Over just the past five weeks, there have been 10 fatal drug overdoses in Cape May County alone.

The trend has prompted Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland to issue a serious warning to the public, encouraging the community to report drug activity and urging families to educate their loved ones about the dangers of illegal drugs.

According to the prosecutor's office, law enforcement is seeing a greater number of deaths related to heroin, counterfeit prescription pills, and other illicitly manufactured fentanyls. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, the prosecutor's office said.

The county, which is home to fewer than 100,000 people during the off-season months, has recorded 10 fatal drug-related overdoses since Dec. 17. Based on initial findings, there is no apparent connection between the deaths, and different types of drugs were involved.

According to the Attorney General's Office, New Jersey was home to more than 2,600 suspected overdose deaths between January 2021 and October 2021.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

Update: NJ arrests in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot

A year later, more than 20 people from New Jersey have been charged with involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

NJ towns with indoor mask mandates

Here is a list of the New Jersey municipalities that have re-instated the COVID-19 indoor mask mandate as cases surge because of the omicron variant.