Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson confirmed that Cuyahoga County had at least 52 fatal overdoses in September 2016 due to heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, or a combination of the three, according to a news release.
According to Gilson, this ties the record for the highest number of opioid-related (heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil) fatalities in a single month, a record previously set in August 2016.
Cuyahoga County has already experienced at least 14 overdose deaths since October 1.
To date, at least 385 victims have died in 2016, far exceeding the 228 from 2015. Additionally, lab results have confirmed that at least 4 Cuyahoga County overdose deaths are due to carfentanil, a large animal sedative, 100 times more deadly than fentanyl and 2500 times more deadly than heroin.
Pending further case testing, it’s possible September overdoses could surpass 52, Gilson said, making it the deadliest month due to opioid overdoses Cuyahoga County has ever seen.
Who was affected?
According to Gilson, 23 were City of Cleveland residents and 29 lived in the following suburbs:
Brook Park, Brooklyn, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Euclid (3), Lakewood (4), Lyndhurst, Maple Heights, Mayfield Heights (2), Middleburgh Heights, North Olmsted (3), North Royalton, Olmsted Falls, Parma, Parma Heights, South Euclid, and Strongsville.
There were also three out-of-county residents who died here, from Chillicothe, Cincinnati, and Traphill, North Carolina.