76 people overdose on synthetic marijuana at Connecticut park

Nora Nguyen
August 17, 2018

"We're getting another call of a person", Alston said.

Cops described a grim scene on the Green - situated in downtown New Haven to the south and west of Yale's sprawling campus - which attracts homeless people and drug users throughout the year.

Officials said 76 people overdosed Wednesday and six more were treated Thursday.

The man arrested on Wednesday is suspected of being connected to some of the drugs that caused the overdoses, NBC News Connecticut reported.

"After 8:00 [a.m. Wednesday] we ended up with 12 victims in a 40-minute period". Chief Mark Vendetto, New Haven Fire Department.

The majority of cases were centered on the New Haven Green, adjacent to Yale University.

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The DEA has also been called in to assist in the investigation. Three of them happened Tuesday night. As Fontana was talking to reporters late in the morning, the fire radio crackled with reports of two more people down on the green, and police, medics and firefighters ran or drove to aid the latest victims a few hundred yards away.

More than a dozen people overdosed on synthetic marijuana at the same park July 4.

"We heard from people on the Green this morning that it could potentially be laced with PCP and some of the reactions of the patients in the emergency department would suggest it was an opioid involved as well", Bogucki said.

The overdoses were concentrated on the New Haven Green but because it's now dark the incident is beginning to branch out to different parts of the city, where more people are being found, police said. Three of the people who overdosed died after taking cocaine that had been laced with fentanyl, over a dozen others were hospitalized. "Don't put your life in harm".

Paramedics and police were stationed at the New Haven Green all day as more and more people showed signs of overdosing, according to WABC-TV in NY, which added that some users fell unconscious while others vomited. His identity will not be released until he has been positively identified by a probable victim, police said. Some of the victims were unconscious and in respiratory distress.

Paramedics and police officers assist a man who has just been administered a dose of Narcan for an apparent opioid overdose in Drexel, Montgomery County, Ohio, on August 3, 2017. 'However higher concentrations of it in the emergency room proved effective'.

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Initial tests from the Drug Enforcement Agency indicated that the victims had ingested pure K2, a synthetic drug marketed as similar to marijuana. New Haven Fire Chief John Alston said the drug behind the mass overdose is likely K2 - a synthetic cannabinoid often cut with other harmful substances.

Police have arrested a man who they say may have passed out free samples of synthetic marijuana.

The response from emergency responders has been "tremendous", Fontana said. The additives boost the high, but can create a risky, sometimes deadly cocktail.

CT police have made an arrest in connection with more than three dozen overdose cases at a New Haven park. No deaths have been reported.

The latest incident in CT comes as new preliminary estimates on 2017 overdose deaths were released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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