More African Americans Are Dying From Fentanyl In Cuyahoga County

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 As Cuyahoga County fights its opioid crisis, the medical examiner’s office is tracking a disturbing trend. Fentanyl use is claiming a new set of victims. 

Since January, 26 African Americans have died from fentanyl overdoses – compared to 55 in all of 2016.  If the pace continues, the medical examiner estimates 150 African Americans will overdose from the lethal opioid. Dr. Thomas Gilson, the county medical examiner, concludes the spike means fentanyl is spreading from heroin to cocaine users.

“Fentanyl has become a big player, but it seems to be reaching into different markets. The cocaine market has been more traditionally been African American. The heroin and fentanyl issue has been more a white predominance. What’s concerning about this new development is now we have fentanyl showing up in a population we haven’t seen it in,” he said.

Since January, 109 people died from fentanyl, heroin or a combination of the two, according to the medical examiner.



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