’t,” Sabora said. “The same exact medications they give you at the hospital you can actually get from an outpatient center you can take them home.”

Sabora said it can happen within 24 hours even with the restraints of COVID.

St. Louis Fire Department Captain Leon Whitener said one person is in very serious condition, the other needs medical condition and “the third is doing okay.”

The three inmates are now being guarded at hospitals as they recover and the city awaits the results of the drug tests.

For more information about Sana Lake Recovery Center, visit sanalake.com.

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