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Posted On: 3/3/2017

60 Fatal Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses in February




Christopher Harris: (216) 443-7157 or cbharris@cuyahogacounty.us


Fentanyl Death Rate among African Americans Nearly Double 2016

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson today announced Cuyahoga County experienced at least 60 confirmed fatal overdoses in February due to heroin, fentanyl, or a combination of the two. This marks the single highest monthly fatality rate in Cuyahoga County’s history, previously experienced in September 2016 (57 fatalities). 7 February cases are still pending further toxicology testing, which may cause the monthly total to increase. At least 109 victims have died in the first two months of 2017 from heroin, fentanyl, or a combination of the two. In 2016, 57 victims died from heroin, fentanyl, or a combination of the two in the first two months.

February residential demographics are as follow:

36 – City of Cleveland Residents
24 – Suburban Residents

Berea, Broadview Heights, Brook Park, Brooklyn, Euclid (3), Lakewood (2), Mayfield Heights (2), North Olmsted, North Royalton, Olmsted Township, Parma, South Euclid, Westlake and 7 out of county residents – Brunswick (2), Eastlake, Macedonia, Northfield, Wickliffe, and Willowick.

Additionally, the rate of African American fatalities involving fentanyl is 24% of all victims, nearly double the rate in 2016.

  Fentanyl Deaths (Jan/Feb)  White Black
2016 55 48 (87%) 7 (13%)
2017 109 82 (75%) 26 (24%)

February also suffered 35 cocaine-related deaths, with 26 being mixed with heroin, fentanyl, or a combination of the two. At least 70 cocaine-related deaths have occurred in 2017, with at least 50 being mixed with heroin, fentanyl, or a both.

For additional information and to view the complete report, please visit: http://medicalexaminer.cuyahogacounty.us/pdf_medicalexaminer/en-US/030317-CCMEO-HeroinFentanylCocaineUpdate.pdf