At least 76 people overdose on K2 in New Haven, Connecticut

Frederick Owens
August 17, 2018

There has been a rash of suspected drug overdoses on the New Haven Green Wednesday, with at least 76 people taken to area hospitals.

More than 70 people have overdosed in or around a historic CT park near the Yale University campus after receiving what authorities believe was synthetic marijuana laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl.

Authorities believe the drug that caused the overdoses is K-2, a synthetic marijuana.

Three arrests have been made in the case, Hartman said, but officials can not say for certain if all three arrested or just one of them are directly responsible for the overdoses. "That caused us to respond with a multi-casualty incident", New Haven Fire Chief John Alston said.

Police believe the person responsible for the overdoses may have been given out free samples of the drug.

No deaths were reported, but officials said two people suffered life-threatening symptoms.

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.

Synthetic marijuana is plant material sprayed with chemicals that has been blamed for overdoses nationwide. Three of the people who overdosed died after taking cocaine that had been laced with fentanyl, over a dozen others were hospitalized.

EMS medical director Sandy Bogucki said it's possible the drug was laced with PCP. Some became unconscious and others vomited, authorities said.

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The Green, which attracts homeless people and drug users throughout the year, as The New York Post reported, is located in downtown New Haven to the south and west of the Ivy League Yale University.

So far, no deaths have been reported.

"We have far fewer sleeping on the Green but the drug use is awful", he said. "Let's address it that way", Alston said.

"People are self-medicating for several different reasons and every agency - police, fire, medical, hospitals - all are strained at this time", Chief Alston said.

Some individuals who were released from the hospital needed to be treated a second time for an additional apparent overdose, Fontana said.

A similar mass overdose occurred on New Haven Green just one month ago, on July 4, when more than a dozen people fell sick from synthetic marijuana.

Naloxone, an antidote for narcotic overdoses, was administered to some victims but didn't appear to be effective.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy tweeted that the emergency in New Haven was "deeply troubling and illustrative of the very real and serious threat that illicit street drugs pose to health of individuals".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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