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One dead amid 15 suspected heroin overdoses in Akron

AKRON, Ohio -- Authorities in one Ohio city say they've responded to more than a dozen suspected heroin overdoses in less than 12 hours.

Akron Lt. Rick Edwards tells WEWS-TV that at least 15 heroin overdoses have occurred in the city as of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, including one that was deadly.

Police say the calls began around 1 p.m. and continued through the afternoon and evening and three of the victims include a mother and her two daughters.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office says a 44-year-old man died of a suspected overdose and an autopsy is set for Wednesday.

Edwards says 55 people have died from heroin overdoses in the city this year.

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Heroin use has reached the highest level in 20 years in the United States, according to a recent global drug report that calls the trend "alarming."

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime released its World Drug Report last month, which said heroin is the deadliest drug worldwide, and said its increasing use in the U.S. is of particular concern.

There were about one million heroin users in the U.S. as of 2014, almost three times the number in 2003. Deaths related to heroin use have increased five-fold since 2000.

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