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At least 10 drug overdose deaths in 26-hour period in one Ohio county

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ohio has been one of the hardest-hit states by Ameria's growing opioid and fentanyl epidemics.

Medical officials say at least 10 people died in only 26 hours from drug overdoses in one county in Ohio, one of the hardest-hit states by Ameria's growing opioid and fentanyl epidemics.

The Franklin County Coroner's Office in a statement on Sunday called the deaths an "unusually high number" for the area in a such a short period of time.

Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz warned residents that they could be fentanyl-related.

"As of about 10am this morning we have had 10 people die of overdoses in about 26 hours. This is an unusually high number for our county in this period of time," Ortiz said in his statement.

"At this time we know fentanyl can be mixed in to cocaine and methamphetamine. These can be deadly combinations for those who are using."

Last month, the office issued an alert saying six county residents had died from overdoses in less than 24 hours. That news came just weeks after the office announced that nine people had suffered fatal overdoses in a two-day period in July.

Ortiz said residents with family or friends that might be at risk for overdoses should have Naloxone, the emergency overdose reversal drug, on hand as a precaution.

The opioid epidemic has ravaged the United States for the better part of the last two decades.

Well over 400,000 people died of opioid overdoses in that period over the past two decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

In 2017 alone, 47,000 people died as a result of overdosing on opioids including prescription drugs, heroin and fentanyl, the CDC says.

Earlier this month, the administration of President Donald Trump announced new funding for states to combat the opioid epidemic. The administration is giving the Department of Health and Human Services $1.8 billion to help communities fight the crisis.

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