For the second straight month, Cuyahoga County may set a record for opioid deaths as the drug epidemic continues to make a toehold in Northeast Ohio.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office said 52 people died in September due to heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, or a combination of all three. September's overdose deaths number mirrors the record of opioid deaths set in August.
However, September fatal overdose deaths may increase as the medical examiner's office waits for pending toxicology results.
Cleveland recorded the most deaths in September with 29 people overdosing on opioids. Three people died in Euclid and North Olmsted. Four died in Lakewood. Others died from the drugs in Brook Park, Brooklyn, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Lyndhurst, Maple Heights, Mayfield Heights, Middleburgh Heights, North Royalton, Olmsted Falls, Parma, Parma Heights, South Euclid and Strongsville. The drugs also claimed the lives of people as far as Chillicothe, Cincinnati and Traphill, North Carolina.
Four of the Cuyahoga County overdose deaths were due to carfentanil, a large animal sedative, 100 times more deadly than fentanyl and 2500 times more deadly than heroin, the medical examiner's office said.
The resurgence of the dangerous street drug, which rose to prominence in the 1970s, began significantly increasing in Cuyahoga County in 2010, in which there were 91 overdose deaths, the medical examiner said. Before that, there were 40 heroin-related deaths in 2007 and 64 in 2008 and 2009.
So far in 2016, at least 385 people have died from the deadly drug. Cuyahoga County recorded 228 overdose deaths in 2015.