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Eight overdose deaths in Cuyahoga County over Memorial Day weekend

CLEVELAND– There were eight overdose deaths in the county over Memorial Day weekend, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office. Fentanyl is likely to blame.

The fatalities happened from May 24 to May 27. Victims’ ages ranged from 41 to 65, and most were from Cleveland.

“I’m deeply concerned about the number of overdose fatalities we’ve seen within the past week. Additionally, we are seeing a high percentage of African American victims — 50 percent.” said Dr. Thomas Gilson, Cuyahoga County medical examiner.

“While we are still gathering information, early indications are that many of the fatalities are a result of fentanyl/crack cocaine. We are coordinating efforts with other major metropolitan areas within Ohio to see if they are experiencing the same.”

This is the second overdose alert the medical examiner’s office has issued in less than a week.

Since May 20, at least 18 people have died in Cuyahoga County from overdoses.

Free fentanyl test strips are available at the following locations:

  • Circle Health Services- 12201 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
  • Care Alliance Clinic- 2916 Central Ave., Cleveland

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.

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

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