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Posted On: 9/26/2016

Medical Examiner Public Health Warning




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


At least 7 apparent fatal overdoses in Cuyahoga County since this morning

CLEVELAND - Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson issued a public health warning today indicating that on Saturday September 24th, there were at least 7 apparent fatal overdoses in Cuyahoga County. There is no clear link between these deaths, but the public should take extreme caution.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office primarily advises people to avoid the use of illicit drugs. However, it should be made clear that the risk of a fatal overdose is greatly increased if drug users are using multiple drugs, and/or are alone and do not have access to a naloxone kit.

As a reminder, Ohio just recently passed the Good Samaritan Law, which protects people who report potentially fatal overdoses for medical treatment.

"This cluster of deaths is deeply concerning. Although there is no clear link between the individuals, this number clearly raises the possibility of a very deadly drug in our community," said Dr. Gilson. "I have briefed Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Prosecutor Tim McGinty on this development, and they both share my deep concern. Additionally, we continue to advise those struggling with addiction to take advantage of Project D.A.W.N., and to seek treatment to help them with their disease."

No further details are currently available and cases are still under investigation and testing.