Mass overdose of marijuana sees 76 'bodies dropping' in park

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One arrest has been made in connection with the overdoses.

"After 8:00 we ended up with 12 victims in a 40-minute period". Sandy Bogucki told reporters Wednesday.

The New Haven Police Department is investigating the case. "We also have representatives with the DEA here".

Most of the people who overdosed Wednesday in New Haven were lower-income or homeless, Hartman told WTNH. Some people were unconscious, others were semi-conscious.

Police Chief Anthony Campbell said increased patrols were swarming the green in the shadow of Yale University, where drug users began dropping Tuesday. "Don't put your life in harm".

Authorities say at least 71 people in CT overdosed after smoking synthetic marijuana laced with what they believe was a powerful opioid.

Emergency responders spent several hours today working to treat the victims and transport them to the hospital. "Let's address it that way", Alston said.

"DMHAS will provide for the city recovery coaches, training and dissemination of Narcan, as well as fund a street psychiatrist", Harp said. "However higher concentrations of it in the emergency room proved effective".

The 16-acre Green, which the National Park Service says dates back to 1638 and is one of the oldest in New England, is a focal point of downtown New Haven.

Some of the New Haven victims tested positive for the powerful opioid fentanyl, also blamed for overdoses, but authorities believe this week's overdoses were caused exclusively by synthetic marijuana.

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.

The state Senate Republican leader, Len Fasano, of North Haven, criticized New Haven officials on Thursday for not addressing drug use on the Green - a claim the mayor disputed. "The substance behind these overdoses is highly unsafe and must be avoided".

Synthetic opiates like fentanyl, which is 30-50 times more potent than heroin, are extremely unsafe, with high risks of overdose and death. They say no deaths have been reported so far, but at least six victims were near death.

The incident follows a new report that found a record 72,000 Americans died of overdoses in 2017.

Drugs, particularly fentanyl, are now deadlier in the United States than either HIV, auto crashes or guns, the report said.

Overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids rose sharply, while fatalities from heroin, prescription opioid pills and methadone fell, according to the C.D.C. estimates.

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