Nearly 80 overdose on synthetic pot in park near Yale

Modesto Morganelli
Agosto 17, 2018

Some of the people on the Green said they thought the K2 was laced with PCP.

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

Police reportedly made one arrest Wednesday, though the charges were not clear.

"After 8:00 we ended up with 12 victims in a 40-minute period".

Fire Department first responders were handling so many calls that they were experiencing "compassionate-care fatigue" and had to be rotated off the engine companies, said New Haven Fire Chief John Alston. The patients were taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and St. Raphael's Hospital.

Early reports indicated that 47 people had overdosed, but The Hartford Courant reports that the number of cases had risen to 71 by about 10 p.m. Wednesday. Other reports said it was 76 people.

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.

Dozens of people suffering from apparent overdoses were transported to local hospitals from the New Haven Green, according to Rick Fontana, director of the city's Office of Emergency Operations. "Don't put your life in harm".

Paramedics sprinted from patient to patient in a park overlooked by Yale University buildings as users began to show symptoms including vomiting, hallucination and unconsciousness. "The identity of the man arrested will not be released until such time he's been positively identified by any probable victim so as not to taint the investigation". Authorities confirm the substance was synthetic cannabis and that other drugs weren't involved in the substance. Some of the victims were unconscious and in respiratory distress.

After Wednesday's surge of overdoses, the issue appeared to have quieted.

Victims were given several doses of naloxone, an antidoe for narcotic overdoses, both on the scene and at the hospital. 'However higher concentrations of it in the emergency room proved effective'.

But city officials said initial testing found no opioids in the K2 it tested.

One patient who was sent to the hospital for a K2 overdose tested positive for fentanyl in a toxicology screen, but that it may have been used separately from the synthetic marijuana, he 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", Malloy said, according to the Courant. The additives boost the high, but can create a unsafe, sometimes deadly cocktail.

More than 70 people in New Haven overdosed on what police believe was the synthetic marijuana drug "K2". By late Wednesday night there had been no deaths reported.

Alston said drug overdoses in New Haven, as in other cities, are at epidemic proportions and that the city is in the grip of a public health crisis.

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