Dozens Overdose In Connecticut Park On Tainted Synthetic Marijuana

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Most were treated at local hospitals, though at least five refused to be transported.

Police said they arrested a person of interest in connection with the mass overdose.

Most of those overdoses also happened at the New Haven green, the wire service said.

Dr Kathryn Hawk, an Emergency Department physician at Yale New Haven Hospital, said the drug was laced with fentanyl, but police have yet to confirm this.

Police say there haven't been any deaths linked to the overdoses, although two people were hospitalized in critical condition.

"There were some that were unconscious, some that were nauseous, lethargic, some in respiratory duress", New Haven Fire Chief John Alston said of the people treated by emergency responders. Sandy Bogucki told reporters.

Nationally, overdose deaths reached a record level of 72,000 in 2017, according to a recent federal report.

The synthetic cannabinoid K2 is often laced with other substances, CNN reports, adding that authorities believe an added opioid may have contributed to the New Haven overdoses.

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Police did not immediately release the name of the man who was arrested, saying they were waiting for victims to positively identify him. More than 70 people fell ill from suspected drug overdoses on the green and were taken to local hospitals. The New Haven green is a meetingplace for the homeless population in the city.

"Yesterday was extremely, extremely busy, something we haven't seen in quite some time, a lot of people dropping all at the same time", Fontana said.

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

At the height of the situation, emergency crews were sprinting across the 16-acre park from victim to victim.

Officials said Emeth Soloman, 43, of New Haven, had pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, cocaine.

Victims were given several doses of naloxone, an antidoe for narcotic overdoses, both on the scene and at the hospital.

"The substance behind these overdoses is highly unsafe and must be avoided", Malloy said, adding that state public health officials had delivered 50 doses of Naloxone to New Haven to replenish the supply expended by first responders over the course of the 24-hour crisis.

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