VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — After an unusual number of fatal overdoses, the Resort City’s police chief has a plea.

The Virginia Beach Police Department told 10 On Your Side that in one weekend, three people died as the result of an overdose.

In August, 33 people have overdosed in Virginia Beach, and eight of those have died, according to police, with three of those eight happening in the same weekend.

“The 33 is probably not outside of our normal range,” said Police Chief Paul Neudigate. “We have a lot of overdose activity, but the amount of deaths resulting from it, is abnormal.”

Neudigate explained that cocaine laced with something stronger like fentanyl could be to blame.

“Do we have a particular potent strain of fentanyl that’s out there? Was it not cut properly by the distributors? We don’t know until we recover some of that,” Neudigate said, “(and) we test it to see what the purity is.”

The discovery is not unique to Virginia Beach.

“We are really seeing a major challenge across the commonwealth and across the country,” said Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. “That is the drug crisis that we’re seeing.”

Youngkin addressed the problem during his Parents Matter conversation this week.

“At the end of the day we’re losing on average five Virginians every single day to fentanyl overdoses,” Youngkin said. “Please talk to your families, talk to your children.”

Tes La Dieu with the Hampton and Peninsula Health District told us that on average, Hampton and Newport News have higher fatal overdoses per 100,000 people than the state average of 25 per 100,000, with Hampton at 35.8 and Newport News at 37.3.

“No matter their race, their gender, their age, their income status, overdoses are really impacting our entire community,” La Dieu said

La Dieu oversees Project LEAD — an initiative to destigmatize substance use and provide people with resources.

“It really is up to our entire community to be aware of how to respond to an overdose,” La Dieu said, “how to recognize an overdose and to help those that they love.”

This Thursday is International Overdose Awareness Day. You can find more information on Project LEAD here.