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

by Noah Mcgee August 17, 2018, 2:39

First responders found numerous people who appeared to have overdosed on the New Haven Green on Wednesday, with 25 of those overdoses occurring within a three-hour span in the morning and some four to six at a time, officials said.

No deaths have been reported, but two individuals had severe symptoms.

As Fire Chief John Alston Jr. spoke to reporters in New Haven, Connecticut, about a spate of drug overdoses on Wednesday, he heard shouting coming from behind him. The agency forecast that the final... Officials received three more reports of overdoses by the time the news conference ended on Wednesday.

Lt. Ernest Jones, an emergency medical technician for the New Haven Fire Department, told the Register he's had his job for five years, and never had such an abnormal day at work. The New Haven green is a meetingplace for the homeless population in the city.

The city mounted a mass-casualty response, including fire, police, ambulances, emergency management, city health department and Yale-New Haven Hospital personnel, said Rick Fontana, emergency management director.

Authorities said the patients had smoked "K2", a synthetic cannabinoid, mixed with the powerful opioid fentanyl.

Officials say most of the overdoses happened on the New Haven Green throughout the day Wednesday. "We are doing our best to get people to the hospital in the safest, most practical and efficient manner".

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Drug Enforcement Administration test results confirmed that samples of the drug were unadulterated K2, according to Laurence Grotheer, spoksperson for New Haven Mayor Toni Harp. The danger lies in the drug's unpredictability and its tendency to be cut with potent opioids or in some cases an anticoagulant used in rat poison.

The alert also reminds people of the symptoms of overdoses: The person won't wake up; has blue lips or fingernails; has clammy, cool skin; shallow, slow breathing or is suffering from seizures, the EMS office said.

Synthetic marijuana is plant material sprayed with chemicals that has been blamed for overdoses nationwide.

"He says one of the victims still had some of the drug, which has been sent off to a lab for testing".

A look at the scene of multiple overdoses in the area of a CT park on Wed., Aug. 15, 2018.

"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 in a statement.

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

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