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Cuyahoga County sees spike in fatal drug overdoses during last 48 hours

The medical examiner's office is waiting on toxicology testing to confirm which drug(s) have led to the sudden increase.

CLEVELAND — A public health alert has been issued by Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson after a recent spike in drug overdoses over the last 48 hours.

A press release issued by the Medical Examiner's Office states that nine suspected overdose deaths have occurred in the last two days. Officials are currently waiting on toxicology reports to determine which drug(s) have led to the increase.

"The interruption of drug use due to COVID-19 may mean users' tolerance has dropped and therefore they are at higher risk of overdose and fatality," said Dr. Gilson. "Additionally, any disruption of the illicit drug supply due to COVID-19 may mean that users are subject to a wide variety of other dangerous substances being substituted without their knowledge."

With an increase in the presence of the dangerous opioid fentanyl in recent years, testing kits have become critical in the fight against overdoses. Free fentanyl test strips are available at the following three locations:

  • Circle Health Services 12201 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44106 | 216-721-4010
  • Care Alliance Clinic 2916 Central Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115 | 216-535-9100
  • Care Alliance Clinic 1530 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, OH 44114 | 216-781-6724

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