Dozens overdose on synthetic marijuana in New Haven, Connecticut, authorities say

Dozens overdose on synthetic marijuana in New Haven, Connecticut, authorities say

At least 71 people have overdosed from synthetic marijuana in CT with at least 52 of them at or near a CT city park, authorities said late Wednesday.

"Even while we were trying to return people to service, they were passing victims on the ground", Fire Chief John Alston told reporters.

Campbell alleged Parker sold K2 on the New Haven Green, where most of the overdoses occurred Wednesday and Thursday.

Out of the dozens of people rushed to the hospital, only two showed life-threatening symptoms, authorities said.

Officials confirm that a third arrest has been made after over 100 overdoses on K2, otherwise known as synthetic marijuana, happened in New Haven.

"It is insane, it is ugly - you don't know what you're doing, you don't know where you are", said Douglas, saying this was the worst drug crisis he's ever seen.

Officials blamed K2, a synthetic and marijuana-like drug that's smoked and can often be laced with unsafe or even lethal substances.

"The substance behind these overdoses is highly unsafe and must be avoided".

Dozens overdose on synthetic marijuana in New Haven, Connecticut, authorities say
Dozens overdose on synthetic marijuana in New Haven, Connecticut, authorities say

But just because police have caught one suspected dealer and there were no problems Friday doesn't mean the crisis is over, the chief said.

'Today's emergency is deeply troubling and illustrative of the very real and serious threat that illicit street drugs pose to health of individuals, ' the Democratic governor said. Hawk said some people got better with the help of naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug, while others didn't.

Last year, more than 72,000 people in the United States died from drug overdoses, up 6.6 percent from the prior year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Late Wednesday night, the scene at the New Haven Green began to "quiet down" as people emptied out of the park, Hartman, the officer, said. By late Wednesday night there had been no deaths reported.

The patients were taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and St. Raphael's Hospital.

Authorities arrested Felix Melendez, 37, in connection to the suspected overdoses.

Proponents of legalizing the substance cite studies that link marijuana usage with less harm compared to alcohol, and point to the difficulty of overdosing on the drug through normal usage.

Victims displayed a multitude of symptoms, including "vomiting, hallucinating, high blood pressure, shallow breathing, semi-conscious and unconscious states", according to Rick Fontana, director of the city's Office of Emergency Operations. I'm also grateful to the state Department of Public Health for its quick response to our request for additional doses of Narcan, the antidote administered to several of those afflicted. Though synthetic, these types of drugs are known as cannabinoids because they activate the same brain cell receptors as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis.


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