At Clark County Jail in southern Indiana, inmates go to great lengths to get high.
80% of the jail’s 500 inmates are on drug-related charges, according to Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel.
But the drugs inmates use in jail bear little resemblance to what you might find on the outside.
As participants on the A&E documentary series “60 Days In” discovered, inmates devise an array of resourceful techniques to do drugs behind bars. The show follows seven undercover inmates who spent two months in the jail under false identities to expose problems with the system.
Zac, one of the participants, noticed that during daily “pill calls,” when inmates are given their prescribed medication, some inmates would “cheek” their medication.
“Basically they’d tuck them under their tongue or under their cheek, and drag them out and then trade them off to people,” Zac explained to Business Insider. “Every single pill call there was someone who was cheeking their meds, either to trade them off or to stockpile them to use for getting high,” he said.
According to Zac, inmates also took advantage of the electronic cigarettes sold at the jail’s commissary, a store in the facility where inmates can buy food, toiletries and other items.
“What they would do is they would smoke the e-cigarettes they buy off commissary, and then take them apart and crush up the filter that’s inside there, and smoke that. It would actually absorb a lot more of the nicotine,” Zac said. “They would either snort it or smoke it, and it gives them a bigger high.”
Inmates call it a “crack stick,” Noel told Business Insider. Some intensify the high by coating the filter in Orajel pain reliever before smoking it, Noel added.
Inmates used an inventive way to get high from coffee called “parachuting.” According to Zac, inmates soak a strip of paper in coffee until it is completely saturated and then smoke it.
“It gives you a huge caffeine rush as opposed to what it would normally be,” said Zac.
Some inmates discreetly concoct their own alcohol, nicknamed “hooch,” by mixing fruit and sugar in a 2-liter bottle and letting it ferment.
“I’ve never drank it before, but it is my understanding that hooch tastes and looks absolutely terrible,” Noel told Business Insider.
Lastly, some inmates crush and snort pieces of Stonewall dissolvable tobacco, although the high is often underwhelming.
“It really didn’t do anything for them other than the placebo effect of having something in their nose,”DiAundré Newby, an inmate featured on the show, told southern Indiana newspaper News and Tribune.
Traditional drugs like crack, cocaine and meth, are occasionally smuggled into the jail, Zac said. Marijuana isn’t as popular because its strong smell makes it easily detectable. Zac said he heard multiple accounts of heroin use from before Noel became sheriff in 2014.
“Several of the inmates told me that the first place they ever shot up heroin was in the Clark County Jail,” he said.
During Zac’s time at the jail, he uncovered an elaborate drug distribution system long suspected by Noel. According to Zac, inmates coordinated with friends outside the jail, often with illegally obtained cell phones. The friends would intentionally get arrested in order to sneak drugs into the jail.
He learned that trustees — inmates who were selected for jobs like food preparation and garbage collection — would then distribute the drugs from one sector of the jail to another, often hiding them on food trays during mealtimes.
The information Zac provided helped Noel arrest a woman attempting to smuggle contraband into the jail in her body orifices shortly after the undercover program ended, Noel confirmed.
At the recommendation of one of the participants in the undercover program, Noel created a Narcotics Anonymous group for inmates to seek help.
The eighth episode of “60 Days In” airs tonight on A&E at 10 p.m. EST.
Watch a clip from “60 Days In” below: