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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office issued an alert today saying that at least 19 people have died due to suspected drug overdoses in the past week.

Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson said that the exact drugs causing the overdose increase has yet to be determined from toxicology testing.

At the rate of morbidity on the books so far this year, office expects at least 600 overdose deaths to have occurred in Cuyahoga County by the end of the year.

According to the data, 11 of the recent deaths took place during the holiday weekend. Age ranges of those who died were between 29 and 70 years old.

“It is regrettable to see a spike in drug overdose deaths with everything else that is going on,” Gilson said in a press release. “Naloxone kits and fentanyl test strips can help prevent overdoses, though our hope is for our addicted neighbors to find their way into recovery.” 

The office reminds people that free fentanyl test strips are available to all. Strips can be found at the following locations in Cleveland:

Back in May, Cuyahoga County saw one of its largest spike in overdose deaths with 66 confirmed.

Those struggling with addiction or mental health issues are encouraged to call the Cuyahoga County crisis hotline at 216-623-6888. The line is open 24 hours a day.

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