CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County medical examiner issued a public health alert on Wednesday after a seeing a startling spike in drug overdose deaths within the last 24 hours.
Dr. Thomas Gilson said six people died from suspected drug overdoses in a 24-hour time span, and at least 10 overdose deaths have occurred in Cuyahoga County since Aug. 18.
The data provided by the medical examiner’s office shows that the majority of the overdose deaths were men and women over the age of 50 years old, primarily in Cleveland.
“We are seeing another cluster of apparent overdose deaths. Our recent experience indicates that this is likely related to fentanyl, possibly also carfentanil. These dangerous drugs may be mixed with other drugs like cocaine or heroin with significant increases in risk of death,” said Dr. Thomas Gilson. “Naloxone kits, fentanyl test strips, and not using drugs alone are some strategies that have been shown to save lives.”
Free strips to test for the potentially lethal drug fentanyl are offered at two locations in Cleveland:
The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, or ADAMHS, Board of Cuyahoga County provides a 24-hour crisis hotline at 216-623-6888.