CLEVELAND, Ohio — Six people died of suspected fentanyl overdoes over a 24-hour period Tuesday in Cuyahoga County, the medical examiner said.
The six are among at least 10 suspected fentanyl overdose deaths over the last three days, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson said in a news release. The deaths include five men and five women between the ages of 31 and 69.
Tests are still being performed to determine official causes of death, Gilson said.
“We are seeing another cluster of apparent overdose deaths,” Gilson said in the news release. “Our recent experience indicates that this is likely related to fentanyl, possibly also carfentanil. These dangerous drugs may be mixed with other drugs like cocaine or heroin with significant increases in risk of death.”
Fentanyl, a powerful opiate, is being mixed into drugs such as heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, Gilson said previously.
Fentanyl mixed with crack cocaine contributed to a spike in fatal overdoses over Memorial Day Weekend, when eight people died.
Naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote, and fentanyl test strips are available to the public at several locations in Cuyahoga County.
The free fentanyl test strips are distributed at:
- Circle Health Services, 12201 Euclid Ave, Cleveland
- Care Alliance Clinic, 2916 Central Avenue Cleveland
Local businesses are also offering fentanyl test strips provided by the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: https://www.cleveland.com/metro/2019/08/six-die-in-suspected-fentanyl-overdoses-in-24-hours-in-cuyahoga-county-medical-examiner-says.html