At least 76 people overdose on K2 in New Haven, Connecticut
At least 76 people overdose on K2 in New Haven, Connecticut
Authorities Say 15 Overdosed In 45 Minutes At Connecticut Park
17 August, 2018, 21:45
The number of people who overdosed on what cops believe was a powerful batch of synthetic marijuana neared 90 on Thursday, as people continued collapsing on the historic New Haven Green. Local officials said it was unlike anything they had seen before. No deaths have been reported, but authorities say two people had life-threatening symptoms.
Alston said it's unclear what was the cause of the overdoses, but officials suspect it may have been synthetic cannabinoids, known as K2, that were likely laced with other substances.
Police have arrested a man who they say may have passed out free samples of synthetic marijuana. He said at first, the drug Nalaxone - used to treat narcotic overdoses - appeared not to work, but later took effect when higher doses were administered. "We are doing our best to get people to the hospital in the safest, most practical and efficient manner".
By late Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Toni Harp had increased police presence on the green, and directed that the New Haven Fire Department and AMR ambulance maintain an around-the clock incident-command center there.
The DEA continues to assist the New Haven police with the arrests, and into the investigation on how the mass-overdose happened.
NBC News reported that the Yale-New Haven Hospital received seven patients and some were in critical condition. "That caused us to respond with a multi-casualty incident", New Haven Fire Chief John Alston said. The patients were taken to area hospitals for overdose-related respiratory illnesses, Officer David Hartman said.
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At one point Wednesday shouts interrupted a news conference with the fire chief to alert authorities to another overdose.
"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.
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.
The Green is located in downtown New Haven and reportedly attracts homeless people and drug users throughout the year.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the substance behind the overdoses is highly risky and must be avoided.
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