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Ohio county reports 18 fatal overdoses in 1 week

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The coroner for the county that includes Ohio’s capital city is warning of a spike in overdose deaths and encouraging friends and family members of addicts to obtain an overdose antidote.

Dr. Anahi Ortiz of Franklin County on Wednesday reported five overdose deaths in 24 hours in greater Columbus, for a total of 18 deaths in a week.

Ortiz notes that the antidote drug naloxone is available from pharmacies without a prescription.

Hundreds die annually in Ohio from heroin, fentanyl and painkiller overdoses.

On Aug. 29, authorities say a mixture of heroin and fentanyl at an Ohio prison led to nearly 30 people being treated for drug exposure or suspected exposure.

On Aug. 7 the Cuyahoga County medical examiner reported 14 fatal overdoses over five days.