A medical examiner in Ohio reports that there were 19 deaths in January 2016 in Cuyahoga County caused by overdoses from taking a drug called fentanyl. Fentanyl is a powerful pain pill and illegal sales of the drug are increasing.  In Ohio, it appears that fentanyl is being sold on the black market in pill form with markings similar to those that appear on the less-potent oxycodone tablets, possibly leading users to believe that the pills are less potent.  Cuyahoga County in Ohio saw 37 deaths in 2014 from fentanyl and a record 89 in 2015, showing a huge increase in the use and abuse of the drug leading to accidental overdoses, often used in conjunction with heroin.  The lives of many potential overdose victims are being saved with the use of the new overdose-reversal drug Narcan (naloxone).  Retailers are beginning to provide this drug over-the-counter, including CVS and Kroger grocery stores.

 

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