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    Lowell police warn of spike in opiate overdoses

    Ten people overdosed on opiates, four of them fatally, in the last 5 days in Lowell, police said Thursday night.

    A total of 11 overdosed on the dangerous drug in the last 10 days, prompting police to warn the public about the dangers of opiate abuse.

    “We strongly urge people to not use opiates,” police wrote in a statement released on Twitter.

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    People suffering from addiction are urged to be “extra vigilant,” and are advised not to use alone, the statement said.

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    Friends and relatives of addicts should also check in on their loved ones frequently, police said.

    People are also reminded to only take medication prescribed to them, and avoid drugs not provided to them by medical professional.

    “There have been several cases of opiate-laced pills being passed off as Xanax and other prescription medications,” the statement said.

    Andrew Stanton can be reached at andrew.stanton@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewstanton.