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The Epidemic

Overdose Deaths 2006-2018Cuyahoga County has experienced a rise in overdose fatalities attributable to the abuse of prescription medication from 2007 to present. In 2015 The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office (CCMEO) reported 370 total overdose deaths. In 2016, they reported 666 overdose deaths and in 2017, 727 deaths.   The most drastic increase has been a 26.27% rise in carfentanil, up from 0% in 2015, and fentanyl; 24.86 to 67.68%.  That is a 42.82% rise in deaths due to Fentanyl alone. According to the CCMEO, there has been a marked increase in deaths in the African American population due to fentanyl now being added to cocaine.

In 2017, the Emergency Rooms (ER) treated an estimated 9,191 patients presenting with drug related injuries, averaging 25 patients a day.  A 21% increase from 2016, the highest age group being 35-49 year old males.


  Ohio Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force
Progress & Recommendations 
  Ohio Department of Health
Ohio Drug Overdose Data: General Findings 
  Ohio Department of Health
Ohio's Opioid Epidemic: An Overview of the Problem