According to Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson, Cuyahoga County had at least 60 confirmed fatal overdoses in February due to heroin, fentanyl, or a combination of the two.
It's the single highest monthly fatality rate in Cuyahoga County’s history, just above September 2016 when there were 57 fatalities.
Gilson also noted that there are seven February cases still pending further toxicology testing, which may cause the monthly total to increase even more.
So far in 2017, 109 victims have died from heroin, fentanyl, or a combination of the two. In that same period in 2016, 57 victims died from heroin, fentanyl, or a combination of the two.
Gilson also noted where the fatalities occurred. In the City of Cleveland, there were 36 residents who died.
Across the Cuyahoga County suburbs, 24 people died. They were from Berea, Broadview Heights, Brook Park, Brooklyn, Euclid (3), Lakewood (2), Mayfield Heights (2), North Olmsted, North Royalton, Olmsted Township, Parma, South Euclid, and Westlake. In addition, seven out-of-county residents also died. and they were from Brunswick (2), Eastlake, Macedonia, Northfield, Wickliffe, and Willowick.
Gilson added that February 2017 also had 35 cocaine-related deaths, with 26 being mixed with heroin, fentanyl, or a combination of the two. At least 70 cocaine-related deaths have occurred in 2017, with at least 50 being mixed with heroin, fentanyl, or a both, according to Gilson.