The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office reported this week that 13 people died from opiate overdoses — heroin and fentanyl, or combination of both — between March 10 and March 14. Six of those deaths occurred in Cleveland.
Those deaths remain under investigation as of Friday.
Just last month, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson detailed a slight decrease in heroin overdose deaths in recent years, and a sharp increase in fentanyl-related deaths (tripling from 2014, "with 89 ruled cases, with 41 of those cases containing both heroin and fentanyl").
“This is all the more alarming because this is a much more lethal drug, being dressed up as another popular drug abused by the same population,” Gilson said, with an office spokesperson adding that fentanyl deaths in January 2016 led to one of the "largest death toll[s] ever recorded in a single month in the county."