Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Dozens of K2 overdoses rock CT city

Dozens of K2 overdoses rock CT city

More than 70 people in New Haven overdosed on what police called a synthetic drug.

"Even while we were trying to return people to service, they were passing victims on the ground", Alston told reporters.

Most of the overdoses happened on the New Haven Green - a downtown park near Yale University - throughout the day Wednesday, according to officials.

New Haven first responders were called to a similar overdose outbreak on the Green on July 4, when more than a dozen people were sick from synthetic marijuana.

New Haven Police have arrested three people in connection with the case, and the investigation is now ongoing, New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell said in a press conference. "I've never seen anything quite this bad happening at once".

Officials blamed K2 and said it can often be laced with unsafe or even lethal substances.

"The substance behind these overdoses is highly risky and must be avoided". Their names have not been released and the investigation is ongoing, police said.

Today New Haven was on the front lines of a coast-to-coast struggle to combat the public health menace of illicit distribution and use of what appear to be tainted street drugs ...

"Bodies are literally dropping all around me from suspected drug overdoses", said Mario Boone, a TV journalist at the park.

Police say two suspects, John Parker, 53, and Felix Melendez, 37, are in state custody, while a third is in federal custody.

The patients were taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and St. Raphael's Hospital.

By late Wednesday afternoon, 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.

First responders went through a lot of the life-saving anti-overdose drug Narcan. One person has been arrested so far. By late Wednesday night there had been no deaths reported.

Drug overdoses are at epidemic proportions around the nation. Alston said many contend with mental health issues, making the drug abuse a medical issue in addition to a legal one.

Officials said Wednesday's response was a tremendous drain on the fire department.

Victims displayed a multitude of symptoms, including "vomiting, hallucinating, high blood pressure, shallow breathing, semi-conscious and unconscious states", according to Rick Fontana, director of the city's Office of Emergency Operations.

Synthetic marijuana, also known as K2, contains man-made chemicals that act on the same cell receptors in the brain as THC does in natural marijuana. "He's out cold", a bystander recounted, according to the New Haven Register.

Like this: