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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner issued a public health alert Friday, following the suspected overdose deaths of five people.

All 5 deaths happened on June 1 in Cuyahoga County, the medical examiner said.

The victims, ranging in age from 32 to 70, were from Broadview Heights, Cleveland and Parma.

“Drug overdose continues to be a problem in our community with periodic clusters of deaths like yesterday,” Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson warned. “Individuals should avoid using illicit drugs or use a harm reduction plan in the event they are unable to stop using. Treatment can help with long-term sobriety.”

Gilson urged individuals to keep naloxone and fentanyl test strips on-hand.

Here are some other guidelines from his office.

  • Don’t use drugs alone. There is a much higher risk of fatally overdosing if another person is not monitoring.  
  • Sit upright. Sitting upright can reduce the risk of slumping forward in an overdose – potentially causing airway obstruction. 
  • Call 911 (Good Samaritan). The Good Samaritan Law provides immunity for a minor drug possession or drug paraphernalia offense for the person who overdosed and the person who called 911 to seek help. 
  • Seek Treatment. As with most chronic diseases, addiction is treatable. While treatment may vary upon an individual’s needs, recovery is possible.