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Medical Examiner: 9 Overdose Deaths in 48 Hours

5/19/2020


CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson, today issued a public health alert, stating that Cuyahoga County has suffered 9 suspected overdose deaths in 48 hours. Toxicology testing has not yet confirmed which drug(s) have caused this recent increase. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office is continuing to monitor fatality trends during the COVID-19 shutdown. 

“The Medical Examiner’s Office has seen 9 fatalities in last 48 hours which is measurably higher than what we have been seeing for the first four months of 2020. The interruption of drug use due to COVID-19 may mean users tolerance has dropped and therefore they are at higher risk of overdose and fatality,” said Dr. Gilson.“Additionally, any disruption of the illicit drug supply due to COVID-19 may mean that users are subject to a wide variety of other dangerous substances being substituted without their knowledge.”

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.  Eligible program participants, are given FREE Naloxone kits – the opioid reversing antidote.

Additionally, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County provides a 24-hour crisis hotline at 216-623-6888.