Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Overdose total hits 76 in CT park near Yale

Overdose total hits 76 in CT park near Yale

People are saying 46 people overdosed Wednesday from a suspected bad batch of "K2" synthetic marijuana at or near a city park in CT.

Most of the overdoses have been happening on the New Haven Green on Wednesday and Thursday.

Paramedics and police officers remained at the parkas more people fell ill.

Some individuals were unconscious; others were vomiting or exhibiting other overdose symptoms.

The latest incident in CT comes as new preliminary estimates on 2017 overdose deaths were released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

No deaths were reported, and most of those brought to local hospitals have been discharged.

The US is grappling with a surging epidemic of opioid abuse, including painkillers like OxyContin and street drugs such as heroin. It's usually a mixture of plant material that looks like potpourri and is sprayed with synthetic psychoactive chemicals.

It has been blamed for other mass overdoses across the country.

"They are not safe and may affect the brain much more powerfully than marijuana; their actual effects can be unpredictable and, in some cases, more risky or even life-threatening", the institute stated.

Initial tests from the Drug Enforcement Agency indicated that the victims had ingested pure K2, a synthetic drug marketed as similar to marijuana.

Police arrested 37-year-old Felix Melendez in connection to at least some of the overdoses in the park. His name has not been released.

"Do not come down to the Green and purchase this K2", Anthony Campbell, the New Haven police chief, told WVIT-TV. 'Someone. with malice in their heart took advantage of that, took advantage of this vulnerable population.

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.

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They can be anywhere from 2 to 100 times more potent than THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, researchers have said.

The drug causes anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, hallucinations, increased blood pressure, convulsions and even death, among other effects.

It's surrounded by parts of Yale University, shops, churches and government buildings, and serves as a hub for area bus service.

He said that in addition to state charges, the suspects could also face federal charges.

Mayor Toni Harp said plans were being finalized for President Trump's drug czar nominee, Jim Carroll, to visit New Haven on Monday.

"So we don't see it in Bridgeport because we are always vigilant", Perez says. Investigators try to determine exactly what sickened the victims.

Fontana said the city's 911 center started receiving calls just after 8 a.m. about possible overdoses at the park.

Emergency responders are pictured at the park on Wednesday. One person had to be transported three times over the course of the day, he said.

"We've discovered that the K2 involved was very short acting but also rapid acting version of the drug", said Dr.

An ambulance crew responds to one of three simultaneous drug overdose victims on the New Haven Green, a city park in New Haven, Conn., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. No deaths were reported in either outbreak.

The DEA is helping to investigate how at least 76 people overdosed in New Haven, Connecticut in the past 24 hours.

Fasano said the Green has become "a place of despair" and 'no longer an attraction for families or economic development'.

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