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66 overdose deaths in May brought Cuyahoga County to near-record levels

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Posted at 1:56 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 14:03:52-04

CLEVELAND — In Cuyahoga County alone, there have been at least 66 fatal overdose deaths in May due to heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, or a combination of the three, according to Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson.

This number nearly matches the deadliest month for fatal overdoses in the history of Cuyahoga County, when 67 individuals died of a fatal overdose in February 2017.

“This is sad and disappointing news. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, deaths by overdose continue to be a public health emergency,” said Dr. Gilson said. “Our county leadership encourages everyone to seek help with substance abuse issues. People can recover.”

To date, there have been at least 235 fatal overdoses, including cocaine, in 2020.

Residential demographics are as follows:

City of Cleveland—28
Suburban residents—17: Beachwood, Bedford (2), Brook Park, East Cleveland, Euclid (2), Fairview Park, Garfield Heights, Lakewood (2), North Olmsted, Olmsted Falls, Parma (4), and 5 out of county residents – Avon Lake, Elyria, Medina, Jefferson, and Willoughby.

Residential demographics only include opioid-related deaths. They do not include cocaine in the breakdown.

There are free fentanyl test strips available at the following locations:

  • Circle Health Services, 12201 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland
  • Care Alliance Clinic, 2916 Central Avenue, Cleveland
  • Care Alliance Clinic, 1530 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland
  • MetroHealth Mobile Unit, 3370 West 25th Street, Cleveland