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Posted On: 5/24/2017

Medical Examiner Releases 2016 Drug Death Statistics




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

Overdose Death Total Surpasses Homicides, Suicides, and Traffic Accidents Combined

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson today released the 2016 Final Drug Deaths Report, which he will present during tomorrow’s Senate Hearing: Stopping the Shipment of Synthetic Opioids: Oversight of U.S. Strategy to Combat Illicit Drugs. This report marks the highest annual fatality rate in Cuyahoga County’s history. Notable trends/data include:
  • 666 Drug Overdose Deaths (includes prescription drugs) (370 in 2015)
  • 591 Drug Overdose Deaths (heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, or a combination of the 3)
  • 557 Opiate/Opioid Deaths
  • 399 Fentanyl Deaths
    • 58 Fentanyl Deaths among African Americans (25 in 2015, 50 in 2017YTD)
  • 54 Carfentanil Deaths.

Additionally, the report provides details on how the agency has been impacted by drug overdose cases.

  • Post-mortem examinations increased by 16% (2204 examinations in 2016, 1914 examinations in 2015)
  • Drug Chemistry Items Processed increased by 34% (14,577 items processed in 2016, 10,872 items processed in 2015)
    • Note: Items processed may include but is not limited to drugs, packaging, paraphernalia, tablets, etc.
  • Toxicology testing increased by 8.6% (3565 submissions in 2016, 3283 submissions in 2015)
  • Since February 2016, 18 different fentanyl analogues have been detected (12 in 2016, 6 in 2017)

For additional information and to view the complete report, please visit: http://medicalexaminer.cuyahogacounty.us/pdf_medicalexaminer/en-US/2016-CCMEO-FinalDrugReport.pdf