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Cuyahoga Co. reports 69 overdose deaths in March, on track to have more than 700 in 2021

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Posted at 3:56 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 16:58:02-04

CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County reported suspected 69 overdose deaths in March, the highest for that month in recent years, with 42 of them happening in the last three weeks, according to a news release from the county medical examiner.

If deaths continue at this pace, the county medical examiner said the county could see over 700 overdose deaths this year.

The last time Cuyahoga County suffered over 700 deaths was in 2017.

As of April 5, the county reported 13 overdose deaths for the month.

It is unknown what is causing the spike in overdose deaths.

In 2017, fentanyl, cocaine, and carfentanil were the most common drugs found in our overdose deaths. Currently, fentanyl and cocaine appear to be the most common drugs found in overdose deaths.

“This is a serious development and the community should be aware of this spike in overdose deaths,” said Dr. Thomas Gilson. “Some preliminary data suggests minority communities may be more vulnerable in this outbreak. Risk reduction strategies like naloxone kits and fentanyl test strips are available at no cost and are effective at saving lives.”

Free fentanyl test strips are available at the following locations: