CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cuyahoga County officials released the 2018 preliminary drug overdose statistics during a press conference on Friday morning.
According to Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson, 560 people died from drug overdose deaths in 2018. That compares to 727 overdose deaths in 2017.
County officials say there are no statistics that show that usage is down, but overdose reversing antidotes such as Naloxone and more recovery services have helped in the decline of fatalities.
"This is good news–and it is definitely due to the hard work so many in our community have put in to stem the tide of this terrible crisis,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “But we cannot lose sight of the fact that too many people continue to die–families are still being destroyed; lives are being lost. I commend all of our partners as they continue to work to save and change lives.”
It is the first year in 5 years where the county has seen a decrease in fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine overdose deaths.
Anyone struggling with substance abuse can reach out to the Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Service Board of Cuyahoga County hotline at 216-623-6888 for help.