After seven apparent fatal overdoses, the Cuyahoga County medical examiner issued a public health warning on Saturday.
The medical examiner's office said there is no clear connection between the deaths.
"This cluster of deaths is deeply concerning. Although there is no clear link between the individuals, this number clearly raises the possibility of a very deadly drug in our community," said Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson said. "I have briefed Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Prosecutor Tim McGinty on this development, and they both share my deep concern. Additionally, we continue to advise those struggling with addiction to take advantage of Project D.A.W.N., and to seek treatment to help them with their disease.”
Just say no to naloxone? Heroin rescue efforts draw backlash
First responders in U.S. communities reeling from waves of heroin overdoses say some people think they should just say no to using so many resources for drug abusers.
Authorities say people have expressed frustration about rescuing addicts who often immediately resume using the potentially deadly drug. There are also concerns about the wide-ranging costs involved, including for the overdose antidote naloxone.
The governor in hard-hit Maine opposed legislation expanding naloxone availability, suggesting addicts should have to pay at a certain point for repeat doses. The sheriff in Butler County near Cincinnati has voiced opposition to immunity programs for people who turn in drugs.
First responders say they understand the frustration. But they say their role is saving lives, not judging people who didn't want to become addicted to powerful drugs.