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Crews in SW Ohio see spike in heroin overdoses

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — First responders in a southwest Ohio city were called to 18 heroin overdoses during the past two weeks, including five in a single day.

The Cincinnati Enquirer (http://cin.ci/14uVo6S ) reports that most of the recent overdose victims in Hamilton have survived.

EMS Coordinator Jennifer Mason tells the newspaper that the percent of overdose runs for the department has more than tripled since last June, and more than 90 percent involve heroin.

She says the problem is of "epidemic proportions."

The newspaper reports that budget cuts effective June 1 have lengthened response times in some areas.

Deputy Fire Chief Troy Pugh says his crew responded to five overdoses by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. He says emergency workers are seeing both real and synthetic heroin, and it's become a big problem in the community.

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