At Least 66 Fatal Heroin/Fentanyl/Cocaine Overdoses in May

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Christopher Harris, (216) 443-7157; 

At Least 235 Fatal Overdoses including Cocaine in 2020 To Date

– Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson, announced today that Cuyahoga County has suffered at least 66 confirmed overdose deaths in May due to heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, or a combination of the three. This nearly matches the deadliest month for fatal overdoses in the history of Cuyahoga County, when 67 individuals died of a fatal overdose in February 2017. Furthermore, this total will likely change as 6 suspected overdose cases are still pending test results for the month of May.

May residential demographics are as follow:

28 – City of Cleveland Residents

17 – Suburban Residents

Beachwood, Bedford (2), Brook Park, East Cleveland, Euclid (2), Fairview Park, Garfield Heights, Lakewood (2), North Olmsted, Olmsted Falls, Parma (4), and 5 out of county residents – Avon Lake, Elyria, Medina, Jefferson, and Willoughby.

Note: The residential demographics only include opioid-related deaths. Cocaine is not included in this breakdown.

“This is sad and disappointing news. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, deaths by overdose continue to be a public health emergency,” said Dr. Gilson. “Our county leadership encourages everyone to seek help with substance abuse issues. People can recover.”

FREE fentanyl test strips are available at the following locations:
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.

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