LOWELL (CBS) — There has been a surge in opioid-related overdoses in the Greater Lowell area, the Lowell Fire Department said midday Tuesday. Twenty-one overdoses have been reported in the last week, and eight in the last 24 hours.

The fire department said, “There appears to be a lethal, very strong batch of opiates in the area.”

Over the weekend, there were three suspected fatal overdoses.

Fentanyl can be mixed in with heroin, cocaine, and sold as a pill.

“We strongly urge people not to use opiates, but if you or your loved one is suffering from addiction, please be extra vigilant in the coming days,” said the department.

They also warned to not use alone and check on loved ones who may be using drugs. Call 911 if you see a possible overdose.

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