Three men died, one was in grave condition and three were taken to hospitals and recovering from six separate calls in Pasadena of patients believed to have suffered opiate overdoses in less than a 24-hour period through Saturday afternoon.

All seven patients were men in their 30s to 60s, Pasadena police said. The suspicion of opiate involvement in these cases will be confirmed by toxicology reports, police said. They noted that Naloxone (NARCAN) administered quickly to two of the men who survived was effective in counteracting the effects of overdose.

The first report was at 4:30 p.m. Friday, involving an unresponsive man with respiratory distress, consistent with an opiate overdose, police said. The last was at 1 p.m. Saturday, when officers were called to the 1700 block of Casitas Avenue, where a man was dead and evidence suggested narcotics were the likely cause.

Since opium-related deaths are not common in Pasadena, the cluster of overdose cases is a concern for police and paramedics, officials said. Detectives are investigating to determine whether the cases are linked.

Paramedics and officers are equipped with the nasal spray Naloxone, officials said.

Anyone with information about any of these cases was urged to call Pasadena police at 626-744-4241 or through Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

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