Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

One Park, One Day, 41 Overdoses

One Park, One Day, 41 Overdoses

The number of overdose victims linked to a suspected bad batch of synthetic marijuana has risen to 76 in New Haven, as officials try to determine exactly what sickened people.

After dozens of overdoses occurred, first responders set up a command post at the historic New Haven Green park in downtown. No deaths have been reported, and officials said most patients have been discharged from hospitals.

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

Police Chief Anthony Campbell says officers are looking for a known drug dealer who investigators believe was the source of the synthetic marijuana.

"We're getting another call of a person", Alston said.

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By the end of the day Friday, officials plan to release the names of those arrested in connection with the overdoses. Most of those overdoses also happened at the New Haven green, the wire service said. "There's even three churches inside the park", David Hartman, a New Haven Police spokesman told CNN.

CT police have made multiple arrests in connection with 76 overdose cases at a New Haven park.

He said authorities have been treating and sometimes transporting six or seven people at one time and the actions of first responders have been "lifesaving". "It is taking people out very quickly, people having respiratory failure".

At one point Wednesday shouts interrupted a news conference with the fire chief to alert authorities to another overdose.

CBS News reported the victims, covering a range of ages, experienced "a multitude of signs and symptoms ranging from vomiting, hallucinating, high blood pressure, shallow breathing, semi-conscious and unconscious states", said Rick Fontana, director of the city's Office of Emergency Operations. "The substance behind these overdoses is highly unsafe and must be avoided".

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The overdoses follow a similar outbreak at the same park on July 4, when more than a dozen people were treated.

Kenneth Driffin, who works with addicts and the homeless in New Haven, said he is planning a public forum on K2 and hoped to convince officials to attend.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is assisting with the investigation and will send drug samples to a federal lab for analysis.

In two cases, Narcan was not effective in the field, but a high dose of Narcan at the hospital was effective in combating the overdose effects.

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