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Public Health Alert issued after Cuyahoga County sees 19 suspected overdoses deaths in past week

Cuyahoga County
Posted at 3:37 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 15:37:10-04

CLEVELAND — A public health alert has been issued for Cuyahoga County after Dr. Thomas Gilson, the county’s medical examiner, reported 19 suspected overdoses deaths in the past week.

Gilson said of those 19 deaths, 11 occurred over the holiday weekend.

The deaths were reported in the following counties from Oct. 6 to Oct. 11:

  • 11 deaths in Cleveland
  • 1 death in Lakewood
  • 1 death in Northfield
  • 2 deaths with location unknown
  • 1 death in Maple Heights
  • 1 death in Parkersburg
  • 1 death in Garfield Heights
  • 1 death in Cleveland Heights

Toxicology testing has not yet confirmed which drug(s) have caused this recent increase.

At the current overdose mortality rate in the county, Gilson estimates the county will see at least 600 drug-related deaths this year.

“It is regrettable to see a spike in drug overdose deaths with everything else that is going on,” said Gilson said in a release. “Naloxone kits and fentanyl teststrips can help prevent overdoses, though our hope is for our addicted neighbors to find their way into recovery.”

Free fentanyl test strips are available at the following locations:
• Circle Health Services (12201 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106 | 216.721.4010)
• Care Alliance Clinic (2916 Central Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115 | 216.535.9100)
• Care Alliance Clinic (1530 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114 | 216.781.6724)
• MetroHealth – Mobile Unit (3370 W.25th Street, Cleveland, OH 44109)

If you or anyone that you know is actively using or recovering from opioid addiction, contact Project DAWN for information at 216-778-5677.