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Ohio county alarmed by heroin overdoses

CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio's largest county is so concerned about a recent spate of heroin overdoses that it's taking steps to get free antidote kits into the hands of users.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports that five more Cuyahoga County residents died from heroin overdoses last weekend. The number of heroin-related deaths in the county rose by more than 50 percent last year.

Now users can go to the Free Clinic of Greater Cleveland on Fridays and receive a free kit that contains naloxone, a nasal inhalant that reverses an opioid overdose. It's part of a project announced Tuesday by the county and MetroHealth Medical Center.

The health department said heroin abuse has increased because prescription painkiller addicts are turning to the drug when they can't afford or obtain the pain pills.

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