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CLEVELAND – From Thursday, August 2 through Monday, August 6, 14 residents of Cuyahoga County lost their lives to fatal drug overdoses, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner.

Other than that large number, what is unusual about these particular cases is that half of the victims are 60 years old or older. The largest population of overdose victims tend to be between 45 and 50 years old.

Dr. Thomas Gilson, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, also noted that the deaths were split evenly between the west side of Cleveland and the east side of Cleveland. That indicates that this particular group of deaths is not affecting a centralized location.

“This is a concerning trend. The county is working with our local and federal partners to analyze it and identify its source,” said Dr. Thomas Gilson, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner in a release. “We are issuing this alert to make the public aware and advise caution, as well as encourage addicted individuals to seek help.”

At this point, the number of 2018 drug overdose deaths – from all drugs – is projected to match the 2017 overdose death total of 727.

If you or anyone that you know is actively using or recovering from an opioid addiction, you may contact Project DAWN for information at 216-778-5677. Eligible program participants are given FREE Naloxone kits – the opioid reversing antidote.

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