Cuyahoga County officials: Rate of heroin, fentanyl deaths in 2016 is of ‘serious concern’

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Authorities say the rate at which people are dying of heroin and fentanyl deaths in Cuyahoga County this year is of “serious concern,” with over 30 deaths just in April 2016.

In all, there has been a total of 150 fatal overdoses from those two drugs so far this year.

“It is imperative that we continue to address the opioid public health crisis head-on, because the data demonstrates that this problem is only going to get worse,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.

Cuyahoga County is one of the areas hardest hit per capita heroin and fentanyl overdoses in the country.

In Cuyahoga County in January and February, an average of one person died every day from an overdose. January also set a record for the most fentanyl-related deaths in a month with 19. In February, there were 24.

Beginning in March, the average increased to two people dying every day. There were 34 deaths in March.

In April, there were 33 deaths due to heroin, fentanyl or a combination of the two. Fifteen were Cleveland residents and 18 lived in suburban cities.

If deaths continue at the current rate, Cuyahoga County could see over 400 deaths from heroin and fentanyl overdoses.

For more on the heroin epidemic in NE Ohio, click here.